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Thread: Looking up Medals

  1. #1
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    Default Looking up Medals

    Hi everybody

    I recently discovered 3 old WW2 medals from my Great-Uncles (not sure if that's the right term).

    It's two War Merit Medals and one medal awarded for 4 years in the Wehrmacht.

    Now I was wondering if there was any way / location where you could look up what these medals were awarded for (the specific reasons, not general criteria)? I can't ask them myself, because they are both already dead, but I'm still pretty curious.

    (Don't bother with the "4 Years in the Wehrmacht" one, pretty self-explanatory)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Looking up Medals

    Quote Originally Posted by Schuultz View Post
    Hi everybody

    I recently discovered 3 old WW2 medals from my Great-Uncles (not sure if that's the right term).

    It's two War Merit Medals and one medal awarded for 4 years in the Wehrmacht.

    Now I was wondering if there was any way / location where you could look up what these medals were awarded for (the specific reasons, not general criteria)? I can't ask them myself, because they are both already dead, but I'm still pretty curious.

    (Don't bother with the "4 Years in the Wehrmacht" one, pretty self-explanatory)
    On the quick (being at work), there's quite a difference between the War Merrit Cross with and without swords. You should check for that detail.
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Looking up Medals

    Hi Schuultz,
    Is it this:180px-Kriegsverdienstmedaille.jpg

    Or, this:Name:  180px-KVK.jpg
Views: 879
Size:  3.9 KB
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Looking up Medals

    Both War Merit Crosses were with the Swords, one still had the ribbon attached, the one pictured had it ripped off. On the back it says "39" for both War Merit Crosses. As far as I know, my uncles were both Fallschirmjaeger.


    Last edited by Schuultz; 01-03-2009 at 03:05 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Looking up Medals

    As you mentioned the medal is called "Dienstauszeichnung der Wehrmacht 4.Klasse, 4 Jahre" (Long Service Medal 4th Class, 4 Years).
    However it's strange that it's the the "Heer" version, as a paratrooper your grand-uncle should have been awarded the Luftwaffe version. Anyway, there are always some alternate possibilities e.g. being a member of the early Heer "Fallschirm-Infanterie-Bataillon"

    img880.jpg
    Sorry, no better pic of the LW version at hand right now.

    The War Merit Cross is "2nd class with swords" meaning awarded for special merits while exposed to enemy use of arms.
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default Re: Looking up Medals

    Sorry for not being clear, I meant the 2 War Merit Crosses were awarded to my Grand-Uncles.


    I am not exactly sure about the Long Service Medal, but this might be my Great-Grandfather's, he was a normal Wehrmacht Heer soldier, died guarding an ammo train in France.

    As I said, I don't know a lot about my uncles' service time, except they were Fallschirmjaeger. (the war merit crossess came in boxes with it inscribed, and we still have my grand-uncles field box [feldkiste?] in the Basement)

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    Default Re: Looking up Medals

    Quote Originally Posted by flamethrowerguy View Post
    The War Merit Cross is "2nd class with swords" meaning awarded for special merits while exposed to enemy use of arms.
    That's what I found out, too. But I just thought that the commanding officer would have had to recommend them for the medal, so there should be some kind of individual description of their actions. As I said, they're dead, so I can't ask them anymore ^^

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    Default Re: Looking up Medals

    Well, if you got time and won't mind to spend some money I'd try with the Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt)
    http://www.dd-wast.de/
    If you're lucky they got some material about your relatives concerning the details of decoration.
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default Re: Looking up Medals

    Thanks, I might try that one some time. I'll probably have to look up some details of them first, before I can send a request, they seem to want to know a lot to prove you actually knew them.

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    Default Re: Looking up Medals

    Quote Originally Posted by Schuultz View Post
    Thanks, I might try that one some time. I'll probably have to look up some details of them first, before I can send a request, they seem to want to know a lot to prove you actually knew them.
    Right, from personal experiences I'd say that in your case you'll need a signed writ of one of your grandparents (brother respectively sister of the deceased).
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Looking up Medals

    Here is a link for the medals:http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/war_...ss/2_class.htm Gives some information.
    Read the Presentation, Wear, and Documentation. Could be the reason that you wouldn't know why they were awarded.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

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