Ground Assault Badge of the Luftwaffe
|Ground Assault Badge of the Luftwaffe
Erdkampfabzeichen der Luftwaffe
5th grade of the Ground Assault Badge
|Awarded by Nazi Germany|
|Eligibility||Military personnel of the Luftwaffe|
|Awarded for||achievement in ground combat|
|Campaign||World War II|
|Established||31 March 1942|
Soldier wearing the Ground Assault Badge of the Luftwaffe on the left side of the uniform.
The Ground Assault Badge of the Luftwaffe (German: Erdkampfabzeichen der Luftwaffe) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to Luftwaffe personnel for achievement in ground combat. It was instituted on 31 March 1942 by the commander-in-chief (Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe) Hermann Göring.
The medal, designed by the graphic and textile artist Sigmund von Weech (1888-1982), features an oak leaf wreath with at its apex a Luftwaffe eagle, grasping a swastika, flying above a storm cloud, from which a lightning bolt strikes rough ground.
The general criteria for its presentation was the participation in three separate combat operations on separate days. Luftwaffe soldiers who had already been awarded medals or orders of the Heer such as Assault Badge or the Infantry Assault Badge, were required to exchange their badges for the Ground Assault Badge of the Luftwaffe.
As the war progressed it became necessary to further distinguish those soldiers who had already exceeded the awarding criteria. To accomplish this distinction four numbered grades were introduced on 10 November 1944 based on the number of combat operations.
- 2nd grade (II. Stufe) for 25 eligible operations
- 3rd grade (III. Stufe) for 50 eligible operations
- 4th grade (IV. Stufe) for 75 eligible operations
- 5th grade (V. Stufe) for 100 eligible operations
- Doehle, Heinrich (2000). Die Auszeichnungen des Grossdeutschen Reichs. Orden, Ehrenzeichen, Abzeichen. (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Patzwall. ISBN 3-931533-43-3.
- Klietmann, Kurt-Gerhard (1981). Auszeichnungen des Deutschen Reiches. 1936–1945. (in German). Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch ISBN 3-87943-689-4.
- "Erdkampfabzeichen der Luftwaffe". Lexikon der Wehrmacht (in German). Retrieved 16 January 2012.