WW2 German Uniforms / Medal

#1
Afternoon

Im trying to find out about my Great Uncle and and Grandfather from WW2. They were conscripts of Sudaten Germany and my Grandfather fought on the Eastern front. He has long since passed away and I know a few stories that he told my father but according to my Grandmother he was very quiet about his service.

He was captured by the Russians towards the end of the war and found himself shipped to America before eventually settling and becoming a naturalised British Citizen in the mid 1940s.

Attached is the picture of him (Grandfather on the left) and some close ups of his belt, medals and stripes.

If anyone knows anything whatsoever it would help shed some light and what I expect was a very interesting story but one which sadly I was unable to learb about.

Kind regards and many thanks. 1377180132000.jpg

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#2
The diagonal ribbon by the 2nd and 3rd buttons looks like the Eastern Front Medal ribbon >> Eastern Front Medal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The large badge on the left lower chest is the Infantry Assault Badge (in silver by the look of it) >> Infantry Assault Badge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The smaller badge on the left lower chest is Wound Badge available in Bronze, Silver and Gold >> Wound Badge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

He is wearing the stripe of a Gefreiter = Lance Corporal.
 
#3
Many many thanks for that. My old man has been wanting to out that sort of information for years!
 
#4
Wiki is your friend:

The top award is the Infantry Assault Badge.

The Infantry Assault Badge (German: Infanterie Sturmabzeichen) was a German war badge awarded to Waffen SS andWehrmacht Heer soldiers during World War II. This decoration was instituted on December 20, 1939 by the Oberstbefehlshaber des Heeres, Generalfeldmarschall von Brauchitsch. It could be awarded to members of non-motorized Infantry units and units of the Gebirgsjäger that had participated in Infantry assaults, with light Infantry weapons, on at least three days of battle in the front line as from January 1, 1940. When a counter offensive led to fighting at short distance, it could also apply. Award of the Infanterie Sturmabzeichen was authorized at regimental command level or above. The first two awards were given to an officer and an enlisted soldier on a special occasion on May 28, 1940, by von Brauchitsch himself.

The second one is the Wound Badge.

The badge had three classes: black (3rd class, representing Iron), for those wounded once or twice by hostile action (including air raids), or frostbitten in the line of duty; silver (2nd class) for being wounded three or four times, or suffering loss of a hand, foot or eye from hostile action (also partial loss of hearing), facial disfigurement or brain damage via hostile action; and in gold (1st class, which could be awarded posthumously) for five or more times wounded, total blindness, "loss of manhood", or severe brain damage via hostile action. Badges exist in pressed steel, brass and zinc, as well as some base metal privately commissioned versions. Those of the First World War were also produced in a cutout pattern


The belt buckle is the standard one which all troops had with the eagle and Gott Mit Uns motto. [h=3](Koppelschlösser)[/h]Belt buckles for enlisted men were of box type, made of aluminum or stamped steel with a pebbled surface, and bearing a circular device with a version of theHoheitszeichen called the Army eagle or Heeresadler (an eagle with downswept wings clutching an unwreathed swastika) surmounted by the motto Gott mit uns, or "God with us." For field wear these were usually painted field-grey to reduce visibility; on the other hand dress buckles were silver-washed.
Officers' field and service buckles were of a two-pronged frame type. With dress uniform officers wore a belt of silver braid with a circular silver-washed or -plated aluminum buckle, in the form of an oakleaf wreath surrounding a Heeresadler. Generals' were the same but gilt or gold-plated.
With the tropical uniform and its belt of cotton webbing, officers wore a buckle identical to the dress buckle but painted olive-drab.

Finally, it seems as if your ancestor was a lance-corporal and had received the Iron Cross, 2nd Class. (E.K. II ) He would have had some amazing stories to tell I agree if he fought on the Eastern Front against the Russians, but I'm not surprised he didn't want to talk about it later.
 
#5
Finally, it seems as if your ancestor was a lance-corporal and had received the Iron Cross, 2nd Class. (E.K. II ) He would have had some amazing stories to tell I agree if he fought on the Eastern Front against the Russians, but I'm not surprised he didn't want to talk about it later.
The ribbon is not an EKII

The guy in this picture is wearing the ribbon for an EK II together with the ribbon for the Eastern Front Medal.



The brighter ribbon in red white and black is the EK II and the maroon ribbon with the thin stripe running down the middle is the Eastern Front Medal which corresponds with CURFCno5's photo despite it being in black and white.
 
