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Badges worn in combat, revisited

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    #16
    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?
    that bit about wittmann is very interesting, i never knew his body was found at the time, not until dental remains were found in 1983??
    sigpic 57ers...."The Devil Is In The Detail"

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      #17
      I once read, here on WAF i think it was that some french farmers or something like that found the dead crew? or just wittmann and took his awards and perhaps other items? I would like to know how he's body was not vaporized when the tank blown up.. perhaps he was in the tower and got thrown out as the tank went KA-BOOM... maybe they all were thrown out by the pressure/explosion, since the tower was blown off... lots of maybe's

      I also read here on WAF that the badges are in some unknown European collection...correct me if I'm wrong of course.

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        #18
        Originally posted by Steinar View Post
        I once read, here on WAF i think it was that some french farmers or something like that found the dead crew? or just wittmann and took his awards and perhaps other items? I would like to know how he's body was not vaporized when the tank blown up.. perhaps he was in the tower and got thrown out as the tank went KA-BOOM... maybe they all were thrown out by the pressure/explosion, since the tower was blown off... lots of maybe's

        I also read here on WAF that the badges are in some unknown European collection...correct me if I'm wrong of course.
        according to the book steel inferno by michael reynolds, the crew bailed, and then the ammo went up, so theres every chance that there were some remains, sad end for a great panzer ace!!
        sigpic 57ers...."The Devil Is In The Detail"

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          #19
          probably lots of remains since they got out.. I guess the body can't handle the pressure from an explosion at close range.. such a sad story yes, imagine the stories Mr. Wittmann had. He was a true German hero.

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            #20
            Originally posted by Steinar View Post
            probably lots of remains since they got out.. I guess the body can't handle the pressure from an explosion at close range.. such a sad story yes, imagine the stories Mr. Wittmann had. He was a true German hero.
            yes, if he had survived the war, and written a book, thats one story i would have loved to read!!
            sigpic 57ers...."The Devil Is In The Detail"

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              #21
              yes agreed

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                #22
                i would love to see those badges etc that the french found, i wonder which awards he was wearing at the time???
                sigpic 57ers...."The Devil Is In The Detail"

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                  #23
                  The only thing I heard is that it's in some unknown European collection, and please, do correct me if I'm wrong

                  He probably had the ones you see from the pictures, KC, ek1, panzer badge etc

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                    #24
                    i guess he had qualified for a numbered tank badge, but any idea which one???
                    sigpic 57ers...."The Devil Is In The Detail"

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                      #25
                      I really don't know, I would certainly think so

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                        #26
                        awards worn in combat?

                        Yes, they were worn in combat. I quote from the 'Iron time on seven occasions,when pilots from his squadron had been shot down behind enemy lines, rudel landed his aircraft near the wreckage to rescue his comrads. the seventh attempt almost eneded with his death,as his own plane got stuck mud and could not be freed.russian soldiers suddenly appeared and the two stuka crews made a run for it buy jumping into dnestr river,swimming over 300 yards his crew mate sergant hentschel,drowned. A few hours later thay were captured by the russians immediately rudel made a run for it catching a bullet in his shoulder. although seriously wounded he walked 25 miles in bare feet to german lines. because of his wretched appearance,german sentries did not belive he was the famous" EAGLE OF THE EASTERN FRONT" for identification,rudel pulled outof his pocket the knightscross of the iron cross with swords dangling from it! wow.

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                          #27
                          found out that michael wittmann had over 100 confirmed tank kills, so in theory he could well have been wearing a 100 class pab when he met his death!!
                          sigpic 57ers...."The Devil Is In The Detail"

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                            #28
                            "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 know this is an old thread, but here goes.
                            Considering the number of medals that have been found in soldier's graves (wound badge here, found on the left chest: http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...highlight=body ), or the number of photos showing freshly captured POWs wearing medals/badges, it is clear that they were worn in combat sometimes. For the medals found with bodies, you could argue that they were perhaps worn IN the pocket, not ON it, hard to say.
                            The large number of medals that are excavated from battlefields also proves that if they were not worn, they were at least with the soldier in times of combat (see wound badge fresh from a surrender area in southern France).

                            Combat kills people fast, and there were always plenty of fresh recruits in every unit, so it is logical that most men seen on period photos would be wearing no medals.
                            As a final point, comparing a pilot who sits in a cockpit, and an infantry man who has a bunch of equipment stapped to him, and may be involved in crawling, going through thick vegetation, etc, is not a good comparison.

                            JL
                            Attached Files
                            Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by cariusrk View Post
                              Yes, they were worn in combat. I quote from the 'Iron time on seven occasions,when pilots from his squadron had been shot down behind enemy lines, rudel landed his aircraft near the wreckage to rescue his comrads. the seventh attempt almost eneded with his death,as his own plane got stuck mud and could not be freed.russian soldiers suddenly appeared and the two stuka crews made a run for it buy jumping into dnestr river,swimming over 300 yards his crew mate sergant hentschel,drowned. A few hours later thay were captured by the russians immediately rudel made a run for it catching a bullet in his shoulder. although seriously wounded he walked 25 miles in bare feet to german lines. because of his wretched appearance,german sentries did not belive he was the famous" EAGLE OF THE EASTERN FRONT" for identification,rudel pulled outof his pocket the knightscross of the iron cross with swords dangling from it! wow.
                              Wonder how many films would have been made about him, had he been an american or an englishman...

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                                #30
                                I too have always wondered about the number of medals found on WWII battlefields. Places of capitulation, I can understand getting rid of their medals. A friend who served in the German Army told me the only medal type thing they wore at the front when operational were the cloth ribbon bars. There were certain rules for inspection days, etc. Just a thought: The Russians called the German troops "Christmas trees".

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