Original German WWII Set of 4 Awards with Documents named to Dutch Volunteer Anton van Es

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind grouping. This is a fantastic set, with four original German WWII combat awards, each with their original BESITTZZEUGNIS "possession/award" certificates. All were awarded to the same soldier, Anton van Es, who we believe was a Dutch volunteer, holding the rank of Oberschütze (Private), Obergrenadier, and finally Unteroffizier (Corporal). The award documents are dated 1942, 1943, and 1944, making this a great set showing the progression of a "Private" level soldier, who progressed to becoming an junior NCO. He was a member of the Stabskompanie J.R.216 in 1942, an Infantry Regiment which later became a Genadier Regiment, also as indicated by the award documents. He later moved to another regiment as the war approached its close.

The four awards earned by this soldier (in rank order) are the Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen (Infantry Assault Badge) in Silber (Silver), the Medaille Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42 (Eastern Front Medal), the Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse 1939 (Iron Cross 2nd Class 1939), and finally the Verwundetenabzeichen (Wound Badge) 2nd Class in Silber (Silver). All of the awards are in good condition, with their original ribbons (if issued with them), though the Infantry assault badge is missing the pin back, as shown.

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.

The first document indicates that Oberschützen Anton van Es of the Stabskompanie J.R.216 was awarded the Infantry Assault Badge in Silver on 7.10.44 (7 October 1942), and has the signature of an Oberstleutnant (Lt. Colonel) on the bottom.. The second indicates that now Unteroffizier Anton van Es was awarded the Eastern Front Medal on 1. Aug. 1942., and is signed by a Hauptmann (captain) and Battalion Commander. These two documents appear to show a decrease in rank, but sometimes awards that required a time in service were awarded later, or were named to their rank when they completed the requirements, not when they were awarded.

The third document is awarded to Obergrenadier Anton van Es, who is now listed as being a member of the Stabskp./Grenadier-Regiment 216. This was awarded in the field by the Generalleutnant and Division Commander of the Infanterie-Division Großdeutschland on 9. Januar 1943.

The last document indicates that  that Unteroffizier Anton van Es. was awarded the Wound Badge in Silver for injuries received on 24. Juli 1944. At this point he was now in the 1. / Gren. Regt. 951 (951 Grenadier Regiment).  The award was given in the field, and the document bears the authorizing signature of a Major and Regiment Leader, and was presented on 5. Oktober 1944..

All documents 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 yeasr of the war. Ready to display!

The Infantry Assault Badge (German: Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen) was a German war badge awarded to Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht Heer soldiers during the Second World War. This decoration was instituted on 20 December 1939 by the Commander-in-Chief of the German Army, Generalfeldmarschall Walther von Brauchitsch. It could be awarded to members of non-motorized Infantry units and units of the Gebirgsjäger that had participated in infantry assaults, with light infantry weapons, on at least three separate days of battle in the front line on or after 1 January 1940. When a counter offensive led to fighting, it could also apply. Award of the Infantry Assault Badge was authorized at regimental command level.

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 swas 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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