MedalsMilitary

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Badges worn in combat, revisited

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Badges worn in combat, revisited

    I remember a while back the subject was discussed as to whether Wehrmacht soldiers actually wore award badges in combat. Good points on both sides were made. Just last night I was reviewing my copy of German Army Uniforms, 1933-1945. I hadn't looked at this in a long time, but I noticed throughout the volume were quite a number of photos of recently captured Heer soldaten wearing combat badges, some with their Y strap harnesses. Other photos of POWs behind the wire were wearing tunics where the mounting loops for badges were quite visable. OK fellas, dust off your copies of the book (I'll assume many or most have it) at let the comments commence!

    #2
    The book in question: German Army Uniforms and Insignia 1933-1945
    Author: Brian L. Davis

    Comment


      #3
      I have in my possesion 35 photos of my father during the war - sadly these are 35 out of nearly 400 that he took or had taken and seem to be mainly from only 3 or 4 rolls of film and cover early 1940 to early 1944.

      In these photos, unless they are taken relatively close together (ie. he is wearing the exact same uniform), his awards being worn are never constant.

      Only 2 awards seem to be in most of the photos - his close combat clasp (either bronze, then later silver) and his IAB. The Winter medal is either worn from the 2nd buttonhole (with or without the EK2 ribbon), as a ribbon bar below the CCC or absent altogether. The same goes for the EK2.

      My mother has/had a photo of him on leave in Dec 1944 whilst he was appearing at a Volksturm recruitment rally in Berlin where he is wearing the lot - this is the only one to my knowledge.

      He said where possible he and others he knew wore cloth versions of awards (he managed to keep his cloth EK1) especially as Luftwaffe air-crew.

      Apparantly there were regulations regarding the wearing of awards - depending on the occasion and place - different awards had different regulations.
      I will try to find out exactly what these were.

      Tim

      Comment


        #4
        I saw the same pictures and thought the same thing. I think some badges were worn in combat like IAB PAB EKI and EKII ribbon but wearing a CCC or DK had to be near impossible while in action.
        I recently completed a full combat soldiers rig and there is barely space for the IAB on the pocket.
        Theres a great photo in Nazi Regalia by Fowler on page 105, an unterfeldwebel has managed to wear all of his equipment plus badges and KC. Photo op? Maybe but the way hes positioned his KC I don't think so. It hangs off one collar his left.
        Warren

        Comment


          #5
          I've seen many pics of awards worn at the front, even on SS camo smocks; these, with the shiny M36 SS aluminum belt buckle, pretty much defeat the purpose of the camo! Not unusual either to see the metal SS visor hat skull worn on camo field caps. I imagine Allied snipers appreciated this display of pride.

          Comment


            #6
            I have some VHS tapes of Panzers and in one part the guy in the cupola has his DK on his wrapper. He is wearing it high on his chest though. Probably got tired of it clanking around on the tank hatch.

            I have also seen a picture of a W-SS man wearing an IAB that had the wreath completely missing on one side, with a battered wound badge below it.

            [ 20 July 2001: Message edited by: M. Schroeder ]

            Accidentally offending people on the internet since 1997

            Comment


              #7
              I know of many officers that wore their medals in combat but failed to realise that this singled them out to snipers. Especially when they wore thir KC, which several foolishly tried to disguise as EK2's by unwinding the collar tagging....
              M.Schroeder, I hate to be picky but that man is Wehrmacht, not WSS, and he is on the outskirts of Stalingrad

              Comment


                #8
                "I have some VHS tapes of Panzers and in one part the guy in the cupola has his DK on his wrapper. He is wearing it high on his chest though. Probably got tired of it clanking around on the tank hatch"

                He probably had it pinned up high so the cameras could see it.

                "Especially when they wore thir KC, which several foolishly tried to disguise as EK2's by unwinding the collar tagging"

                I assume you mean the photo of the machine gun crew where the guy has opened the top of his jacket and the RK is still hanging there ?

                I think a bit old cold reality is needed here, who the hell is interested in wearing medals at the front ? No German soldier I have met did. A little bit behind the lines they would maybe pin on an EK1 or CCC, and back home put on the whole bangtoot to impress the girls.

                Sure there are photos, but they are all the ones in books, and are very carefully selected indeed. Take a regular, unpicked album, even where you know the guy had medals, and try find decent front shots where he is wearing them.

                I have 2 (wifes) family groups, where bothe Grandfather and Greatgrandfather had 4-5 pinback thingies, I have piles of photos, but few with awards.

                Check out how many medals are flying around... now compare that to how many super photos you find in an album.... (Ask any of out authores how hard it is to find good photos, satrting from scratch looking through albums at a show.

                And then there is the practicle, there is no secret, german soldier way of wearing all this stuff on a jacket with Y straps in a trench, crawling on your belly. This should not be overlooked.

