The Military Karl-Friedrich Silver Service Medal was the second highest award given to enlisted men and NCO’s by the Grand Duchy of Baden. As a matter of comparison, both Prussia and Bavaria offered decorations in these grades. In the Prussian Army, its 1st Class version, the Golden Military Merit Cross, was commonly referred to as the “Enlisted Man’s Blue Max.” This large format document, which measures 13″ x 8 1/4,” was awarded to Vizewachtmeister Paul Gerlach of Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 193 on 9 May 1917. The document has two horizontal folds and one vertical fold. It also has two holes punched on the side, probably because it was once a part of the man’s files. The document has the stamp of the Grand Duchy of Baden Ordenskanzler and the signature of the Chef. It appears to be von Babo, but I could be wrong on this point. This is a fine document for a very high level decoration. To give you an idea of the scarcity of this decoration, only 1,282 were awarded during the period of 1914 to 1917, with 589 of these awards made in 1917. (Also, each decoration was engraved with the name of the awardee on the reverse). Included is a handwritten letter with a regimental stamp on it, which refers to the decoration. I have not tried to translate the letter. I cannot say if it was the recommendation for the decoration, a transmittal letter for the decoration, or what. It is an intriguing companion piece to this very scarce document. I would like to direct you to our Orders and Decorations Nr 2 Merchandise Page where you may view an example of this decoration that was awarded during the Franco-Prussian War This is a very rare award document, the first I have been able to offer.