Eastern Front Medal Ostmedaille
The Eastern Medal was instituted on 26th May 1942, which was commonly known as the Ostmedaille (East Medal) or Russian Front Medal, which is generally made from zinc and typically measures 44mm x 36mm with a gunmetal finish. The medal depicts a national socialist eagle grasping a swastika with laurel leaf behind surmounted by a German helmet and stick grenade attached to the medal loop. The reverse features the text in capital letters: “WINTERSCHLACHT IM OSTEN 1941/42” (“Winter Battle in the East 1941-42”) featuring a crossed sword and branch below the text.
The ribbon featured a central white-black-white stripe with red either side which represents blood, snow, and death. The medal and ribbon were presented in a paper packet with the name of the medal on the front and the maker’s name on the reverse. The ribbon was also worn through the second buttonhole like the Iron Cross 2nd Class (EK II).
The Eastern Medal (Ostmedaille) was awarded to personnel who served a minimum of 14 days active service, 30 combat sorties or 60 days of continuous service and could be awarded for being wounded and posthumously.
With over three million medals issued this was made by various makers and is often stamped on the ribbon loop.