Ground Combat Badge
The Ground Combat Badge of the Luftwaffe (Erdkampfabzeichen der Luftwaffe) was awarded to Luftwaffe personnel for their achievement in ground combat. Instituted on the 31st March 1942, by Hermann Göring.
The badge depicts an oak leaf wreath surmounted by Luftwaffe Eagle, grasping a swastika, flying above a storm cloud from which a lightning bolt strikes the rough ground, which was designed by Sigmund von Weech.
The criteria for decoration were awarded to personnel who served three combat operations on separate days and replaced the Infantry Assault Badge.
As the war progressed it became necessary to further distinguish those soldiers who had already exceeded the awarding criteria. To accomplish this distinction four numbered grades were introduced on 10 November 1944 based on the number of combat operations.
- 2nd Grade for 25 eligible operations
- 3rd Grade for 50 eligible operations
- 4th Grade for 75 eligible operations
- 5th Grade for 100 eligible operations