                All the best
                Chris

                Comment


                  #9
                  Gunter: Thanks for the correction.

                  Chris: You are probably correct, hamming it up for the propaganda camera. I looked at it again, and it is probably an excersize of some sort. The guy is smiling. I was fixated on the strange thing on his shoulder more than anything else.

                  Next time I will save the drama for my mama!

                  Accidentally offending people on the internet since 1997

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I agree with Chris. I've got 25 albums from Flak crew members and photos w/ flak badges or anything besides ek2 ribbons are hard to come by. Five albums belong to a soldier who had EK1, Flak badge, Luft Assault, etc. (I have the docs also) and there isn't one pic w/ these medals being worn.

                    Shawn

                    Comment


                      #11
                      As my dad said, "They only got in the way, got caught or got broken" - "We wore cloth if we could or none at all".
                      In photos where he is wearing his CCC it appears to be well behind the lines and cetainly not right at the front

                      However, he always prized his CCC in Silver - ranking it above the EK1 and said it was well acknowledged behind the lines - who knows whether or not it came with a few extra unofficial benifits or bonuses?
                      I must admit, in the photos where he is wearing the CCC, those around him are also wearing theres - even if that is the only award they are wearing (although mostly with the IAB).

                      I know for certain that he kept the originals of his awards back home in Berlin with his mother. He also had a better quality tunic with either privately purchased examples or cloth copies sewn to it. This tunic he kept with him at the front.

                      When on leave he told me it was an entirely different matter - out came the lot - and all was worn = all to impress the girls!

                      I was told that at official functions (such as award cerimonies, parades in front of senior commanders etc) they were required to wear their full awards, or at least the bare minimum reguired by regulations.

                      I have included a pic of his CO while he was in Afrika in mid-1942. This Major Reinmann was a pilot, with the EK2, EK1, DKI?, RK, Pilots Badge and Bomber and/or Transport clasp.
                      Did he throw on the RK and DG just for photo or was that just the bare minimum he wore so everyone could readily identify the CO?



                      (Sorry 'bout the lack of clarity with the picture!)
                      Regards,
                      Tim

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Its no wonder why he was proud of his CCC. This wasnt an award one earned by lobbing mortar shells, it was as is described, for CLOSE combat. As in close enough to see the white of the enemies eyes close. Literally.

                        This summer I was lucky enough to visit with a veteran of the 10th SS who had earned the CCC in bronze, and he verified this. He too, was very proud of his CCC.

                        Accidentally offending people on the internet since 1997

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by M. Schroeder View Post
                          Its no wonder why he was proud of his CCC. This wasnt an award one earned by lobbing mortar shells, it was as is described, for CLOSE combat. As in close enough to see the white of the enemies eyes close. Literally.

                          This summer I was lucky enough to visit with a veteran of the 10th SS who had earned the CCC in bronze, and he verified this. He too, was very proud of his CCC.
                          Not 100% true I´m afraid. I knew a soldier from the 11th SS who was a holder of the CCC in silver, and who rembered this:
                          "Panzerkampf-days" (bronce): when they rode their halftracks or were supported by them
                          "Nahkampf-days": assaults/combat without any support from vehicles

                          Jochen Peiper for instance held the CCC in silver and that he could only have earned by fighting as a foot soldier.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            so the soldiers never actually used their awards in combat?

                            what about all the relic pieces found on battle fields?
                            On many pictures showing luftwaffe pilots, you often see like 3 - 7 badges etc did they just wear them for the picture? i can imagine sharp medals in an airplane itself is an unwanted danger, or u boat, or a tank, so where did they store the badges when or if they didn't wear them?

                            did the luft KC winners wear their KC's in the plane during a fight?
                            When they found the body of Hans-Joachim Marseille, he wore his KC with oaks++ and didn't souvenir hunters steal Michael Wittmann's badges after he died?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Steinar View Post
                              so the soldiers never actually used their awards in combat?

                              what about all the relic pieces found on battle fields?
                              On many pictures showing luftwaffe pilots, you often see like 3 - 7 badges etc did they just wear them for the picture? i can imagine sharp medals in an airplane itself is an unwanted danger, or u boat, or a tank, so where did they store the badges when or if they didn't wear them?

                              did the luft KC winners wear their KC's in the plane during a fight?
                              When they found the body of Hans-Joachim Marseille, he wore his KC with oaks++ and didn't souvenir hunters steal Michael Wittmann's badges after he died?
                              The awards were to be worn at all times. Period.

                              Comment

                              Users Viewing this Thread

                              Collapse

                              There is currently 1 user online. 0 members and 1 guests.

                              Most users ever online was 4,375 at 10:03 PM on 01-16-2020.

                              Working...
                              X