Nazi Awards of WWII

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Discover the medals, badges and awards of Hitler’s Germany in this special 114-page guide.

This is your 114-page guide to the military, political and civil awards that were handed out during Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Party time in power, from 1933 to 1945. 

Here we have a wide range of badges and medals that were awarded for action in combat, from the iconic Iron Cross, to the Luftwaffe qualification badges and the Kriegsmarine war badges.

The Iron Cross
The traditional award for gallantry was given an NSDAP update by Hitler and is an essential item in every German militaria collection.

German Army Badges
There was a badge for everything in Hitler’s Germany, and that includes these awards for fighting in the Heer.

Infantry Assault Badge
Let’s take a closer look at one of the most common awards to those fighting on the ground in the infantry ranks.

Wound Badge
Three levels of award for being wounded in action, all ranked for the severity of wounds or level of disability the soldiers were left with.

Ostvolk Decoration
Eager to encourage the Eastern volunteers to shed blood for Germany, this was one way of recognising their efforts and sacrifices.

Luftwaffe Qualification Badges
There were various jobs in the Luftwaffe, from pilot to navigator and radio operator. Those flying could meet certain criteria for performing those roles and be awarded a badge as a result.

Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge
The Luftwaffe also fielded ground troops, not just the Fallschirmjäger, but actual ground-based troops involved in fighting. This was their badge.

Kriegsmarine War Badges
Though it was the smallest of the German war machine services, the navy still offered a range of awards for various watery exploits.

E-Boat War Badge
Taking a closer look at some of the awards, this one was for that scourge of the English Channel in particular, the fast attack boat.

High Seas Fleet War Badges
At the start of WWII the cruisers and pocket battleships wrought havoc on shipping and elderly British warships, but were slowly hunted down.

Blockade Runner Badge
As the Royal Navy tightened its grip on the waters off Germany, an award was given for those who managed to get through.

Flak Artillery Badges
This was an award for those manning AA guns, but there was a separate award for each branch of the armed forces.

Foreign Service Medals
Germans in Spain, Spaniards on the Eastern Front. Hitler and Franco leant each other troops and rewarded those fighting.

Fantasy Nazi awards
From shields and supposedly rare awards to medals that were never issued, these are the outright fakes and items of legend that you need to avoid.

There were specific awards for early campaigns that were incident-free, shields for major campaigns and then we take a look at the awards for two pivotal clashes on the Easter Front – at Stalingrad and at Kursk.

Wehrmacht campaign shields
There were five specific campaign shields issued during WWII, from the Crimea to the Kuban Bridgehead and for the Norway campaign.

Awards for Kursk
There were two pivotal battles on the Eastern Front, this was the one at Kursk where the Germans mounted their last major offensive against the Soviet Union. Also includes the Soviet awards for students of the battle.

Flower War medals
The relatively painless annexation of neighbouring countries and regions was rewarded by a series of medals commemorating the events.

Medals for Stalingrad
It was battle that turned the tide on the Eastern Front as the 6th Army was stopped in its tracks only to then be encircled in a gigantic counter-attack.

It wasn’t just the military that was festooned with awards, those serving the NSDAP regime in various guises, from youth organisations to trade competitions, could win medals as well.

Hitler Youth Badges
Hitler understood that controlling and encouraging the youth of Germany was the key to the future, hence this range of awards.

Gau Badges
Each district in Germany had competitions, party parades, awards and events related to the NSDAP. These are the awards that were handed out to those taking part.

Long Service Awards
These were some quite attractive awards for those who had served in any NSDAP organisation or formation, for 10, 15 and 25 years.

RAD Awards
The labour service of the NSDAP was there to build things and these were the awards given to those who did the digging and construction.

National Sports Badge
Physical fitness was a core element of the NSDAP regime so everyone was encouraged to work towards this award.

Germanic Proficiency Rune
Not everyone had the good fortune of being born German in Hitler’s world, but those from allied countries were rewarded for their loyalty.

The Blood Order
Commemorating the failed putsch of 1923, the Blood Order was one of the most prized awards of the NSDAP, signifying those who had been with Hitler at the start.

Faithful Service Decoration
The civilian equivalent of the Long Service Award, this was for those who had served the German people for 25 or 40 years.

Red Cross Decorations
It wasn’t long before the German Red Cross was absorbed into the NSDAP and these are the awards that were made available to members.

Unusual NSDAP awards
Here’s a selection of lesser-known awards from the regime, from fire-fighting to rescue work.

SS Honour rings
These were essentially loaned to members of the SS and supposedly returned upon their death. The rings signified total loyalty to the cause.

West Wall medal
Although the RAD awards could have covered the building of the western defensive wall, it was decided that a medal be given specifically for it.

SA Sports Badge
An award for sporting prowess for those who were with the SA, before Hitler downgraded the organisation.

Golden Party Badge
These were memberships badges of the NSDAP which were prized at the time, but then hastily disposed of at the end of WWII.

Mother’s Cross
Designed to reward mothers for having lots of children, thus providing the state with manpower for the years ahead, the award came with benefits.

National Trade Competition Badges
These are very attractive awards that were bestowed in three classes for those competing in local, area and national competitions.

Order of the German Eagle
Primarily given to foreign diplomats, this was a lavish award designed to reward allies of the NSDAP regime abroad.

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