Panzer Grenadier Officer Hauptmann Schreiner
Highly decorated Panzer Grenadier Leutnant in combat tunic and wearing an Officers overseas cap. He has been decorated with the German Cross in Gold, Silver Close Combat Clasp, EK I & EK II, Bronze Tank Assault badge and Silver Wound badge.
All of the awards except the German Cross belonged to Hauptmann Franz Joseph Schreiner who was killed in action in Russia. The Silver Close Combat Clasp is absolutely stunning and is actually the nicest one that I have ever seen.
The term Panzergrenadier was not adopted until 1942. Infantry in panzer divisions from 1937 onwards were known as Schützen Regiments; they wore the same rose pink piping on their uniforms as the tank crews with an “S” cypher.
Soldiers in special Motorized Infantry units wore the standard white piping of the Infantry. In 1942 Infantry Regiments were renamed as Grenadier Regiments and the Schützen regiments began to be redesignated as Panzergrenadier regiments, as did Motorized Infantry units and soldiers.
Their Waffenfarbe was also changed from either white (in the case of Motorized Infantry) or rose pink to a meadow-green shade previously worn by motorcycle troops.
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 Iron Cross 1st Class (Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse) was instituted on September 1st, 1939. The soldier had to be a recipient of the Iron Cross 2nd Class and had to perform three to five acts of bravery above the military obligations. There were 450,000 decorations awarded during WW2.
The Close Combat Clasp / Nahkampfspange was instituted on 25th November 1942 for achievement in hand to hand fighting in close quarters. The Close Combat Clasp was worn above the upper left uniform pocket. Only 9,500 soldiers were awarded the Silver Class for 30 or more days of close combat.
The Panzer Assault Badge in Bronze (Panzerkampfabzeichen in Bronze) was instituted on 1 June 1940. It was awarded to members of infantry regiments, members of motorized and tank recon units, which have proven themselves in battle at least three times in three different days.
The Silver Wound Badge / Verwundetenabzeichen in Silber was awarded for being wounded or frost-bitten during the Second World War. 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”. The silver grade was awarded for being wounded three or four times, or suffering loss of a hand, foot or eye from hostile action facial disfigurement or brain damage via hostile action.
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