Updated: Sep 26
In the Faces Of War Series #facesofwarkb41 !
The photograph here shows a Heer Unteroffizier smartly dressed in a M40 tunic, he is an Unteroffizier as can be seen with the tresse around his collar and piping on his shoulder boards not being fully tressed as seen by the small gap at the end. He is also seen with a toothbrush moustache which was the trend for Germans at the time, especially for seasoned veterans as seen here, with strong patriotic feelings. The Unteroffizier is seen decorated with several awards, two ribbons worn, these being a Kriegsverdienstkreuz (War Merit Cross) as seen as the top ribbon and the one beneath being the Medaille Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/1942. This also known as and Eastern front or OST Medal. This in combination with the Feldspange or bar that can be seen worn above the breast pocket is a Das Ehrenkreuz Des Weltkriegs 1914/ 1918. Also known as the Honour or Hindenburg Cross that was awarded for non-combat and front line veterans. The Hindenburg cross as seen here with swords was awarded specifically combatant veteran. As seen with the swords it shows that this grenadier was a First World War veteran. He is seen to continue to serve his country in the Second World War by being awarded the War Merit and the OST ribbon.
This seasoned veteran decorated from his world war one service is a respected grenadier in the Heer. It is suggested he would have been Young as 16 or 17 years old during the First World War. You can only imagine if he may have been awarded more awards later in his service or possibly survived the Second World War. His family saw him survive the first but with warfare changing since then this veterans family would be proud but concerned for him. He looks to the right in this portrait smartly dressed. This crisp postcard size portrait would have been kept safe and proud by himself or someone in the family to look up to for his bravery in both wars and serving his country.