Product Description: This is a nice, representative example of the 12 Year Long Service Award as issued to Heer and Luftwaffe personnel. The same medal was used for both branches, with the device on the ribbon differentiating between Heer and Luftwaffe issue. This handsome medal is made from a brass alloy (Tombak) that has been nicely gilded. Virtually all of the attractive original gold finish is intact, with one area of surface patina above the eagle on the obverse, as well as some tiny spots and a bit of verdigris on the reverse. There is no wear, and all of the crisp original detail is intact. The original suspension ring is present, and is unmarked. There is no ribbon, and it does not appear that this award was ever issued. This unworn 12 Year Long Service Award remains in excellent condition.
Historical Description: Prior to WWII, the German military and civil authorities instituted a wide range of Long Service Awards to reward personnel for years of service. These awards were used by all branches of the German military, as well as civil and political organizations such as the police, the customs service, and the National Labor Service (RAD). There was also a general Long Service Award for civil service. Each of these awards was issued in the form of a medal that was suspended from a cornflower blue ribbon. Many of these were made in different grades denoting a specific number of years of service. They were worn on the uniform in the form of ribbon or medal bars, and up to two long service awards could be worn at the same time. In most cases, a device affixed to the ribbon bar would denote for which service the award had been issued; sometimes the medals themselves had devices on the ribbons, either in the form of pinned-on metal emblems, or else hand or machine embroidery applied directly to the ribbon. Some German Long Service Awards were very widely awarded, others were made and issued only in small numbers.
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