Original German WWII Set of 3 Awards with Documents named to Otto Otterbach of Panzergrenadier Regt. 103
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, as well as the owner's Wehrpaß, Wehrpaß cover, and an envelope. Even better, it includes a lovely set of early non-magnetic Panzer "Danziger" style Totenkopf (Death's Head) insignia for Kragenpatten (collar tabs). All were awarded to the same soldier, Otto Otterbach, who according to the the included Wehrpaß was born in Stuttgart, Württemberg on 2. August, 1908. From what we can see, he was originally enlisted in 3. Pz. Jäg.-Ers.-Abt. 5, or the 3rd Company of Panzer Jäger Ersatz Bataillon 5, a replacement training unit, on 18. Jan. 1940.
From the award documents, we can see that in November 1941 Otterbach he held the enlisted rank of Schütze and was part of the 10. / Schtz. Regt. 103, or the 10th company of Schützen Regiment 103. These regiments were motorized / mechanized infantry troops, and were legendary in the field. When called Schützen regiments, they had the same Pink piping as and Totenkopf as the Panzer corps. Then in 1942 Infantry Regiments were renamed as Grenadier Regiments by AH as a historical homage to Frederick the Great's Army, and the Schützen were renamed to Panzergrenadiers.
This is reflected in the award Otterbach received on 1942, which lists him as Pz. Gren. Otto Otterbach of 10. / Pz. Gren. Regt. 103. It is at this time that he most likely removed the skulls from his collar tabs, as they were to be replaced with the new collar tabs used by the units. One of the documents also lists him as a Gefreiten (exempted), a senior enlisted rank that would "exempt" him from more menial duties.
The three awards earned by this Otterbach (in date order) are the Verwundetenabzeichen (Wound Badge) 3rd Class in Schwarz (Black), the Medaille Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42 (Eastern Front Medal), and the Verwundetenabzeichen (Wound Badge) 2nd Class in Silber (Silver). All of the awards are in very good condition, with their original paper packets, and the Eastern Front medal also retains its original ribbon.
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. The Wound badge came with a larger 8 1/2" x 11 7/8" document. All of the documents are dated, with their correct stamps and signatures. They are in good condition, with the expected wear and yellowing from age. They all show some folding and tearing, 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. A great bit of history, showing a soldier's progression over the years of the war. Ready to research and 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.
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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