Australian Medals

1939-1945 Star

1939-1945 Star

(Australian)

The 1939-45 Star is awarded for service between 3 September 1939 and
2 September 1945 for:

  • a period of six months (180 days) operational service for RAN and Army personnel and RAAF non-air crew personnel
  • a period of two months operational service for air crew personnel
  • a period of six months service at sea for Merchant Navy provided at least one voyage was made through one of the specified areas of active operations.

The 1939-45 Star is awarded to Australian Civilian Personnel who served afloat with the United States Army Small Ships Section between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. Eligibility is the same as that for Merchant Navy personnel.

Design

The six–pointed star is yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The 1939-45 Star’.

Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names engraved on the plain reverse.

Ribbon

The ribbon has three vertical stripes of dark blue, red and light blue. The dark blue stripe represents the Naval Forces and the Merchant Navy, the red stripe the Armies and the light blue stripe the Air Forces.

Clasps

The ‘BATTLE OF BRITAIN’ clasp was awarded to eligible air crew involved in the Battle of Britain.

The ‘BOMBER COMMAND’ clasp was introduced in 2012 and is awarded to eligible Bomber Command aircrew. This award is administered by the Directorate of Honours and Awards (DH&A) on behalf of the UK Government. The clasp is awarded to RAAF personnel who served with UK-based Bomber Command squadrons during World War 2. Upon receipt of an application, assessment for eligibility is completed and details of successful applicants are forwarded to the UK Ministry of Defence. The UK Government then initiates delivery of clasps to DH&A in Australia, for dispatch to those recipients.

Silver Rosette

When the ribbon is worn alone the standard silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote the award of a clasp. The silver rosette emblem is not supplied by DH&A.

Information from www.defence.gov.au

Africa Star

Africa Star

(Australian)

The Africa Star was granted for operational service in North Africa from the date of the entry of Italy into the war on 10 June 1940, up to the date of the cessation of operations against the enemy in North Africa on 12 May 1943.

The Africa Star may also be awarded for operational service as a member of the Australian Defence Force during the Syrian Campaign in the period from 8 June 1941 to 11 July 1941.

The Africa Star is awarded for a minimum of one days operational service in North Africa, west of the Suez Canal between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943 and in Syria between 8 June 1941 and 11 July 1941.

Design

The six–pointed star is yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The Africa Star’.

Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names engraved on the plain reverse.

Ribbon

The ribbon colours represent the desert and the service of the Armies, Naval Forces, Merchant Navy and the Air Forces.

Clasps

Three clasps were issued for the Africa Star:

  • 8th Army
  • 1st Army
  • North Africa 1942-43

Only one clasp is worn and when the ribbon is worn alone a ribbon emblem, ‘8’, ‘1’ or silver rosette as appropriate is worn to denote the award of a clasp.

Information from www.defence.gov.au

Air Crew Europe Star Replica

Air Crew Europe Star (replica)

(Australian)

The Air Crew Europe Star was awarded for operational flying from United Kingdom bases over Europe between 3 September 1939 and 5 June 1944. A person must first be entitled to the 1939-45 Star before qualifying for the Air Crew Europe Star.

Design

The six–pointed star is yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The Air Crew Europe Star’. Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names engraved on the plain reverse.

Ribbon

The ribbon is light blue with yellow and black outer stripes. The colours represent the continuous service of the Air Forces by night and day.

Clasps

Two clasps were issued for the Air Crew Europe Star:

  • Atlantic
  • France and Germany

Regulations only allow one clasp to be worn with the Star. When the ribbon is worn alone a silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote the award of a clasp.

Information from www.defence.gov.au

Atlantic Star

Atlantic Star

(Australian)

The Atlantic Star was awarded to commemorate the Battle of the Atlantic between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945. It was designed primarily for convoys and their escorts and anti-submarine forces, as well as for crews of fast merchant ships that sailed alone.

Awarded for six months service afloat, in the Navy, the Merchant Navy and by Army and Air Force personnel serving on HM Ships, in the Atlantic and Home Waters. Awarded to aircrew who have taken part in operations against the enemy at sea within the qualifying areas for Naval personnel, subject to two months service in an operational unit after earning the 1939-1945 Star. Qualifying dates are 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945.

Design

The six–pointed star is yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The Atlantic Star’.

Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names engraved on the plain reverse.

Ribbon

The ribbon has three vertical stripes of blue, white and sea green, shaded and watered. The colours represent the colours of the Atlantic Ocean.

Clasps

Two clasps were issued for the Atlantic Star:

  • Air Crew Europe
  • France and Germany

Regulations only allow one clasp to be worn with the Star. When the ribbon is worn alone a silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote the award of a clasp.

Information from www.defence.gov.au

Service Medal 1939-1945

Service Medal 1939-1945

(Australian)

The Second World War saw Australians serving overseas from the Middle East to Europe, Asia and the Near East. The Royal Australian Airforce played a much more important role in World War Two than in World War One and the greatest number of Decorations was to the airforce. Total enlistments were 993,000. Total casualties were 180,864, of which 33,826 were killed in action or died during the war.

The first distinctly Australian campaign medal was issued for World War Two. Known as the “Australian Service Medal”, it was instituted in 1949 and restricted to the Australian Navy, Army and Air Force personnel who served in the armed forces or Mercantile Marine.

The medal was originally awarded to those who served at home or overseas for at least 18 month full-time service, or three years part-time service, between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Members of the Australian Mercantile Marine must have served the qualifying time at sea.

In 1996 the qualifying time was reduced to 30 days full-time or 90 days part-time service. To be eligible for the medal a serviceman or woman must have been honourably discharged from the Australian Armed Forces.

Design

The medal is nickel silver with the crowned effigy of King George VI on the obverse.

The reverse has the Australian coat of arms, placed centrally, surrounded by the words ‘THE AUSTRALIA SERVICE MEDAL 1939-1945’.

Ribbon

The ribbon has a wide khaki central stripe, flanked by two narrow red stripes, which are in turn flanked by two outer stripes, one of dark blue and the other of light blue. The khaki represents the Australian Army, and the red, dark blue and light blue represent the Merchant Navy, Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force respectively.

Information from www.defence.gov.au

Burma Star

Burma Star

(Australian)

The Burma Star is awarded for operational service in the Burma Campaign from 11 December 1941 to 2 September 1945. In addition for:

Navy - six months qualifying service for 1939-1945 Star first, then operational service in the Bay of Bengal and in the Malacca Strait;

Army - service on land in Bengal and Assam from 1 May 1942 to 31 December 1943, areas of Bengal and Assam east of the Brahmaputra from 1 January 1944 to 2 September 1945 and operational service in China and Malaya from 16 February 1942 to 2 September 1945; and

Air Force - one operational sortie for aircrew and qualifying service as for Army for other Air Force personnel.

Design

The six–pointed star is yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The Burma Star’.

Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names engraved on the plain reverse.

Ribbon

The ribbon is red with edges of dark blue and orange. The red and dark blue represent the British Commonwealth Forces and the orange represents the sun.

Clasp

The Pacific clasp was issued for the Burma Star.

When the ribbon is worn alone a silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote the award of a clasp to the medal.

Information from www.defence.gov.au

Defence Medal

Defence Medal

(Australian)

The Defence Medal is awarded for six months service in a prescribed non-operational area subject to enemy air attack or closely threatened, in Australia and overseas, or for 12 months service in non-prescribed non-operational areas.

Within Australia the area is the Northern Territory, north of 14 degrees 30 minutes south, and the Torres Strait Islands between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945.

Overseas service includes the Middle East, east of the Suez Canal (less the period of the Syrian Campaign) or Malaya prior to the Japanese invasion on 8 December 1941.

Design

The medal is cupro-nickel, with the uncrowned effigy of King George VI on the obverse.

The reverse has a conventional oak tree centrally, with a crown above, with two lions counter rampart as supporters between the dates 1939 and 1945. The base of the medal reverse has the words ‘THE DEFENCE MEDAL’.

Ribbon

The ribbon is orange with green outer stripes, each green stripe having a black pin-stripe running down the centre. The green represents the Islands of the United Kingdom, the orange represents enemy attacks, and the black represents the black outs.

Information from www.defence.gov.au

Distinguished Flying Cross

Distinguished Flying Cross

(Australian)

The Distinguished Flying Cross (or DFC) was established in June 1918, shortly after the formation of the Royal Air Force (RAF), for the officers and warrant officers of the RAF for “an act of valour, courage, or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy”.

