1942 German WWII uniform question

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Student_AK
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1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by Student_AK » 08 May 2020 03:39

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Hello All,

can anyone help us identify the 2nd button hole ribbon on this tunic? The upper ribbon appears to be an Iron Cross 2nd Class. However the bottom ribbon which appears to be a light color center bordered by two darker stripes with what looks like white outer margins. I have been unable to match this ribbon to any known medals. The photo was taken ca. 1942 in Southern Russia. 76 ID. Thank you in advance for any info.
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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by Student_AK » 09 May 2020 04:58

Image

Greetings All,
After a closer look at the Wehrpass of this individual some new info has come to light. According to this Feldwebel's timeline and some general research we have concluded that this Staff Sergeant served in the 76 ID / 178 Infantry Regiment, and may in fact have been a Cadre. His Wehrpass documents him in Romania on the 16th thru the 31st of March 1941 and then May 14th thru 11th of June of 1941 training Romanians for Operation Barbarossa. The 76th ID in that capacity is documented. Further this individual is also fluent in French according to his family. Thus we believe the second ribbon indicates he fought and commanded foreign fighters in the field up until the battle of Stalingrad. This is the Award for bravery and merit for members of the Eastern Peoples 'Tapferkeits- und Verdienstauszeichnung für Angehörige der Ostvölker'. As a cadre it would make sense to wear the decoration as a motivational gesture to his foreign subordinates. Any input would be greatly valued.
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HPL2008
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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by HPL2008 » 15 May 2020 21:09

Student_AK wrote:
09 May 2020 04:58
After a closer look at the Wehrpass of this individual some new info has come to light. According to this Feldwebel's timeline and some general research we have concluded that this Staff Sergeant served in the 76 ID / 178 Infantry Regiment, and may in fact have been a Cadre. His Wehrpass documents him in Romania on the 16th thru the 31st of March 1941 and then May 14th thru 11th of June of 1941 training Romanians for Operation Barbarossa. The 76th ID in that capacity is documented. Further this individual is also fluent in French according to his family. Thus we believe the second ribbon indicates he fought and commanded foreign fighters in the field up until the battle of Stalingrad. This is the Award for bravery and merit for members of the Eastern Peoples 'Tapferkeits- und Verdienstauszeichnung für Angehörige der Ostvölker'. As a cadre it would make sense to wear the decoration as a motivational gesture to his foreign subordinates. Any input would be greatly valued.
If he served with an Eastern Peoples' unit, the Ostvölker decoration would be possible.

It being a motivational gesture is actually correct, but it was not a matter of an individual soldier just deciding to put on that decoration: It had to be officially awarded. You see, the Eastern volunteers felt the existence of a separate series of awards for them was degrading, so the powers that be decided to also bestow this award on German cadre personnel of Eastern Volunteer units; in their case it had the status of an "Erinnerungsabzeichen" [commemorative badge]. (The rationale being that if German NCOs and officers proudly wore it as well, who could say it was some "Mickey Mouse award"?)

Which class and category the German troops were awarded depended on various factors. It broke down like this:
  • Tapferkeitsauszeichnung 2. Klasse in Silber = Awarded to cadre personnel who had been decorated with the EK2 or clasp to the EK2 either while serving with an Eastern Volunteer Unit or for their service in command of Eastern Volunteer formations.
  • Tapferkeitsauszeichnung 1. Klasse in Silber = Awarded to cadre personnel who had been decorated with the EK1 or clasp to the EK1 either while serving with an Eastern Volunteer unit or for their service in command of Eastern Volunteer formations.
  • Verdienstauszeichnung 2. Klasse in Silber = Awarded to cadre personnel who had been decorated with the EK2 or clasp to the EK2 for other assignments or who had been decorated with the KVK2.
  • Verdienstauszeichnung 1. Klasse in Silber = Awarded to cadre personnel who had been decorated with the EK1 or clasp to the EK1 for other assignments or who had been decorated with the KVK1.
However, I don't think that this is what we see here:

First up, Romanians did not fall under the category of "Eastern Peoples". Also, the 2nd Class of the Eastern People's Decoration had a green ribbon with white stripes near the edges, whereas the stripes on this ribbon seem to be darker than the rest of the ribbon, rather than lighter.

