Product Description: This Heer/Luftwaffe 12 Year Long Service Award is a near-perfect example of this relatively scarce military long service decoration. This medal could be awarded to Heer or Luftwaffe personnel. It is made of a high quality brass alloy, Tombak. The surface of the medal has been gilded, and this original gold finish is beautiful, with nice shine. It’s a well-struck award, with crisp detail, smooth surfaces, and no sign of wear. It does show minimal age, with one small spot to one of the eagle’s wings on the obverse, and some scattered, tiny marks. The original suspension ring is intact, with gold finish that matches the medal. There is no ribbon. This 12 Year Long Service Award does not appear ever to have been issued. It remains in outstanding, near mint 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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