Product Description: This is a textbook and very attractive example of the Krim Shield. It’s a really nice one, in excellent condition. This shield is a magnetic type, suggesting early issue, and retains nearly all of the original factory applied bronzing and lacquering. The front of the shield shows only very minor wear, with typical age toning and patina, and retains great detail. The backing material is made of a typical, rather coarsely woven field gray wool, as issued to troops of the Heer and Waffen-SS, as well as some land-based Kriegsmarine units. The reverse of this Krim Shield retains nearly all of the original tan paper backing, on the original backing plate; all the prongs are intact, and this remains entirely complete. The wool backing shows some nap wear and exhibits some very light fraying to the edges, suggesting that this piece was likely worn on a uniform. This piece has great original character and is a wonderful representative example of the Krim Shield.
Historical Description: The Krim Shield was a combat award of the German Wehrmacht, used to recognize the troops who fought on the Crimean Peninsula, on the Eastern Front, between September 21, 1941, and July 4, 1942. Crimea had been taken by the German Army Group South, specifically the 11th Army led by Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein. The shield was officially instituted by Adolf Hitler on July 25, 1942, by a proclamation stating that the award would recognize the “heroic battles” in Crimea. The shield depicts a German national eagle and swastika emblem as well as a map of Crimea, along with the word “Krim” and the dates 1941 and 1942. It was worn on the left upper sleeve of the uniform. To qualify for the award, soldiers had to have participated on one of eight specific battles that were a part of the campaign, to have been wounded in action, or to have served 3 months, without interruption, in the Crimea region. Members of all branches of the Wehrmacht, including the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine, were eligible for the award. The shield was made from steel, and later from zinc, and was issued affixed to a backing cloth that allowed it to be stitched to the uniform. Between 200,000 and 300,000 shield were awarded.
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