If the served with Romanians, it might be the ribbon for the Romanian Medal for Manhood and Loyalty.

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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by Student_AK » 19 May 2020 06:49

Thank you for the input. We have been searching hard for the true identity of this ribbon, but have concluded without paperwork it is coming down to an educated guess. We posted on several German, English and American forums and have had a few suggestions. Some concur with your evaluation. The Romanian Medal of Manliness and Loyalty is one of the the possible suggestions. However again w/o paper work to the effect we just cannot say for sure. We have the Wehrpass and no such citation exists. I have seen some of those medals for sale or sold online that have faded colors that would lend itself to that possibility. In the hot Russian sun of '42 the blue on that ribbon could have faded (see enclosed photo of MML medal converted to black in white).

However still, the infantryman, my wife's grandfather's Wehrpass was updated as can be seen on the enclosed scan showing his death in September '42. Yet no mention of commemorative awards are listed. Is that possible? We think so, not German thus not recorded officially. We also have some images of him in his going out uniform wearing the ribbon so on a personal level it was important. Our next possible answer may come in Jochen Loeser's divisional history of the 76 ID. There we may find a reference to a regiment/company/platoon citation. That book is on its way to Alaska. I also found on:

http://www.wehrmacht-lexikon.de/heer/Or ... dienst.php

A photo of a Bulgarian medal (see at red dot) that does match the ribbon on my wife's grandfather's uniform, but I'm having difficulty finding the actual medal that accompanies that post. The ribbon is an exact match, but I can't find it online. Any input on that lead may yield further info.
20200515_154927.jpg
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HPL2008
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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by HPL2008 » 19 May 2020 19:37

Student_AK wrote:
19 May 2020 06:49
However still, the infantryman, my wife's grandfather's Wehrpass was updated as can be seen on the enclosed scan showing his death in September '42. Yet no mention of commemorative awards are listed. Is that possible? We think so, not German thus not recorded officially.
Foreign awards were listed in the Wehrpaß and Soldbuch . (But of course, as in any kind of paperwork, administrative errors are always a possibility.)

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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by Student_AK » 20 May 2020 05:36

This is true and In this case we have evidence that foreign medals were not entered into the Wehrpass in our possession. The enlistment center or divisional administrative office choose not to record foreign awards. What is visible in the photo is the obvious unidentifiable ribbon dated based on the infantry Assault badge awarded in May 1942. See scan.
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HPL2008
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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by HPL2008 » 20 May 2020 09:10

The foreign award is entered in the Wehrpaß (as it should be).

The award in question is is the Romanian Faithful Service Cross 3rd Class, awarded 15 August 1941:

"Rum. [= Rumänisches] [...] Kreuz für treue Dienste III. Kl. [= Klasse]"

Sorry about the blank; I'm having trouble decyphering the exact designation used, but it has to be that award (substantial numbers of which were awarded to German Wehrmacht personnel in WW II).
Last edited by HPL2008 on 20 May 2020 10:14, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by HPL2008 » 20 May 2020 09:15

(sorry; double post)

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Waleed Y. Majeed
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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by Waleed Y. Majeed » 20 May 2020 11:01

The ribbon on the Romanian order shown above is yellow center with red stripes and blue edges. Here‘s the link showing the colours:
http://www.wehrmacht-lexikon.de/heer/Or ... gkeit3.php

Waleed

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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by Student_AK » 21 May 2020 05:53

Correction on our part! PLEASE NOTE AN ERROR IN OUR Previous POSTS. We did nor read the "old" German correctly on the Wehrpass. We interpreted the first award to be the Four Year Service Medal. Now looking at page 12 we see he missed the four year anniversary by two months. Thank you for your clarification not only from us personally but also from a scholarly perspective. Our previous assumptions were incorrect and must be revised to reflect the true facts as they are. Thank you for the post.

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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by Student_AK » 21 May 2020 06:12

Can anyone send us a link to some web info on this medal. What we see on line has a different colored ribbon. Thank you in advance.

