Original WWI & WWII German Medal Bar with Bavarian 12th Regt. Medal, 4 Year Service Award & More - 4 Awards

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is very nice a 100% genuine medal bar removed from the uniform of a fallen or captured German soldier during WWII, and brought home by an American soldier as a war trophy. The medals are attached to a very nice metal backing wrapped with the ribbons, with a nice hinged attachment pin and forest green felt backing.

The 1st, 2nd, and 4th medals on the bar consist of the following:
- Bavarian 12th Infantry Regiment "Prince Arnulf" 1814-1914 100th Anniversary Award
- German WWII Wehrmacht 4th Class Long Service Award (Silver)

- 4 Years and German WWII Western Wall / Siegfried Line Medal

The 3rd award however has defied our efforts to identify it. The front shows a winged angel with a sword, and the rear is marked Gott schütze Dich (God Bless You), and around the perimeter is Rittmeister d.R. Ulenberg Drag. Regt. 5. We have not been able to find anything on this specific unit. The medal is also marked 900, indicating the silver purity.

Definitely an interesting medal bar set with lots of research potential!

Bavarian 12th Regiment 100th Anniversary Medal
The Königlich Bayerisches Infanterie-Regiment “Prinz Arnulf” Nr. 12 was founded in 1814. It was garrisoned at Neu-Ulm and attached to the I. Armeekorps. It is a badge commemorating the regiment’s 100th Anniversary in 1914. The badge is eight-sided and measures 1 ½” x 1 ½.” Its center features Prinz Arnuff’s royal cypher. Attached to the top is a small ribbon and a safety pin. It has no manufacturer’s hallmark.

Wehrmacht Long Service Award - 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).

The West Wall Medal (Deutsches Schutzwall-Ehrenzeichen) was a decoration of NSDAP Germany. It was instituted on 2 August 1939 and was given to those who designed and built the fortifications on Germany's western borders, known as the Westwall or, in English, the Siegfried Line, between 15 June 1938 to 31 March 1939. On 13 November 1939 eligibility was extended to include servicemen of the Wehrmacht who served on the Westwall for at least ten weeks. In all 622,064 medals were awarded until 31 January 1941, when awards of the medal ceased. This early version was made of solid bronze. The back has the statement FÜR ARBEIT ZUM SCHUTZE DEUTSCHLANDS - "For Work to Protect Germany."

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