Third Reich Era War Medals and Decorations – Heer (Army), SS, & Political/Civilian

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Heer 

Blue Division Medal

The Spanish Volunteer Medal formally known as the Commemorative Medal for Spanish Volunteers in the Struggle Against Bolshevism (German: Erinnerungsmedaille für die spanischen Freiwilligen im Kampf gegen den Bolschewismus), commissioned 3 January 1944, was awarded by the Third Reich to recognize the men of the Blue Division who served at the Russian front during World War II. This force, attached to the Heer of the Wehrmacht, known as the 250th Infantry Division (span.), was in total composed of 47,000 men, sent by Francisco Franco to aid the Third Reich, as a way to pay back Adolf Hitler’s help with the Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War.

Heer Anti-Aircraft Badge

The Army Anti-Aircraft Badge or Army Flak Badge (German: Heeres-Flak Abzeichen) was a German military decoration awarded to German Army personnel for service in an anti-aircraft battery during World War II. Designed by Wilhelm Ernst Peekhaus, it was of single piece construction. The pin back and clasp badge was grey metal in color. The badge was made in one grade; it had the national eagle at the top and an oak leaf wreath around the outside rim. In the middle was an 88 mm flak gun with the barrel facing upwards to the right.

Honour Roll Clasp of the Army

The Honour Roll Clasp of the Army or Ehrenblatt des Heeres (German) was a Decoration of Nazi Germany during World War II. The total number awarded was 4,556.

Infantry Assault Badge

The Infantry Assault Badge (German: Infanterie Sturmabzeichen) was a German war badge awarded to Waffen SS and Wehrmacht Heer soldiers during World War II. This decoration was instituted on December 20, 1939 by the Oberstbefehlshaber des Heeres, Generalfeldmarschall von Brauchitsch. It could be awarded to members of non-motorized Infantry units and units of the Gebirgsjäger that had participated in Infantry assaults, with light Infantry weapons, on at least three days of battle in the front line as from January 1, 1940. When a counter offensive led to fighting at short distance, it could also apply. Award of the Infanterie Sturmabzeichen was authorized at regimental command level or above. The first two awards were given to an officer and an enlisted soldier on a special occasion on May 28, 1940, by von Brauchitsch himself.

 

SS/Schutzstaffel 

SS Long Service Award

SS Long Service Awards (German: SS-Dienstauszeichnungen) were given in grades of four years, eight years, twelve years, twenty-five years, and forty years. The four and eight-year service awards were in the form of circular medals while the 12 and 25-year service awards were in the form of swastikas. The SS service awards were designed in Munich by Professor Karl Diebitsch. The awards varied in design depending on the length of service of the recipient. According to historian Chris Ailsby the awards ceased to be given at the end of 1941.

The branches of the Wehrmacht (Luftwaffe, Heer and Kriegsmarine) had different insignia. The Nazi Party and German Police had a similar service award. The NSDAP Long Service Award was given in grades of ten, fifteen, and twenty-five years. The Police Long Service Award was given in grades of eight, eighteen, twenty-five, and forty years (approved but never awarded).

 

Civilian/Diplomatic Awards 1933-1945

Order of the German Eagle

The Order of the German Eagle (German: Verdienstorden vom Deutschen Adler) was an award of the German Nazi regime, predominantly to foreign diplomats. The Order was instituted on 1 May 1937 by Adolf Hitler. It ceased to be awarded following the collapse of the Nazi Government at the end of World War II.

War Merit Medal

The War Merit Medal (German: Kriegsverdienstmedaille) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to recognize outstanding service by civilians in connection with the war effort. Instituted on 19 August, 1940 the medal was restricted to civilians – both German and non-German – and was awarded predominantly to those working in war factories.

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German Military History with a focus on World War 2 History including other areas of German History