Original German WWII Heer and Luftwaffe Narvik Shield Award Uniform Cutout - Narvikschild
Original Item: Only One Available. The Narvik Shield (German: Narvikschild) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to all German forces that took part in the battles of Narvik between 9 April and 8 June 1940. It was instituted on 19 August 1940 by Adolf AH. The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) published the order the same day. A total of 8,577 military personnel received the award. It was bestowed by General Eduard Dietl, the commander of Army Group Narvik.
This example is the Silvered-Zinc version, which was awarded to both Heer (Army) and Luftwaffe soldiers. (The kriegsmarine version was golden in color.) It still has the original backing plate attached, as it was cut directly out of the uniform it was attached to. There is still a patch of field gray wool fabric between the award and back plate. The award still retains a good amount of the silver color, though it has faded due to age.
Designed by Professor Dr Richard Klein of Munich, the narrow shield features a pointed bottom and, at its apex, an eagle with down-swept wings clutching a laurel wreath that surrounds a swas. Below this in capital letters is written NARVIK. The body of the shield features an edelweiss (representing the Heer mountain troops), an anchor (representing the Kriegsmarine), and propeller (for the Luftwaffe). The anchor and propeller are crossed, with the edelweiss placed at the top of the X. The numbers 19 and 40 appear at the top corners of the main body of the shield.
The shield was hollow backed and stamped from sheet metal which was usually zinc. It was worn on the upper left arm of the uniform. The shield was awarded in two versions; silver-gray versions for army and Luftwaffe and a gilded (golden coloured) version for Kriegsmarine.
The Battles of Narvik:
The Battles of Narvik were fought from 9 April to 8 June 1940 as a naval battle in the Ofotfjord and as a land battle in the mountains surrounding the north Norwegian city of Narvik as part of the Norwegian Campaign of the Second World War.
The two naval battles in the Ofotfjord on 10 April and 13 April were fought between the British Royal Navy and NSDAP Germany's Kriegsmarine, while the two-month land campaign was fought between Norwegian, French, British, and Polish troops against German mountain troops, shipwrecked Kriegsmarine sailors and German paratroopers (Fallschirmjäger) from the 7th Air Division. Although defeated at sea off Narvik, losing control of the town of Narvik and being pushed back towards the Swedish border, the Germans eventually prevailed because of the Allied evacuation from Norway in June 1940 following the Battle of France.
Narvik provided an ice-free harbour in the North Atlantic for iron ore transported by the railway from Kiruna in Sweden. Both sides in the war had an interest in securing this iron supply for themselves and denying it to the enemy, setting the stage for one of the biggest battles since the Invasion of Poland.
Prior to the German invasion, British forces had considered Narvik as a possible landing point for an expedition to help Finland in the Winter War. Such an expedition also had the potential of taking control of the Swedish mines and opening up the Baltic for the Allies. French politicians were also eager to start a second front as far away from France as possible.
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