#6
It seems you are correct. Black and white pictures are always tough to use to identify a ribbon.

Eastern Front Medal.jpg
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
collar tags are for ncos and the shoulder tabs are riflemen ones. the kragenspeigel thingys on the cuffs are also a rank tab type thing.

the one on the right who looks like they swapped jackets I think has officer cadet slides on his lapels like sven hassel supposedly had :)
 
#8
collar tags are for ncos and the shoulder tabs are riflemen ones. the kragenspeigel thingys on the cuffs are also a rank tab type thing.

the one on the right who looks like they swapped jackets I think has officer cadet slides on his lapels like sven hassel supposedly had :)
They are both wearing Waffenrock uniforms, ie No 1 dress.

More here >> http://moebius.freehostia.com/tunics.htm
 
#9
Mt Stepgrandad was on the German side during the War. Mortar crew. Recieved EKII and captured by the Americans and taken to Texas. Traded his EKII for a packet of cigarettes in the prison camp! No picture of him in uniform as his real son got all of them :(.
 
#11
The taller chap has some chain hanging below tunic skirt - official or sloppy watch chain ?.
Looks like the latter! The OPs grandfather is one of the lucky few who survived the Eastern Front. Do you know the reason why the Russians shipped him to the USA? I always thought the Russians kept all POWs until 1955. Unless thats where your Grandfather chose to go on release.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
I always thought the Russians kept all POWs until 1955.
Most German POWs were released by the Soviets between the end of the war and 1947. By the time that the DDR was formed in 1948, only those who were classed as Kriegsverurteilte or 'war criminals', were still detained. These Kriegsverurteilte were tried and sentenced to hard labour, but the intervention of the new West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer secured the release of the remaining men. The last three came home in 1956.
 
#13
I read an article on the Iron cross recently and I think it was in the late 1950's when the Iron cross was given to ex serviceman minus the Swastika. It was probably a case of people who were awarded it having to apply for the newer version.
 
#15
I read an article on the Iron cross recently and I think it was in the late 1950's when the Iron cross was given to ex serviceman minus the Swastika. It was probably a case of people who were awarded it having to apply for the newer version.
In 1957 the West German Government did a reissue of all of its WW2 decorations without the swastika.

This was primarily done so that members of the new West German armed forces could wear their decorations without breaking the law.
 
#16
In 1957 the West German Government did a reissue of all of its WW2 decorations without the swastika.

This was primarily done so that members of the new West German armed forces could wear their decorations without breaking the law.
That would be as awkward as a turd in a punch bowl if you happened to rock up to a NATO function still wearing your E.K. II mit swastika ;-) "Don't mention the war", etc. :p
 
#17
That would be as awkward as a turd in a punch bowl if you happened to rock up to a NATO function still wearing your E.K. II mit swastika ;-) "Don't mention the war", etc. :p
I think they were a bit more bothered about decorations like the German Cross (DK) which had a big feck off swastika in the centre.



Probably stating the obvious but the top 3 are the WW2 versions in silver, gold and gold with diamonds.
The bottom 3 are the 1957 reissue types for wearing in polite company.
 
#18
There was a medal that was never awarded but was going to be given to the most outstanding general in the German army after WW2.
Order of the star of the grand cross of the iron cross.
 

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#19
They are both wearing Waffenrock uniforms, ie No 1 dress.

More here >> http://moebius.freehostia.com/tunics.htm
Would the No 1 Dress have been issued during the war? It's just I have an idea that it wasn't; I remember reading that the Waffenrock uniforms were put on hold until after the war was over. If that be so, could it be that these lads have hired it, or otherwise got hold of it to have their pics taken? Kind of putting on the dog on the occasion of getting some leave, and or the man on the left getting a stripe up? I ask because the uniforms seem ill-fitting; not quite the way a dress uniform should fit, even given there was a war on. Not a criticism, just an observation.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
#20
Would the No 1 Dress have been issued during the war? It's just I have an idea that it wasn't; I remember reading that the Waffenrock uniforms were put on hold until after the war was over. If that be so, could it be that these lads have hired it, or otherwise got hold of it to have their pics taken? Kind of putting on the dog on the occasion of getting some leave, and or the man on the left getting a stripe up? I ask because the uniforms seem ill-fitting; not quite the way a dress uniform should fit, even given there was a war on. Not a criticism, just an observation.
You've obviously not seen some of the FAD worn by our side and that's measured and issued permanently!
 

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