The DFC now serves as the third-level award for all ranks of the British Armed Forces for exemplary gallantry in active operations against the enemy in the air, not to the standard required to receive the Victoria Cross or the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross. All awards of the DFC are announced in the London Gazette.

In March 1941 eligibility for the DFC was extended to Naval Officers of the Fleet Air Arm, and in November 1942 to Army Officers, including Royal Artillery officers serving on attachment to the RAF as pilots-come-artillery observers. Posthumous awards were permitted from 1979. The DFC had also been awarded by Commonwealth countries but by the 1990’s most had established their own honours systems and no longer recommended British honours.

Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters “DFC”.

Design

The decoration is a cross flory 54 mm wide and was designed by Edward Carter Preston. The horizontal and bottom bars are terminated with bumps, the upper bar with a rose.

Its obverse features airplane propellers, superimposed on the vertical arms of the cross, and wings on the horizontal arms. In the centre is a laurel wreath around the RAF monogram, surmounted by a heraldic Imperial Crown. The reverse is plain, except for a central roundel bearing the reigning monarch’s cipher and the year.

The ribbon is 32 mm wide. Originally white with deep purple broad horizontal stripes, it was changed in 1919 to the current white with purple broad diagonal stripes. The ribbon bar is silver, with the Royal Air Force eagle in its centre. The suspender is straight and decorated with laurel wreaths.

Originally unnamed, the WW2 crosses usually have the years of issue engraved on the reverse of the lower limb.

Keith Ross Holland DFC
Portrait of 410234 Flying Officer (FO) Keith Ross Holland DFC, RAAF, 540 Squadron RAF, born in Wentworth, NSW, at RAF Station Benson.

FO Holland, a surveyor and civil engineer before enlisting in Melbourne on 5 December 1941, embarked for training in Canada under the Empire Air Training Scheme on 23 June 1942, arriving in the UK on 27 March 1943. After service with the RAF's 543 Squadron, a photographic reconnaissance unit flying Spitfires, he underwent conversion training to fly Mosquitos and joined 540 Squadron RAF, another photographic reconnaissance unit, on 28 October 1943. He flew reconnaissance missions from RAF Benson, Oxfrodshire, and, between November 1943 and February 1944, from RAF Leuchars in Scotland. While based at RAF Leuchars he flew photographic reconnaissance missions over Denmark and the German Baltic coast, including the Peenemunde flying bomb base; he also flew over Berlin in daylight to obtain the first photographic evidence of the destruction of the city following the Allied raids on the city. For this work he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross; the citation in the London Gazette of 7 March 1944 mentioned his 'courage on numerous operations against the enemy'. From RAF Benson, he performed reconnaissance of targets as far as Beslau, Leizig, Poland and Italy. He was lost on operations when his aircraft crashed at Steinfeld, near Rostock, Germany, on 27 October 1944, while heading for the Stettin-Berlin area to carry out further photographic reconnaissance.

Group portrait of members of 540 Squadron RAF
Group portrait of members of 540 Squadron RAF

In front of and on top of a de Havilland Mosquito aircraft. Identified is front row, seventh from left, 410234 Flying Officer (FO) Keith Ross Holland DFC, RAAF, who was lost on operations on 27 October 1944. 540 Squadron RAF was a photographic reconnaissance squadron, flying Mosquitos from RAF Benson, Oxfordshire, and Leuchars, Scotland.

Montage of Keith’s medals, letter, watch etc.
Montage of Keith’s medals, letter, watch etc.

Information from www.awm.gov.au and www.identifymedals.com

Photos courtesy of The Rural Life Museum, Robinvale in conjunction with Robinvale Sub-Branch Returned & Services League.

France and Germany Star

France and Germany Star

(Australian)

The France and Germany Star was granted for operational service on land in France, Belgium, Holland or Germany after the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944 until 8 May 1945, the date of the end of active hostilities in Europe.

Design

The six–pointed star is yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The France and Germany Star’.

Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names engraved on the plain reverse.

Ribbon

The ribbon has stripes of red, white and blue that represent the colours of the Union Flag, France and the Netherlands.

Clasp

The Atlantic clasp was issued for the France and Germany Star.

Regulations only allow one clasp to be worn with the Star. When the ribbon is worn alone a silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote the award of a clasp to the medal.

