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General Wehrmacht Awards Service Awards ("Flower War", Honor Cross, Long Service Awards, West Wall Medal), Honor Awards and medal/ribbon bars.

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West Wall Medal
Old 03-13-2018, 05:18 PM   #1
JakubSochor
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Default West Wall Medal

Hi everybody,
I have one small question about West Wall Medal. Some sources said that ribbon of this award could be wear on the second buttonhole for example as Eastern Front Medal or Iron Cross. Is that true or not?

Many thanks and I am looking forward to replays.
Jakub Sochor
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:05 PM   #2
Ian Hulley
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Hi Jakub, all I can say is that in 40 years of collecting, watching, selling, watching and collecting again I have never seen a single example of the Westwall ribbon worn through the button hole of a tunic of any kind.

Hopefully the other guys will be able to give you a more definite statement.

Cheers, Ian.
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:02 PM   #3
Tom Yanacek
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Hi Jakub,

As far as I know, the second buttonhole was supposed to be for wartime decorations only. Typically the EK2, 1939 KVK, and East Medal, but even the Ostvolk Decoration and Romanian Crusade against Communism Medal were sometimes worn through the second buttonhole. I have also read that the Lifesaving Medal could be worn through the second buttonhole and the ribbon for the Lifesaving Medal looks very much like the ribbon for the Westwall Medal.

I don't think the Westwall medal was supposed to be worn through the second buttonhole, but it wouldn't surprise me if some actually wore it in that manner. The regulations were not always followed to the letter by everyone and it seems that for every rule you can always find a few exceptions.

And even though the Westwall was a "peacetime" award, rendered for service between 15 June 1938 and 31 March 1939, it wasn't instituted until August 1939. But the first actual award of the Westwall Medal was made on 23 November 1939, which was almost three whole months into WW2. In that regard I suppose some would consider it a wartime decoration and therefore wear it in the second buttonhole. And I can't help but recall the picture of Dr. Fritz Todt (the first recipient of the Westwall Medal) wearing the medal through his buttonhole on the day of award (23 November 1939). Perhaps it is in the buttonhole because where else would you place a decoration with a long ribbon and no brooch pin attachment on the day of award?

Best regards,
Tom
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Last edited by Tom Yanacek; 03-13-2018 at 07:11 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-14-2018, 04:17 AM   #4
Yubari
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Interesting question indeed. I believe high politicians from NSDAP had sometimes their own rules how to wear their military related medals.. nothing widely spread though
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:48 PM   #5
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Hello everybody,

at first, I want to thank you who replied my question. I am very happy that somebody finds some time for reply me. Many thanks!

Also, I thank Tom for the picture of Dr. Fritz Todt. I tried to find some other pictures where the Westwall medal was as ribbon, but as you said, it is very similar to Lifesaving Medal.

Once more – many thanks for your help, because you helped me with this problem!

Jakub
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:05 AM   #6
Antonio Scapini
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It is against regulations wear other ribbons than EK2, Honor roll Clasp or Ost medal.
You can find rare pictures of other awards on the second buttonhole, but they are against regulations.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:38 PM   #7
Rolf D.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Yanacek View Post
Hi Jakub,

As far as I know, the second buttonhole was supposed to be for wartime decorations only. Typically the EK2, 1939 KVK, and East Medal, but even the Ostvolk Decoration and Romanian Crusade against Communism Medal were sometimes worn through the second buttonhole. I have also read that the Lifesaving Medal could be worn through the second buttonhole and the ribbon for the Lifesaving Medal looks very much like the ribbon for the Westwall Medal.

I don't think the Westwall medal was supposed to be worn through the second buttonhole, but it wouldn't surprise me if some actually wore it in that manner. The regulations were not always followed to the letter by everyone and it seems that for every rule you can always find a few exceptions.

And even though the Westwall was a "peacetime" award, rendered for service between 15 June 1938 and 31 March 1939, it wasn't instituted until August 1939. But the first actual award of the Westwall Medal was made on 23 November 1939, which was almost three whole months into WW2. In that regard I suppose some would consider it a wartime decoration and therefore wear it in the second buttonhole. And I can't help but recall the picture of Dr. Fritz Todt (the first recipient of the Westwall Medal) wearing the medal through his buttonhole on the day of award (23 November 1939). Perhaps it is in the buttonhole because where else would you place a decoration with a long ribbon and no brooch pin attachment on the day of award?

Best regards,
Tom
I believe I read that the Westwall medal was reinstated later in the war as well, and not just a pre-war or early war award.

If true, it might explain the reason one will find them in tomback and zinc. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-17-2018, 11:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf D. View Post
I believe I read that the Westwall medal was reinstated later in the war as well, and not just a pre-war or early war award.

If true, it might explain the reason one will find them in tomback and zinc. Any thoughts?

Hi Rolf,

Yes! That is true. About 620,000 were awarded in 1939-1940 and then another 200,000 when the Westwall Medal was re-instituted in 1944. The early issues were in tombak and the later issues in zinc.

Best regards,
Tom
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Yanacek View Post
Hi Rolf,

Yes! That is true. About 620,000 were awarded in 1939-1940 and then another 200,000 when the Westwall Medal was re-instituted in 1944. The early issues were in tombak and the later issues in zinc.

Best regards,
Tom
Is it also true that the soldiers who were awarded the October 1938 medal were ineligible for the Westwall Medal? I can't remember where I read that, but for some reason it sticks out in my mind.

Edit, I answered my own question by reading over another thread I commented in! Whoops!
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Old 03-29-2018, 08:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonio Scapini View Post
It is against regulations wear other ribbons than EK2, Honor roll Clasp or Ost medal.
You can find rare pictures of other awards on the second buttonhole, but they are against regulations.
Hi Antonio,
Does that mean that the wearing of the KVK2 ribbon was also unauthorized?
Dale
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