Original German WWII Heer & Kriegsmarine Wehrmacht Long Service Award Medal Bar - 4 & 12 Years

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Available. This award was a military service decoration of NSDAP Germany issued for satisfactory completion of a number of years in military service. The award itself is cumulative, so after the 3rd class, both a cross and a medal were worn, and the color indicated service.\

On 16 March, 1936, Adolf H ordered the institution of service awards for the first four classes, each reflecting the completion of a select number of years of military service.

Each branch of the Wehrmacht (army, navy, and air force) maintained their own version of the Long Service Award and the decoration was issued for:
- 4 years (silver medal – fourth class)
- 12 years (gold medal – third class)
18 years (silver cross – second class)
25 years (gold cross – first class)
40 years (1939 special class). The 40 years special class service award was introduced on 10 March 1939.

Professor Dr Richard Klein designed the awards. Recipients of lower year awards would wear the decoration simultaneously with higher level decorations. The manner they could be worn was:

- 3rd Class with 4th Class (gold medal with silver medal like this example)
2nd Class with 4th Class (silver cross with silver medal)
1st Class with 3rd Class (gold cross with gold medal)

The Long Service Award was retroactive throughout a service member's career, encompassing Reichswehr service as well as service dating during and before World War I. As such, there were a handful of 40 year awards presented, even though the NSDAP era only lasted 12 years (1933-1945).

These examples are in lovely condition and still retain almost all of their original gold and silver wash. The ribbons are somewhat stained and worn, but appear to be able to be easily cleaned if you would wish to do so. The order of precedence of the medals, from left to right, would be the more senior medal, the 3rd Class, followed by the 4th Class medal. The soldier or sailor who was adorned with these medals served a total of 16 years in the Wehrmacht, a feat in any military service!

These are absolutely lovely examples of this type of award and comes more than ready to be displayed.

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