Imperial Wound Badges

The history of the German wound badge dates back to World War I.  Kaiser Wilhelm II established the first German Military Wound badge (Verwundetenzbzeichen) on March 3rd, 1918, with a the declaration stating that it would be presented in 3 grades. It was to awarded in black for one to two wounds, in silver for three to four wounds, and in gold for five wounds or more.  In cases of severe wounds the higher class was presented.  The Imperial Wound badge was to provide the basis for ones issued during World War II.  It was an oval badge with laurels surrounding the edges and a ribbon at the base.  In the center of the badge is an Imperial helmet, with a pair of swords behind it. The background of the center is pebbled, though in one variation the background of the badge is hollowed. The silver grade of the Imperial Wound badge is pictured to the right. 

On June 3rd, 1918, the Bavarian War Ministry declared that the Wound Badge was an “award”, not a “decoration”, and on June 24th the Kaiser introduced the Naval Wound Badge, which was to be awarded in the same grades as the Army and under the same regulations. Due to the late nature of the creation of the award in relation to the war, many soldiers who were wounded never received their badges, a situation that was not fully remedied until after the collapse of the Weimar Republic.

On January 30th, 1936, with Hitler in power and the Army gaining full momentum , the Ministry of Interior issued a declaration stating that all those who were wounded during World War I and never received their Wound Badge could now do so through the proper channels. They would also receive the proper documents, which would in turn allow them to wear the badge officially and in public. Still on April 20, 1939, after the annexation of Austria, the Sudetenland, and Memel, the Ministry of interior issued a declaration stating that all those who served in the Austro-Hungarian Army and were wounded in action during World War I would also be able to receive the award. In fact, these awards were presented until late 1941.

Main Spanish 1939 (W.W. II) 20th July Recipients

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