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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by HPL2008 » 21 May 2020 10:05

Student_AK wrote:
21 May 2020 05:53
We did nor read the "old" German correctly on the Wehrpass. We interpreted the first award to be the Four Year Service Medal. Now looking at page 12 we see he missed the four year anniversary by two months. Thank you for your clarification not only from us personally but also from a scholarly perspective.
You're welcome.

(Just for additional info: From the August 1941 date alone, the first entry could not have been for the Wehrmacht Long Service Award as awards were discontinued at the outbreak of war in 1939 and for the duration. Only award proposals that had already been submitted at the outbreak of war were still processed, but these cases had been completed by the spring of 1940.)
Student_AK wrote:
21 May 2020 06:12
Can anyone send us a link to some web info on this medal. What we see on line has a different colored ribbon. Thank you in advance.
The Romanian Faithful Service Cross [Crucea națională "Serviciul Credincios"] was instituted in 1906 and initially awarded in two classes (Silver and Gold). In 1932, the decoration was re-designed and a third class (Bronze) was added. All Romanian decorations could be awarded with swords (instituted in 1937) and on a "war ribbon" (instituted in 1938) if they were were awarded for wartime merit; this applied to the Faithful Service Cross, too. (The ribbon for this decoration was light blue with a yellow center stripe. The peacetime ribbon was edged with two silver stripes, the war ribbon was edged with a gold outer stripe and a silver inner stripe.)

The cross as awarded for wartime service (with swords & war ribbon) can be seen here:
http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/axis-mili ... rd-485975/

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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by Student_AK » 22 May 2020 06:54

One final clarification PLEASE! With so many Romanian medals, orders and crosses it getting a bit confusing. I have studied the medal/ribbon you identified above (The Romanian Faithful Service Cross [Crucea națională "Serviciul Credincios")and noted its colors (patterns) differ from that in the black and white photo posted on here. By no means am I looking to have someone do my homework, I have spent four hours today on line trying to make it match. We realize some fading and distortion may make the ribbon in a ca 70 year old scan pic look visually nothing like the reality. Although the EK2 in the photo looks right we are asking your opinion if another ribbon exists for this cross we missed?

Or

I did come across this medal, w/o the center stripe that is present in the above medal but not in the soldiers ribbon posted here.
Loyal Service Medal 1938 type (Medalia Serviciul Credincios). Bronze (3rd class) with swords.
I searched for the criteria for this medal but no luck.

We apologize for asking the same question twice, we like to purchase the medal but been thrown by the lack of visually matching ribbons.

Sincerely grateful for any further input.
AK

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HPL2008
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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by HPL2008 » 22 May 2020 15:27

The cross and ribbon are seen in the WRF thread I posted a link to in post # 12.

At this point, we have verified that it is this specific decoration: The Wehrpaß entry leaves no doubt about that. The ribbon matches, too. If you look closely at the photograph, you can see the lighter (= yellow) center stripe on the ribbon. The silver stripe appears rather dark in the photograph, but this could be a trick of the light, the way the film picked up the color (b&w photos can be very deceiving when it comes to colors) or the metaillic thread having tarnished and darkened.

The ribbon for the Faithful Service Medal [Medalia naţională "Serviciul Credincios"] had no yellow center stripe. This was a related, but separate decoration that also came in three classes and ranked below the Faithful Service Cross, whereas the National Order of Faithful Service [Ordinul Național "Serviciul Credincios"] ranked above the cross.

Sorry, I have no detailed information on award statutes and requirements. (Romanian decorations are not my area of expertise.)

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Re: 1942 German WWII uniform question

Post by Student_AK » 22 May 2020 20:13

Affirmative! We fully concur with your translation based on your precise well outlined input(s). This closes the "foreign medal" chapter on our endeavor to restore this young mans medals. We found one for $50 US so were back in the game of medal hunting. And all reading this know thats a challenge too (authenticity wise). Consequently, its great to know there are individuals on Axis History Forum that know their stuff and are willing to educate. Thank you Sir for the "Double check" clarification. Greetings to you from Alaska.

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