GERMAN WOUND BADGES AND THEIR VARATIONS
The German WW2 Wound Badge (Verwundetenabzeichen) is an oval badge and has laurels with a ribbon circling a German Imperial helmet. The helmet rests on a pair of swords. There is Swastika in the centre of the helmet in the WW11 variations.
It was originally established by the Kaiser Wilhelm II in WW1 for wounded soldiers who suffered frost bite. In 1943, during WWII it was awarded to any soldier that was wounded during active service. It was a highly regarded medal and was considered a mark of honor to receive. Though not that hard to get as over 5,000,000 we awarded in WW2.
Also during WW2 the Kaiser established the Naval Wound Badge which was awarded using the same grades and for the same reasons as the ones issued to the army.
The wound badge had 3 different variations (classes)
- 3rd Class - Black - a commonly issued badge for those wounded once or twice by hostile action or frostbitten in the line of duty
- 2nd Class - Silver - was issued for those wounded as many as three or four times in action, or suffering a greater loss such as the loss of a hand, foot or eye
- 1st Class – Gold - was issued for severe wounds from hostile action or for five or more times being wounded. This could also be issued to the family if the soldier died as a result of his wounds
In addition to these 3 badges there was a special Wound Badge – the 20 July 1944 Wound Badge - issued by Hitler to only those that were injured during the failed attempt on Hitler’s life at the Wolf’s Lair on July 20, 1944. As there were only 24 people present during the bombing this is a very rare award. This badge differs in that there were 2 colors on each badge depending on the class of the badge. This badge also had Hitler signature on it.
Any soldier that was issued either the first or second class Wound Badge would be automatically awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class if they did not already have this cross.
The placement of this badge on the German uniform or tunic always stayed the same as it was worn below all other awards on the lower left breast.
After the loss of the war in WWII the German army issued a revised Wound Badge without the Swastika.
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