Information from www.defence.gov.au

Italy Star

Italy Star

(Australian)

The Italy Star was granted for operational service on land in Sicily or Italy at any time during the campaign from the capture of Pantellaria on 11 June 1943 until 8 May 1945, the date of the end of active hostilities in Europe.

Operational service in the Aegean, Dodecanese, Greece and Yugoslavia after 11 June 1943, in Sicily up to 17 August 1943, in Sardinia up to 19 September 1943 and in Corsica up to 4 October 1943.

Design

The six–pointed star is yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The Italy Star’.

Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names engraved on the plain reverse.

Ribbon

The ribbon has stripes of green, white stripes and red, these being the national colours of Italy.

Information from www.defence.gov.au

Pacific Star

Pacific Star

(Australian)

The Pacific Star is awarded for entry into operational service in the Pacific Theatre of Operations between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945.

Navy and Merchant Navy personnel are eligible if the 1939-45 Star is earned by six months service or if they entered the Pacific Theatre between 2 March 1945 and 2 September 1945.

United States Army Small Ships

The Pacific Star is awarded to Australian Civilian Personnel who served afloat with the United States Army Small Ships Section. Eligibility is the same as that for Merchant Navy personnel.

Design

The six–pointed star is yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The Pacific Star’.

Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names engraved on the plain reverse.

Ribbon

The ribbon has central yellow and green stripes that represent the forests and the beaches of the Pacific, flanked dark blue, light blue and red stripes that represent the service of the Naval Forces and Merchant Navy, the Air Forces and the Armies.

Clasp

The Burma clasp was issued for the Pacific Star.

When the ribbon is worn alone a silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote the award of a clasp.

Information from www.defence.gov.au

War Medal 1939-1945

War Medal 1939-1945

(Australian)

The War Medal 1939-45 was awarded for 28 days full-time service in the Armed Forces between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Operational and non-operational service may be counted, providing that it was of 28 days or more duration.

In the Merchant Navy there is a requirement that the 28 days should have been served at sea.

A member qualifies for the award where service was brought to an end by death, wounds or other disabilities due to service or by cessation of hostilities on 2 September 1945.

United States Army Small Ships

The War Medal 1939-45 is awarded to Australian Civilian Personnel who served afloat with the United States Army Small Ships Section between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. Eligibility is the same as that for Merchant Navy personnel.

Design

The medal is cupro-nickel with the crowned effigy of King George VI on the obverse.

The reverse has a lion standing on a double-headed dragon. The top of the reverse shows the dates 1939 and 1945.

Ribbon

The ribbon colours of red, white and blue represent the colours of the Union Flag.

Information from www.defence.gov.au

German Medals

German Cross

German Cross (Gold/Silver)

The German Cross (German: Deutsches Kreuz) was instituted by Adolf Hitler on 28 September 1941. It was awarded in two divisions: gold for repeated acts of bravery or achievement in combat; and silver for distinguished non-combat war service. The German Cross in Gold ranked higher than the Iron Cross First Class but below the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, while the German Cross in Silver ranked higher than the War Merit Cross First Class with Swords but below the Knight's Cross of the War Merit Cross with Swords.

Information from www.warmilitaria.it

War Merit Cross
War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords

War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords

War Merit Cross

(German)

The War Merit Cross (or Kriegsverdienstkreuz in German) was a decoration of Nazi Germany awarded to military personnel and civilians during the Second World War. It was created by Adolf Hitler in October 1939 as a successor to the non-combatant Iron Cross which was used in earlier wars.

The award had two variants: with swords given to soldiers for exceptional service “not in direct connection with combat”, and without swords given to civilians for meritorious service in “furtherance of the war effort”. Recipients had to have the lower grade of the award before getting the next level.

The War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords was presented to military personnel for bravery not necessarily in the face of the enemy, and in reality there was a grey area in which individuals received the medal when perhaps the non-combatant grade would have been appropriate. A total of 6,134,950 were issued.

By the end of the war the War Merit Cross was issued in four degrees and had a related civil decoration. It was reissued in 1957 by the Bundeswehr in a de-Nazified version for veterans.

