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Campaign shields (Wehrmacht)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Campaign shields (German: Ärmelschild), also known as campaign arm shields, were badges of differing design awarded to members of the German Wehrmacht for participation in specific battles or campaigns during World War II. Each shield was worn on the left upper arm of the uniform jacket. Where a recipient received more than one shield, the earlier was worn above any later awards.[1]

Official awards

Shield Institution date Awarded for Number of awards Service branch Image
Narvik Shield
19 August 1940 Landing in Narvik or participation in military actions of the Narvik battle group between 9 April and 9 June 1940[2] 8,527 Army, Air Force, Navy
Cholm Shield
1 July 1942 Defence of the Kholm Pocket between 21 January and 5 May 1942[2] ca. 5,500 Army, Air Force
Crimea Shield
25 July 1942 The Crimean campaign, 21 September 1941 to 4 July 1942, including the Siege of Sevastopol[3] ca. 250,000[4] Army, Air Force, Navy
Demyansk Shield
25 April 1943 Defence of the Demyansk Pocket, February to May 1942[3] ca. 96,000 Army, Air Force, Waffen-SS
Kuban Shield
20 September 1943 The military actions around the Kuban bridgehead from 1 February to 9 October 1943[3] ca. 145,000 Army, Air Force, Navy
Warsaw Shield
10 December 1944 Suppression of the Warsaw Uprising between 1 August to 2 October 1944. While award criteria and design were approved, none were produced by the end of the war.[5] None Army, Air Force, Waffen-SS
Lapland Shield
Between February and May 1945 Service in North Finland with the 20th Mountain Army, September 1944 to May 1945.[6] Unknown Army, Air Force, Navy

Post-war versions

After an initial ban, the Federal Republic of Germany re-authorised the wearing of many World War II military decorations in 1957. This included all official campaign shields except for the Warsaw and Lapland Shields. Re-designed to remove the swastika emblem, members of the Bundeswehr could wear the shields on their ribbon bar, represented by a small replica of the award on a field grey ribbon.[7]

Unofficial or discontinued prior to award

Several shields were either unofficial or had approval withdrawn during the design phase, and were therefore never manufactured and awarded:[1]

Shield Institution date Awarded for Number of awards Service branch Image
Stalingrad Shield [de]
Not proceeded with Battle of Stalingrad, 1942–43[8] None Army, Air Force
Balkans Shield
Not proceeded with Battles in the Balkans 1944–1945[9] None Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS
Budapest Shield
Not proceeded with Siege of Budapest, December 1944 to February 1945[8] None Army, Air Force, Waffen-SS
Dunkirk Shield [de]
Unofficial locally produced award Siege of Dunkirk (1944–45). This shield was worn on the left side of the forage cap[9] ca. 12,000 to 15,000 Army, Air Force, Navy Picture on de.wikipedia
Lorient Shield [de]
Unofficial locally produced award Siege of Lorient, 1944–45[10] ca. 10,000 to 12,000 Army, Air Force, Navy
Memel and Neman Front Shield
"Memel- und Njemenfrontschild"
Not proceeded with Battle in the area of the city of Memel and the river Neman, 1944–45[8] None Army, Air Force, Navy


  1. ^ a b Williamson 2002, p. 17.
  2. ^ a b Littlejohn & Dodkins 1968, p. 142.
  3. ^ a b c Littlejohn & Dodkins 1968, p. 143.
  4. ^ Williamson 2002, p. 20 states 100,000 recipients.
  5. ^ Williamson 2002, p. 21.
  6. ^ Williamson 2002, p. 23.
  7. ^ Littlejohn & Dodkins 1968, pp. 224-226.
  8. ^ a b c Williamson 2002, p. 33.
  9. ^ a b Williamson 2002, p. 24.
  10. ^ Williamson 2002, p. 22.


  • Ailsby, Christopher (1987). Combat Medals of the Third Reich. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0850598223.
  • Angolia, John (1987). For Führer and Fatherland: Military Awards of the Third Reich. R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 0912138149.
  • Littlejohn, David; Dodkins, Colonel C. M. (1968). Orders, Decorations, Medals and Badges of the Third Reich. R. James Bender Publishing, California. ISBN 978-0854200801.
  • Williamson, Gordon (2002). World War II German Battle Insignia. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1841763527.
This page was last edited on 7 April 2021, at 17:33
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