Assault Gun Officer 103rd Panzer Btn
Highly decorated Assualt Gun Oberleutnant in the 103rd Panzer Battalion (German Cross In Gold Winner). His awards include the Demjansk Shield, Bronze Close Combat Clasp and the German Cross in Gold.
The 103rd Panzer battalion had 42 assault guns and 6 command tanks. They were redesignated a Panzergrenadier Division on June 23rd, 1943.
They were engaged at Salerno in June 1943, Monte Cassino, The Berhard Line, Anzio in January 1944, Aachen in November 1944, The Battle of the Bulge, The Eifel Battles, Cologne March 1945, Remagen and finally surrendered to US force in April 1945.
The German Cross / Deutsches Kreuz was instituted by Adolf Hitler on 17 November 1941. It was awarded in two divisions. It was awarded in gold for repeated acts of bravery or achievement in combat. The German Cross in gold ranked higher than the Iron Cross First Class but below the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.
The Close Combat Bar (Nahkampfspange) was instituted on 25-11-1942 by Hitler to reward those who had taken part in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Although this award was seen as a typical Infantry (Heer) award, it was possible that men of a different brand of the armed forces would be awarded with this bar.
The Close Combat Bar is designed by Wilhelm Ernst Peekhaus of Berlin and it was instituted in three grades. The bronze grade (I Stufe) was awarded for 15 days close combat.
Demyansk Shield / Ärmelschild Demjansk is a German military award instituted on April 25, 1943 to commemorate troops who fought in the Demyansk pocket. Requirements for Heer and auxiliary units included honorable service in the besieged area for 60 days or wound or frostbite in the besieged area. The shield was die struck and produced in silver-washed zinc and later in plain zinc. Two variations of the aircraft’s propeller under the swords exist, as some shields show it curved while others show it straight.
The shield was authorized by Adolf Hitler and was to be worn on the upper sleeve of the left shoulder of uniform. The award ceased to be presented on April 1 or July 4, 1944. Each recipient was entitled to five copies of the shield, and in case of death, a single shield and an entitlement certificate was presented to the next of kin. It is estimated that over 100,000 Demyansk shields were presented.
The establishment of the General Assault Badge / Allgemeines Sturmabzeichen was confirmed in June 1940 “for awarding those military credits, which did not come in question for the Infantry assault badge (Infantriesturmabzeichen)” like pioneers, tank hunters or members of assault artillery “Sturmartillerie” units.
The badge was awarded to soldiers, which attended from 1 December 1940 “three military assaults on the front line with weapons in their hands and penetrated in three different fighting days”. The awarding should be made by the commander of the division or him equal superiors. The recipient of the badge received with the badge also an award document. It was awarded around 460.000 times.
Wound Badge in Silver / Verwundetenabzeichen in Silber was a German military award for wounded or frost-bitten soldiers of the Wehrmacht during the Second World War. It was awarded for 3 or 4 wounds.
After March 1943, due to the increasing number of Allied bombings, it was also awarded to injured civilians. It was ultimately one of the most common of all Third Reich decorations, yet also one of the most highly prized, since it had to be “bought with blood”.
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