|Awarded by Nazi Germany|
|Awarded for||those that fought in the Cholm Pocket|
|Campaign(s)||World War II|
|Description||Commemorative shield worn on the upper left sleeve of uniform|
|Established||1 July 1942|
|Last awarded||1 April 1943|
The Cholm Shield (German: Cholmschild) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to those who fought in the Cholm Pocket between 21 January and 5 May 1942. It was instituted on 1 July 1942 and is the rarest of the German combat shields with approximately 5,500 recipients. Bestowing of the award ceased as of 1 April 1943.
Background and design
In January 1942, the Soviet Red Army began a series of counteroffensives against the German Army. In the course of these operations, the German occupied city of Cholm was attacked on 18 January 1942. By the 21 January the city was surrounded and cut off which led to the creation of the Kholm Pocket. Led by Generalleutnant Theodor Scherer a mixed group of Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe and police personnel were supplied by air until they were relieved on 5 May 1942.
After the relief of Cholm, a design for a commemorative shield was designed by Polizei-Rottwachtmeister Schlimmer and sent to Adolf Hitler for approval. Professor Richard Klein made a few minor changes to the design.
The award features the outline of a shield with a large "open-winged" Wehrmacht-style eagle grasping an Iron Cross with a swastika at its centre. Below this in capital letters is written CHOLM and then the date 1942. In 1957, the Cholm Shield was denazified (removal of the swastika) to allow recipients to wear the shield on their uniform.
Criteria for award
- Have served honourably within the Cholm Pocket between the specified dates; or
- Have flown and landed at the airfield within the pocket for resupply operations
The Cholm Shield was worn on the left upper sleeve of the uniform of soldiers and airmen. For civilian clothes a smaller shield roughly 16mm across with a needle fitting could be worn on the left lapel. Soldiers with multiple campaign shields (for example Crimea Shield or Narvik Shield) would place the shield one above the other separated by half a cm. Holders of three campaign shields would have Narvik first with then the Cholm and Crimea beside each other below.