The Wehrmacht Long Service Award (German language:Wehrmacht-Dienstauszeichnung) was a military service decoration of Nazi Germany issued for satisfactory completion of a given years of military service. On 16 March 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered the institution the service awards for the first four classes. Thereafter, on 10 March 1939 the 40 years service award was introduced. Each branch of the Wehrmacht (army, navy, and air force) maintained their own version of the Long Service Award and the decoration was issued for four years (fourth class), twelve years (third class), 18 years (second class), 25 years (first class), and 40 years (1939 special class). Professor Richard Klein designed the awards. Recipients of lower year awards would wear the decoration simultaneously with higher level decorations. The manner they could be worn was:
- 3rd Class with 4th Class
- 2nd Class with 4th Class
- 1st Class with 3rd Class
The Long Service Award was retroactive throughout a service member's career, encompassing Reichswehr service as well as service dating during and before World War I. As such, there were a handful of 40 year awards presented, even though the Third Reich itself existed for only twelve.
The Waffen-SS, considered an integral part of the German armed forces during World War II, maintained their own SS Long Service Award with similar award criteria to the standard military version. The Nazi Party and German Police had a similar service award. The NSDAP Long Service Award was given in grades of ten, fifteen, and twenty-five years. The Police Long Service Award was given in grades of eight, eighteen, twenty-five, and forty years (never awarded).
- Angolia, John (1987). For Führer and Fatherland: Military Awards of the Third Reich. R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 0912138149.
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|