Original Unissued German WWII Wehrmacht Heer 4 Year Service Award with Ribbon & Pin in Packet

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. We have had many examples of Wehrmacht service awards before, but we have never had one that is still unissued and in the original wrapping! This is a great unissued example of a German WWII Wehrmacht Long Service Award (Wehrmacht-Dienstauszeichnung), in the 4th Class for 4 years of service. This example comes with a Reichsadler (National Eagle) pin, indicating issue for the Heer and also the Kriegsmarine. The Lufwaffe version is identical, except it has a different eagle attached to the ribbon.

This example is still in the original waxed paper packet, which is marked on the front in German "Black Letter" typeface:

mit hoheitsabzeichen
und Band
IV. klasse

This roughly translates to "Service Award with National Badge and ribbon, 4th Class". There is also maker mark F.H.B. on the lower left, which we have not been able to identify.

The individual piece are still wrapped in the original tissue paper, and are in excellent unissued condition. A great chance to pick up a prime example of this award in the original packet!

Wehrmacht Long Service Awards - 18, 12, and 4 Years:

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 AH 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 four years (silver medal – fourth class), 12 years (gold medal – third class), 18 years (silver cross – second class), 25 years (gold cross – first class), and 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)
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).

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