The medal consists of a bronze plated Maltese Cross. The observe has pebbled arms with a central wreathed mobile swastika and crossed swords piercing the centrepiece. The reverse has a block hinge and a banjo-style pinback. The War Merit Cross measures 48.51 mm (w) x 48.48 mm (h) and weighs 17.6 grams.

It was constructed from a wide range of materials from zinc with bronzed wash to a few very rare bronze pieces. As the war progressed, the quality of the materials decreased and as a result late war crossed lose their bronze wash with the passing of time, yielding a grey appearance.

The ribbon of the War Merit Cross was in red-white-black-white-red (the colours being reversed from the ribbon of the World War Two version of the Iron Cross). The ribbon for the War Merit Medal was similar but with a narrow vertical red strip in the centre of the black field.

The War Merit Cross 1st Class was a pin-backed medal worn on the pocket of the tunic. The ribbon of the War Merit Cross 2nd Class could be worn like the ribbon of the Iron Cross 2nd Class (through the second buttonhole). Combat soldiers tended to hold the War Merit Cross in low regard, referring to its wearer as being in ‘Iron Cross training’.

The Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross was a neck decoration and worn the same way as the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross.

Information from www.identifymedals.com

Eastern Front Medal 1941-42

Eastern Front Medal 1941-42

(German)

Eastern Front Medal 1941-42 (Ostmedaille). The obverse of the circular medal is concave and features in raised detail an eagle standing on a squared swastika which in turn is over an oakleaf branch. The reverse of the medal is convex with 'WINTERSCHLACHT / IM OSTEN / 1941/42' in raised detail. Underneath the year markings is a crossed bayonet and oakleaf branch design also in raised detail. At the top of the medal, connected to the suspender is the image of a horizontal stick grenade and German helmet. The medal has its original ribbon.

The Eastern Front Medal (or Medaille,,Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42”)was a World War II German military decoration awarded to both German and Axis personnel. It was awarded to those who served on the German Eastern Front during the winter campaign period of 15 November 1941 to 15 April 1942.

The medal was instituted on 26 May 1642 and was commonly known as the Ostmedaille (East Medal) or Russian Front Medal.

The medal was wryly called the Frozen Meat Medal or the “Order of the Frozen Flesh” (or Gefrierfleischorden in German) by Heer, Luftwaffe members; 60 days of continuous service in a combat zone; being wounded or suffering a “frozen limb”, severe enough to warrant the issue of a Wound Badge.

The medal could be awarded posthumously. It was officially decommissioned by Oberkommando der Wehrmacht on 4 September 1944.

Information supplied by Australian War Memorial and www.identifymedals.com

War Merit Medal 1939

War Merit Medal 1939

(German)

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.

The medal, designed by Professor Richard Klein of Munich, was a circular bronze award bearing the design of the War Merit Cross on the front (obverse), and the inscription For War Merit 1939 (German: Für Kriegsverdienst) on the reverse. It was suspended from a ribbon coloured similar to the War Merit Cross, except for a thin red vertical strip added to the center of the black portion. When worn, it was either as a medal ribbon bar above the left breast pocket (soldiers who had earned the medal as civilians could wear it on the uniform), or with the ribbon only through the second buttonhole of the tunic. Since this was a non-combat award, the medal never incorporated swords.

After 15 May 1943, the award of this medal to foreigners was supplanted by the Medal of Merit of the Order of the German Eagle.

The medal was presented in an envelope wrapper. The wrapper was blue with black lettering German: Kriegs-Verdienstmedaille 1939, with the medal itself wrapped in a small piece of tissue paper. Envelopes also came in orange-brownish colour with "Kriegs-Verdienstmedaille 1939" stamped on it.

It is estimated that approximately 4.9 million medals were awarded by the end of the war.

Information from www.warmilitaria.it

German Iron Cross 2nd class

German Iron Cross 2nd class

1939 Iron Cross 2nd class was awarded for bravery in combat. 44mm size, magnetic center with black painted finish, die struck silver frame and has a medal ribbon; red centre with white then black stripes on the outer edge.

Originally the Iron Cross was introduced in three grades with a Grand Cross intended for award to Senior Commanders for successfully leading troops in combat and the First and Second classes for award to all ranks for bravery or merit in action. The Iron Crosses were reinstituted by King Wilhelm I on July 19TH 1870 for award during the Franco-Prussian War and again on August 5TH 1914, by King Wilhelm II for award during WWI. On September 1ST 1939 Hitler once more reinstituted the Iron Cross series of awards in the First and Second Classes and established the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. The first class medal was for award to personnel who performed three to five acts of bravery in combat and had already been awarded the Iron Cross second class.

