Demyansk Shield

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Demyansk Shield
Demjanskschild.jpg
Demjansk Shield
Awarded by Nazi Germany
Type Badge
Eligibility Military personnel
Awarded for participation in the defence of the Demyansk Pocket
Campaign World War II
Status Obsolete
Statistics
Established 25 April, 1943
Total awarded Approximately 100,000

Demyansk Shield (German: Ärmelschild Demjansk) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to military personnel who fought in the Demyansk pocket. It was instituted on 25 April, 1943 by Adolf Hitler.

Design[edit]

The shield features at its apex an eagle with swooped down wings clutching a laurel wreath that surrounds a swastika. This is flanked by two pillboxes. Below this is capital letters is written DEMJANSK. The central portion of shield features a head-on single engine aircraft, two crossed swords and at the base, the year 1942. Two variations of the aircraft's propeller exist with either a curved or straight propeller.

The shield was die struck and produced in silver-washed zinc and later in plain zinc. It was affixed to the upper left sleeve of the uniform via a cloth that matched the color of the uniform of the recipient:

  • Green for Heer (army)
  • Blue for Luftwaffe (air force)
  • Black for Panzer units (armoured units)

For civil clothes the version of a pin-like shield was stipulated. The award ceased to be presented on April 1 or July 4, 1944. Each recipient was entitled to five copies of the shield, and in case of death, a single shield and an entitlement certificate was presented to the next of kin. It is estimated that over 100,000 Demyansk shields were presented.

Criteria for award[edit]

Requirements for Heer and auxiliary units included honorable service in the besieged area for 60 days or wound or frostbite in the besieged area. For Luftwaffe — 50 combat or supply missions over the besieged and surrounding area.

See also[edit]