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(s) World War II
Status Obsolete
Statistics
Established 25 April 1943
Last awarded 1 July 1944
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 commemorated the successful defence of Demyansk, achieved through the use of an airbridge. The pocket of German troops had been encircled and cut off by the Red Army around Demyansk (Demjansk), south of Leningrad, during World War II on the Eastern Front. It was instituted on 25 April 1943 by Adolf Hitler. It was not bestowed after 1 July 1944.[1]

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 with gun ports. 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 minor variations of the aircraft's propeller exist with either a curved or straight propeller.[1][2]

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:[1]

  • Light green-grey (field-grey) for Heer (army)
  • Blue for Luftwaffe (air force)
  • Black for Panzer units (armoured units)
  • Field-grey for Waffen-SS

Criteria for award[edit]

Requirements for army, Waffen-SS and auxiliary units included honorable service in the besieged area for 60 days or wounded in the besieged area. For Luftwaffe personnel — 50 combat or re-supply missions over the besieged area.[2][3]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Angolia 1987, pp. 282, 283.
  2. ^ a b Ailsby 1987, p. 99.
  3. ^ Angolia 1987, p. 283.

References[edit]

  • Ailsby, Christopher (1987). Combat Medals of the Third Reich. Harpercollins. ISBN 978-0850598223. 
  • Angolia, John (1987). For Führer and Fatherland: Military Awards of the Third Reich. R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 0912138149.