Original German WWII Set of 3 Awards with Documents named to Obergefreiter Josef Hoffmann
Original Items: One-of-a-kind grouping. This is a fantastic set, with three original German WWII combat awards, each with their original BESITTZZEUGNIS "possession/award" certificates. All were awarded to the same soldier, Josef Hoffmann, who held the rank of Obergefreiter (Corporal) on all three documents. The award documents are dated 1942 and 1944, though the 1944 dated award relates to action in 1942.
The three awards earned by this soldier in date received are the Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse 1939 (Iron Cross 2nd Class 1939), the Verwundetenabzeichen (Wound Badge) 3rd Class in Schwarz (Black), and finally the Medaille Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42 (Eastern Front Medal). All of the awards are in good condition, with their original ribbons (if issued with them).
All three of the documents measure approximately, 8" x 5.5", (20cm x 14cm), and are printed on mid-weight paper with black print and typed in particulars. All of the documents are dated, with their correct stamps and signatures.
The first document indicates that the Iron Cross 2nd Class was awarded to Obergefreiter Josef Hoffmann, who is listed as being a member of the 429th Infantry Regiment 3rd Company. This was awarded by the Div.-Gefechtsstand (Division Command Post) and signed by the Generalmajor and Division Commander on 25. August 1942.
The second document indicates that Hoffmann was awarded the Wound Badge in Black for a single injury received on 19.7.1942. The document indicates that at this time he was in the Gener. I.J.E.B. 360, which is unfortunately not a marking that we have been able to decipher. The award document bears the authorizing signature of a Captain and Battalion commander, and was presented on 15. 10. 1942.
The last document indicates that Hoffmann was then awarded the the Eastern Front Medal in the field on 17. Januar. 1944., though it also indicates that he qualified for the award on 30. Dezember 1942. At this point he was a member of the 918th Grenadier Regiment 1st Company. The document is signed by an Oberstleutnant (Lt. Colonel) and Regiment Commander.
All documents are in good condition, with the expected wear and yellowing from age. They all show folding and light staining, as expected of documents of this age. Please consult the pictures for condition specifics.
A really nice German WWII award set, complete with the original documents named to the same soldier. Ready to display!
The Eastern Front Medal (German: Medaille Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to both German and Axis personnel. It was awarded to those who served on the German Eastern Front during the winter campaign period of 15 November 1941 to 15 April 1942 It was instituted on 26 May 1942 and was commonly known as the Ostmedaille (East Medal) or Russian Front Medal.
The medal was wryly called the Frozen Meat Medal or the "Order of the Frozen Flesh" (German: Gefrierfleischorden) by Heer, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS personnel to whom it was awarded.
Armed service personnel qualified for the badge after a minimum of 14 days served in active combat; 30 combat sorties for Luftwaffe members; 60 days of continuous service in a combat zone; being wounded or suffering a "frozen limb", severe enough to warrant the issue of a Wound Badge. The medal could be awarded posthumously.
There is no more iconic German military award than the Iron Cross. The long history of this order began during the Napoleonic Wars. King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia instituted the “Eisernes Kreuz” (Iron Cross) in March of 1813. The award criteria changed somewhat with time, but generally speaking, Iron Crosses could be awarded for individual acts of bravery, or for leadership achievements on the battlefield. The design was created by a Karl Friedrich Schinkel, his choice of the black cross with silver outline was derived from the heraldic emblem of the Teutonic Knights.
The final reinstitution of the cross came in 1939. For this version, the front of the core for both grades bore a swastika and the date 1939. The oak leaves, crown and royal initials were removed from the reverse, with only the date 1813 remaining as a reminder of the legacy of this award. In WWII, hundreds of thousands of Iron Cross First Class awards were bestowed, and four and a half million Iron Cross Second Class awards. Iron Crosses were made by a large number of authorized manufacturers. Some variants of these awards were mass produced in huge numbers. Others were made in very limited quantities.
The Wound Badge (German: Verwundetenabzeichen) was a military decoration first promulgated by Wilhelm II, German Emperor on 3 March 1918, which was awarded to wounded or frostbitten soldiers of the Imperial German Army, during World War I. Between the world wars, it was awarded to members of the German armed forces who fought on the Nationalist side of the Spanish Civil War, 1938–39, and received combat related wounds. It was awarded to members in the Reichswehr, the Wehrmacht, SS and the auxiliary service organizations during the Second World War. After March 1943, due to the increasing number of Allied bombings, it was also awarded to wounded civilians in air raids. It was awarded when the wound was the result of enemy hostile action, with an exception being for frostbite.
The badge had three classes:
- Black (3rd class, representing Iron), for those wounded once or twice by hostile action (including air raids).
- Silver (2nd class) for being wounded three or four times.
- Gold (1st class, which could be awarded posthumously) for five or more times wounded.
The "progression" could be waived in the event of loss of a limb or eyesight; when such a severe wound occurred, the silver badge was awarded.
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