One of the best known badges is the subject of the current post. Its inscription ‘Tirol – Landesverteidigung’ recalls mainly the wording of propaganda badges. In the lower left corner of the badge is the coat of arms of Tyrol opposit the province of Vorarlberg. Apart from the portrait of the ruler, there is no other decoration or inscription on the badge. Almost nothing indicates that this badge was made for members of a well-defined, specific military unit.
The story, of course, begins with the historical traditions and secession of the province of Tyrol. The armed defense of the province has been provided for centuries by the self-organizing paramilitary units of the inhabitants, the Tyrolean shooters. This tradition persisted until the Great War. The Tyrolean snipers were special units of the Monarchy, but their previous privileges that they could only be deployed to protect the province had by this time ceased. They took part in the operations of the Russian front in the summer and autumn of 1914 in the same way as other regular units.
However, after the Italian war message, Tyrolean troops were returned to defend their homeland. From 1915, therefore, a corps was organized from them defending the western section of the Italian front. This corps in the order the XIVth was called informally and even in military documents was referred to as ‘Tiroler Landesverteidigung’. An additional name after the corps commander was “Roth Corps”. So these names were used for the Tyrolean Kaiserjager and snipers in the corps. There were, of course, also other troops in the corps. One such uinit was the VIII/19 Honvéd Infantry Battalion of Pécs, led by Hussar Major Szegfy, which had been stationed for a long time in and around Zugna Torta in South Tyrol, in the mountains above Rovereto. Still, the name “Tiroler Landesverteidigung” was used rather for local troops due to historical traditions.
A postcard and even a letterhead were decorated with the image of the badge. I have now chosen an embossed letterhead for this post as a background. I placed smaller and larger versions of the badge on it. The decoration on the stationery depicts the smaller badge.