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Two photos of EK2 awards to Lw Unteroffiziere, obviously the award cetrificates were presented by the unit commander.

Edited by Odulf

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_07_2012/post-7824-0-05100700-1343216057.jpgNo.2

Edited by Odulf

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Photo of EK2 awards to Lw Unteroffiziere, obviously the award cetrificates were presented by the unit commander.

Edited by Odulf

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I have recently found some statement/remark (in a modern book, as I remember) that all medals and decorations issued in the field, were accompanied by the award document to the owner (however, the photos contradict, in most cases) .

This raises the question, what happened to these documents? First they were prepared by the staff, signed by the commanding official (a Divisional or Regimental Commander - or were they signed in advance?), handed out with the decoration/medal, turned in again at the Paymasters-Office (or collected by the CSM or so), to be stored (or send home) or what? Was there a procedure or regulation about these documents, and was there a counter-regulagion to make it all less complex?

Edited by Odulf

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If I had to guess, and based on what I know of military life, especially at the front, after the parade and pinning, some sergeant from HQ Company would have the lads gather round and hand out the relevant documents. A bit like mail call, perhaps. At which point the lads in question would either toss them over one shoulder or stow them neatly in a pocket in case they might need paper at some point to roll smokes or use as bum wipe.

There are records of British sailors in the late 18th century and when the concept of medals, at least to Other Ranks was fairly new, being handed pewter medals, realizing they were not silver and therefore not saleable, and tossing them straight over the side. Others - winners of the privately made Nile Medal - used to nail them to the mast of their ship and, if transferred, pry them off and repeat elsewhere. I know by War Two that the attitude to awards had 'matured' somewhat but I don't see front line Landsers being very impressed by paperwork of any sort.

Clearly, the number of awards which have kept their paperwork attached over the decades is a tiny percentage of the total and while some were probably binned by relatives or later owners, I strongly suspect that trend began with the original recipients.

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Intersting remarks Peter.

What puzzles me, is that most ww2 award certificates to soldiers are in very good nick and unfolded, even when awarded to first line combat units. I cannot imagine these were dragged around in a pocket or haversack.

Also, I have evidence, that after a man was KIA, MIA or DOW, the relatives received the certificates, other relevant documents, and Wehrpass together in one envelope. So they must have been stored in a safe place and not in his pockets, kit bag or whatever in the danger zone, so presumably at Regtl. HQ or so. The same applies to the Luftwaffe.

Also, regarding the Kriegsmarine, many award documents of men who were lost at sea, survived; this leads to the conclusion that these documents were not kept on board, but ashore.

Thinking about this, I have never encountered an award document marked as "replacement", indicating that the original slip was lost.

How's that..?

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