A Brief History about German Occupation Medals and Their Significance


This German medal is a series of three because it has a unique history over all. These medals were also known by other names like ‘flower war medals”. These medals were awarded to members of the occupational forces who took part in the annexation of Austria, the Sudentanland (part of what was known at the time as Czechoslovakia) and the Memel district of Lithuania. 

When Adolf Hitler was appointed in Germany as Chancellor in the year 1933, his ultimate aim was to build a greater German Reich. To do this, he built up the German armed forces, commonly called the wehrmacht, which was one of the most powerful forces the world had known at that time. 

As a reward, he also issued many German war medals to present to the army warriors on their successful achievements.

The 3 Types Of Occupation Medals Were:

The 13th March 1938 Medal- This medal was to commemorate the annexation of Austria to the German Reich, hence the name of Anschluss medals that was used to cover this group.  This was the first of three medals with the unification of the German speaking peoples of Austria, back into the Reich. This award was given to both military and civil administration personnel as well as Austrians who supported the unification.  The medal's frontal design was very unique being first used on the reichspartag day badge for 1938 to commemorate other German peoples joining the Greater Reich. This award is round in shape, and shows two men, one with a flag, the other with broken chains, rising together. It is a highly detailed; die struck based medal and was designed by Richard Klein.

Sudetenland Medal- This medal was again designed by Klein with the same front and reverse features with only the date of the 1st October 1938 replacing 13th March 1938. Around the edge, the award also has ein Reich ein volk ein fuhrer.  The other major difference was that this medal was finished in bronze, whereas the former was in silver. The ribbon colours on all three are different, which was the best way to distinguish between them all, aside from their washes.

Memel Medal- The final medal in this series is the German occupation medal for the Memel district of Lithuania. This was carried out by a boat landing and aircraft invasion in a peaceful way, The award has on it the same frontal design but to the reverse, this bronze medal has a complete inscription and not the usual ein reich ein volk ein fuhrer. It has within an oak leaf wreath, zur erinnerung and die heim kehr des Memellandes 22.Marz 1939.  This is the rarest of the three awards, and quite hard to get, not surprising, when you realise only 40,000 were issued.

You can view examples of these medals on our website at as well as a good range of other medals and badges from around the World.

Author’s Bio: In the above write up, the author discusses about German war medals that may be procured from the online retailers. The medals are gifted when the army men display great courage. For more information visit Jamie Cross Collectibles.

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About Jamie Cross Advanced     JAMIE CROSS COLLECTABLES

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