Information from www.jbmilitaryantiques.com.au

Bar to the 1939 Iron Cross 1st Class Badge

Bar to the 1939 Iron Cross 1st Class Badge

(German)

The Bar, or Clasp, to the Iron Cross (Spange zum Eisernen Kreuz) was introduced for award to 1914 Iron Cross recipients who achieved a second award of an Iron Cross during WW2. In order to permit these two medals to be worn together, the 1939 Clasp (Spange) was introduced and authorized for wear above the original 1914 Iron Cross pinned on the upper left breast pocket of the tunic. This was in the form of a spread-winged, national eagle clutching an oak leaf wreath surrounding a swastika, with a trapezoidal box below surrounding the year 1939. This clasp featured a flat pin back and was normally awarded in a black, leatherette covered, presentation case with the eagle embossed on the top in silver.

Order of the German Eagle

Order of the German Eagle – (Verdienstorden vom Deutschen Adler) 1937 - 1939

(German)

A white enamelled Maltese Cross with a gilded border. Between each of the arms is a gilded and enamelled Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) state eagle. The Order of the German Eagle was an award predominantly given to foreign diplomats during the German Nazi regime.

The Order was instituted on 1 May 1937 by Adolf Hitler and ceased to be awarded after the collapse of Nazi Germany at the end of World War II. This diplomatic and honorary award was given to prominent foreigners, particularly diplomats who were considered sympathetic to Nazism.

The Cross is based on the Maltese Cross with German eagles at each corner carrying a swastika. The Order also featured crossed swords for military recipients.

The overall appearance and name of the Order was an imitation of the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle and Order of the Red Eagle. The cross was suspended from a 46 mm red ribbon with stripes in black, red and white. In the first two classes, the award also came in the form of silver or gold eight pointed star accompanied by a white Maltese Cross and gold eagles centered.

From 1937 to 1943 the Order was presented in six classes:

  • Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle with star
  • Order of the German Eagle with star
  • Order of the German Eagle 1st Class
  • Order of the German Eagle 2nd Class
  • Order of the German Eagle 3rd Class
  • German Medal of Merit

A unique Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle in Gold with Diamonds was also awarded to Benito Mussolini on 25 September 1937.

On 27 December 1943 the Order was recognised into nine classes:

  • Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle in Gold with Star
  • Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle with Star
  • Order of the German Eagle 1st Class
  • Order of the German Eagle 2nd Class
  • Order of the German Eagle 3rd Class
  • Order of the German Eagle 4th Class
  • Order of the German Eagle 5th Class
  • Silver Medal of Merit
  • Bronze Medal of Merit

Information from www.identifymedals.com

Wound Badge 1 – 2

Wound Badge 1 – 2

(German)

The German Wound Badge in black was awarded for 1-2 wounds sustained in combat. Pin backed. Measures 45mm high.

The badge had three classes:

  • Black (3rd class, representing Iron), for those wounded once or twice by hostile action (including air raids).
  • Silver (2nd class) for being wounded three or four times.
  • Gold (1st class, which could be awarded posthumously) for five or more times wounded.

The “progression” could be waived in the event of loss of a limb or eyesight; when such a severe wound occurred, the silver badge was awarded.

Badges were made of pressed steel, brass and zinc. All versions of the Wound Badge were worn on the lower left breast of the uniform or tunic. The badge was worn below all other awards on the left. It ranked lower than combat badges. There were 24 approved manufacturers of the Wound Badge. At first, the Wound Badge in Black was stamped from sheet brass, painted semi-matte black with a hollow reverse pin back attachment or of solid construction. From 1942, steel was used to make the badges. The Wound Badge in silver was made (before 1942) from silver-plated brass, and (after 1942) from lacquered zinc, and had a solid reverse with either a needle pin or a broad flat pin bar. The Wound Badge in Gold was a gilded version of the Wound Badge in Silver. In 1957, a revised version of the Wound Badge was authorised for wear; however, the previous type could still be worn if the swastika were removed (for example by grinding).

Information from www.jbmilitaryantiques.com.au

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