Product Description: This five place medal bar is an impressive piece for a well-decorated German soldier. The awards present here are the Iron Cross 2nd Class, War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords, Eastern Front Medal, Westwall Medal and the Social Welfare Medal. The Iron Cross retains nearly all of the original black paint to the core, and has attractive toning to the frame. The suspension ring has been elongated slightly to allow the cross to hang beneath the ribbon. The War Merit Cross is a lovely, early Tombak example, with nearly all of the original bright bronze finish. The Eastern Front Medal retains loads of original finish, and the Westwall medal is another great, early Tombak example. The Social Welfare medal, too, has great finish, with some light, normal age toning. Each award is complete with its correct ribbon, in a narrow form that is very attractively wrapped twice around the bar- a desirable variant that adds visual appeal. The reverse of this five place medal bar has a ribbed fabric backing that is neatly hand stitched in place, hooks for suspending each medal, and a functional brass pin and catch for affixing this to a uniform. The zinc base for this bar is visible at the edges on the reverse. This medal bar is complete and all intact, just as it was worn by a German soldier in WWII. It is in excellent condition.
Historical Description: The German Military had a long tradition of issuing awards for achievements ranging from long service and participation in specific campaigns, to battlefield valor. Some types of awards were to be pinned on the uniform, others were medals that were suspended from ribbons. On the field uniform, only the ribbons for these medals were to be worn. But for dress uniforms used for parade and walking-out purposes, soldiers wore all of their medals in the form of medal bars that would be pinned to the uniform, on the soldier’s chest. Each medal bar was individually custom made by a tailor or a manufacturer of insignia. They were not issue items, they had to be purchased. These ranged from single mounted awards, to long racks of medals indicating a distinguished career of many years, sometimes with medals from both World Wars or even earlier awards of Imperial Germany. German medal bars were also worn on dress uniforms of civil, political, and paramilitary organizations.
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