Unbestowed awards of Nazi Germany

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Unbestowed awards of Nazi Germany were a series of political, civil, and military decorations which were either under design, projected for design, or had been approved for issuance but never bestowed, when the Second World War ended in 1945 resulting in the fall of Nazi Germany.[1]

Senior Military & Civil Awards[edit]

The highest military award of Nazi Germany during World War II was the Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross. The award was to be presented to the most successful German general or admiral of the entire war once victory was achieved. A prototype award was designed, but due to Germany's defeat the award was never issued. A similar award for meritorious service, the German Cross in Gold With Diamonds, was intended for presentation for extreme feats of military accomplishment during war; a handful of the awards were manufactured, but none were presented.

Rudolf Hess's proposed classes of the German Order

For general service in war, Nazi Germany issued the War Merit Cross, the highest degree of which was the Golden Knight's Cross of the War Merit Cross. A version with swords was reserved for direct actions in combat while the Knight's Cross without swords was granted for meritorious service in support of war operations. No awards of the Golden Knight's Cross of the War Merit Cross with swords were ever made. The award with swords is shown in fiction as it appears worn by Hans Landa in the 2009 film Inglourious Basterds.

A "Star of the Social Welfare Decoration" is mentioned in Nazi award regulations as an authorized award, but it is unknown if the decoration was ever presented. Previous holders of the "Grand Cross of the Red Cross" were eligible to exchange their decorations once the Social Welfare Decoration had replaced the previously issued Red Cross award in 1940.

The German Order in its original form was to consist of several degrees the lowest of which was to be the Golden Party Badge followed by a second class medal, first class breast order, and Knight's Cross neck order. The German Order with degrees was proposed originally by Rudolf Hess, but was never approved. In the end, only the Knight's Cross degree became an actual medal and was known simply as the German Order.

Campaign Awards[edit]

Arm Shields[edit]

Destruction Badges[edit]

Air Force War Badges & Clasps[edit]

Navy War Badges & Clasps[edit]

The German Navy issued eight primary war badges, all of which were eligible to be presented "with diamonds" for exceptional combat service. The U-boat War Badge was the only decoration to be issued extensively with diamonds. Three other badges were issued rarely with diamonds (Minesweeper, E-Boat, and Auxiliary Cruiser) while the remainder of the Navy war badges (Destroyer, High Seas, Blockage Runner, and Naval Artillery) were never presented with diamonds.

The following close combat naval badges were further ordered for production, but never presented.

SS and Police Decorations[edit]

Civilian awards[edit]


  1. ^ Lumsden, R. (2001). Medals and Decorations of Hitler's Germany. Osceola, Wisconsin: MBI Publishing Company