Product Description: A Five Place Medal Bar featuring only WWII awards is not an easy thing to find. This one is gorgeous. The first and most esteemed medal is a 1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class. The frame shows some wear with age toning to the original finish. The original matte black core paint is very well-preserved with some minor marks here and there. Next to this is a War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords, an early Tombak cross retaining nearly all of the original bronze finish. The next award is the “Ostmedaille” issued for service on the Eastern Front in the harsh winter of 1941-42. This one is zinc, with some minor and typical bubbling to the dull gray finish. The original silvering on the rim and helmet is mostly retained. The final two awards are Long Service awards of the type issued to Heer and Kriegsmarine troops. The first of these, a cross, was issued to commemorate 25 years of active service in the German Armed Forces. The last, a medal, was for 12 years. Both are finely detailed and well preserved, retaining nearly all of the original gold finish. The cross is particularly appealing, with brightly polished highlights. The ribbons for all of the awards are in better than excellent condition showing only very minor wear. Each of the long service awards has a gilt eagle emblem on the ribbon, these appear to be zinc and have some wear to the gold finish. The reverse has a green felt backing that has some minor moth tracking. It is hand-sewn, typical for these custom tailor assembled pieces. The original long brass pin and catch are present and functional with no condition issues. The medals remain tightly stitched to the mount, we didn’t try pulling these apart to look for maker marks on the medal rings. A desirable grouping awarded to a long-serving Wehrmacht soldier, almost certainly an officer.
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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