WWII GERMAN EASTERN FRONT MEDAL -
The Eastern Front of World War II (der Rußlandfeldzug 1941–1945 (Russian campaign) or der
Ostfeldzug 1941-1945 (Eastern Campaign)) was a theatre of war between the European Axis powers,
Germany, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia and Finland (not an Axis member), and the
Soviet Union which encompassed central and eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945.
Nazi propaganda dubbed the conflict Battle for Survival against Bolshevism or a Crusade
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during
World War II that began on 22 June 1941.
Hitler wanted to recognize soldiers who fought in this campaign. He authorized the use of a
medal. Also known as the "frozen meat" medal, the medal for the winter campaign on
Russia is depicted on this page. This medal was instituted in May 26th, 1942.
EASTERN FRONT MEDAL DESIGN
The design of the front of the medal consists of a standard circle. At the top there is a German helmet
sitting atop a stick grenade where a portion of the helmet extends beyond the perimeter of the circle.
The stick granade and steel helmet were iconic symbols of the German armed forces so they easily lent themselves
as a logical choice in the design of the award.
The medal has a suspension ring attached to the top of the helmet. The ribbon is placed through the ring. Some of
the rings may be stamped with a small
The ribbon consisted of a reddish/burgandy background with thin stripes. A black one runing down the center with
two white ones fnaking it.
This page is a recognition and identification guide for WWII German badges and awards. Multiple
detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined points
that should be noted.
One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my WWII German badge worth?". A price
guide is included here to address this question. The value of the badges and awards is reviewed
over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth of the German
badges in the collector's market is illustrated.
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a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality military
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The center of the medal has a large eagle with retracted wings. The head is facing right. The eagle is clutching a swastika. The claws are visible. The reverse of the medal is fairly plain. It has the words
"Winterschlacht imosten 1941/42" displayed in raised font. A sword is placed just below the phrase.
This is an example of one of the award documents.
The medal was issued in a brown bag with letters printed on the front with black ink. The words are "Medaille
Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42 (Ostmedaille)". This roughly translates to "Medal, campaign medal in the east,
It is mportant to note that not all of the award bags were
manufactured in the exact same way.
MEDAL AWARD CRITERIA
The criteria for earning the Eastern Front medal included:
Flying over the enemy territory over 30 days. Two weeks of combat on the eastern front. As a complemint to the
wound badge provided it was awarded during actions in the Eastern front.
The eastern front region consisted of territory east of the Ukraine and Ostland.
Personnel authorized to receive this award are listed on the table to the right.
| 1. Administrative personnel
|| 2. Factory workers who were employed in the conquered lands.
3. Military and civilian personnel who directly impacted the war effort. This was to include female persponnel
4. Personnel killed in action or listed as missing.
5. A division commander or more senior officer could bestow this award upon foreign volunteer troops under the
service of the Whermacht.
The last of the Eastern Front medals was issued on October 1944. After that the German armed forces were in full
retreat and more concerned about the survival of the Third Reich. Between the Fall of 1942 and Spring of 1943
the ambitions that fueled Hitler's plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union began to fade away as the tide of
war began to turn against Germany.
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Whether you are a long time collector, a beginner or simply have an interest in the history and value of
each collectible, we hope that you find the information presented here useful.
BY THE NUMBERS
It is hard to determine the exact number of eastern Front medals that were produced. However, thanks to the record
keeping maintained by the Wehrmacht, it is possible to estimate how many medals were actually issued. The number
stands well above 4 million as many soldiers qualified for this medal.
The actual number of Black wound badges produced is greater than the number that was issue. It must be accounted that the
armed forces would have a stock in hand so it could replace lost ones and issue new awards. In addition the factories
were likely to have warehouses with inventory at hand. The Iron Cross was one of the awards most widely distributed
The population of Germany in 1939 was approximately 64,000,000.
COLLECTING EASTERN FRONT MEDALS
Collecting Third Reich memorabilia is a field that has been growing since the days the GI's rummaged around Europe
bringing back military souvenirs. German soldiers wore many of their awards on their uniforms when they went to battle.
Once the soldier was killed or captured, the American soldiers would take the awards as war trophies. Eventually all
these pieces came back to the United States where military history enthusiasts began to collect them.
"I am trying to figure out if I should get into collecting Eastern Front medals."
Determining which military badges to collect can be a challenging decision. The combination of availabiilty and
cost will often set the pace of what can be collected.
The adjacent table outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages of collecting the eastern Front medal.
This award is currently being
It is becoming more difficult to be able to tell the fake ones from the real ones because the quality
of the reproductions is improving. The collector must become familiarized with the construction style
and materials employed in the manufacturing of this badge. Attention to the details is critical in
order to be able to determine the authenticity of the badge.
If you have an interest is seeing other badges and awards of the Third Reich, you can do so by going
WWII German Badges and Awards
identification guide. Where we cover Heer (Army), Navy (Kriegsmarine) and
Air Force (Luftwaffe) items.
|GERMAN EASTERN FRONT MEDAL VARIATIONS
The Eastern Front medal was produced by several manufacturers and in different configurations.
The following section displays some of the different types that were manufactured. It is important to look at
different examples of the medal in orderto become more familiarized with the collectible.