Archive for Eastern Front
Demyansk Shield (German: Ärmelschild Demjansk) is a German military award instituted on April 25, 1943 to commemorate troops who fought in the Demyansk pocket. Requirements for Heer and auxiliary units included honorable service in the besieged area for 60 days or wound or frostbite in the besieged area, for Luftwaffe — 50 combat or supply missions over the besieged and surrounding area. The shield was die struck and produced in silver-washed zinc and later in plain zinc. Two variations of the aircraft’s propeller under the swords exist, as some shields show it curved while others show it straight.
The shield was authorized by Adolf Hitler and was to be worn on the upper sleeve of the left shoulder of uniform. For civil clothes the version of a pin-like shield has been stipulated. The award ceased to be presented on April 1 or July 4, 1944. Each recipient was entitled to five copies of the shield, and in case of death, a single shield and an entitlement certificate was presented to the next of kin. It is estimated that over 100,000 Demyansk shields were presented.
This one has lost its backing and is made from what appears to be a washed zinc.
The Crimea Shield (known as “Krim” Shield to collectors) was awarded to German soldiers under the command of Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein who fought and conquered Crimea (Krim in German) in between September 1941 and July 1942. The Crimea Shield was instituted on 25 July 1942 and was the most widely distributed of the shields with approximately 250,000 being handed out.
From 21 September 1941 until 4 July 1942 German soldiers faced severe opposition from the Russian army while attempting to capture the important Black Sea ports around Sevastopol.
This particularly difficult campaign was recognized in the form of the Shield.
I have posted both of mine here so you can see how the back plate is formed.