Results 1 to 9 of 9

Medals and Badges of the Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse

Article about: In this thread, we will have a look at the range of medals and badges awarded by the Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse (Kda) [Combat Groups of the Working Class] or just Kampfgruppen (KG) for

  1. #1

    Default Medals and Badges of the Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse

    In this thread, we will have a look at the range of medals and badges awarded by the Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse (KdA) [Combat Groups of the Working Class] or just Kampfgruppen (KG) for short, a paramilitary organization founded in 1953 and disbanded in 1990.

    (For those unfamiliar with the Kampfgruppen, see: Combat Groups of the Working Class - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )

    Starting off with one little excursion into cloth insignia, here is a uniform-removed sleeve patch of the Kampfgruppen. The KG's logo of a hand holding a rifle with an attached red flag features on several of the items to follow:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_Armabz.jpg 
Views:	726 
Size:	121.7 KB 
ID:	790331

  2. # ADS
    Circuit advertisement
    Join Date
    Always
    Location
    Advertising world
    P
    Many
     

  3. #2

    Default

    Verdienstmedaille der Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse

    The Verdienstmedaille der Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse [Medal of Merit of the Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse] was instituted on 25 September 1961.

    The medal originally came in one class (bronze) only. On 19 April 1978, two new, higher classes (silver and gold) were added.

    The medal was awarded for outstanding merit in the constant strengthening of the KG’s fighting power and readiness for action. Up until 1972, it could only be awarded to individuals (both members and non-members of the Kampfgruppen); after 1973 awards to entire units were possible as well. Individual recipients received a financial reward along with the medal. Multiple awards of the same class were possible.

    Awards were made annually on 1 May (the international holiday for laborers) and 7 October (Day of the Republic, the GDR’s national holiday) by the Minister of the Interior and Head of the Police.

    The medal is a circular, bronze-, silver- or gold-colored disc of 31 mm diameter. Its obverse shows a Kampfgruppen member and an NVA soldier side by side, both armed with a PPSh submachine gun, standing before Berlin’s Brandenburg gate as seen from the east side. They are partially enveloped by the flag of the GDR and the red flag of the working class. Around them are the words “FÜR HERVORRAGENDE / KAMPF- UND EINSATZBEREITSCHAFT” [“FOR OUTSTANDING / READINESS FOR COMBAT AND ACTION”] with decorative laurel branches between the upper and lower parts of the text. The reverse side for all grades bears the national emblem of the GDR with an outer border of laurel branches.

    The ribbon for all three classes is red with three stripes of black, red and gold (i.e. golden yellow) – the German national colors – in the center. The ribbons of the silver and gold grades have narrow outer stripes in, respectively, white or very light grey and golden yellow. (The stripes for the silver grade were officially described as “silver”.)

    In addition to the ribbon bar, the medal initially came with an enameled, rectangular metal bar showing the KG logo before a red background. This was discontinued with the introduction of the two new grades in 1978.


    The medal in bronze with ribbon bar and the additional bar, as awarded from 1961 until April 1978:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_VerdMed_1_01.JPG 
Views:	144 
Size:	125.3 KB 
ID:	790334

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_VerdMed_1_02.JPG 
Views:	98 
Size:	130.2 KB 
ID:	790335


    All three classes of the medal with the respective ribbon bars as awarded after April 1978:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_VerdMed_2_01.jpg 
Views:	123 
Size:	113.7 KB 
ID:	790336

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_VerdMed_2_02.jpg 
Views:	120 
Size:	113.1 KB 
ID:	790337



    Medaille für ausgezeichnete Leistungen in den Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse

    The Medaille für ausgezeichnete Leistungen in den Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse [Medal for Excellent Achievements in the Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse] was instituted on 6 October 1965. The medal came in one class (bronze) only.

    It was awarded for special merit in commanding Kampfgruppen units in training, in improving combat-readiness and for excellent achievements in the care and maintenance of armaments, technical equipment and gear. (The requirements were apparently lower than those for an award of the Verdienstmedaille.) This decoration was also retroactively awarded to former Kampfgruppen members who had met the criteria for an award during their active service but had already retired or otherwise left the organization before the institution of the medal.
    Awards could be made to individuals as well as entire units. Individual recipients received a financial reward along with the medal. Multiple awards of the medal were possible.

    Awards of the medal were made annually on 1 May (the international holiday for laborers) and 7 October (Day of the Republic, the GDR’s national holiday) by the Minister of the Interior and Head of the Police.

    The medal is a circular, bronze-colored disc of 31 mm diameter. Its obverse shows the Kampfgruppen logo of a hand holding a rifle with an attached red flag inside a circular border with a partial laurel wreath at the base and the words “FÜR AUSGEZEICHNETE LEISTUNGEN” [“FOR EXCELLENT ACHIEVEMENTS”]. The reverse side bears the national emblem of the GDR.

    The ribbon is red with narrow outer stripes in white or very light grey. (The stripes were officially described as “silver”.)


    The medal with its ribbon bar:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_MedAL_01.JPG 
Views:	66 
Size:	148.8 KB 
ID:	790338

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_MedAL_02.JPG 
Views:	71 
Size:	151.8 KB 
ID:	790333
    Last edited by HPL2008; 01-16-2015 at 10:17 PM.

  4. #3

    Default

    Medaille für treue Dienste in den Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse

    The Medaille für treue Dienste in den Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse [Medal for Faithful Service in the Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse] was instituted on 6 October 1965. It originally came in three grades (bronze, silver and gold). Bronze (1st grade) was for 10 years of service, silver (2nd grade) for 15 years and gold (3rd grade) for 25 years.
    On 19 April 1978, the new Sonderstufe in Gold [special grade in gold] for 25 years of service was added. The two gold grades were awarded together with a financial reward.

    Awards of the medal were made annually on 1 May (the international holiday for laborers) and 7 October (Day of the Republic, the GDR’s national holiday) by the Minister of the Interior and Head of the Police.

    The medal is a circular, bronze-, silver- or gold-colored disc of 31 mm diameter. The obverse for the 1st through 3rd grade of the medal shows a Kampfgruppen member holding an AK-47 assault rifle against a background of industrial buildings. Below this are the words “FÜR TREUE DIENSTE” [“FOR FAITHFUL SERVICE”]. This design is surrounded by an open laurel wreath. While retaining the same symbols, the obverse design is slightly different for the special grade, which bears the words “FÜR 25 JAHRE TREUE DIENSTE” [“FOR 25 YEARS OF FAITHFUL SERVICE”] and has a closed laurel wreath. The reverse side for all grades bears the national emblem of the GDR.

    The ribbon for all three classes is red. The ribbon for the 1st through 3rd grade bears white or very light grey center stripes in a number corresponding to the medal’s grade. (The stripes were officially described as “silver”.)
    The special grade has narrow outer stripes in golden yellow; its ribbon bar has a gold-colored circular device with the Kampfgruppen logo.


    All four classes of the medal with the respective ribbon bars:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_MedTrDi_01.JPG 
Views:	180 
Size:	198.2 KB 
ID:	790347

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_MedTrDi_02.JPG 
Views:	72 
Size:	182.9 KB 
ID:	790343



    Erinnerungsmedaille „20 Jahre Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse“

    The Erinnerungsmedaille 20 Jahre Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse [Commemorative Medal „20 Years of the Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse“] was instituted on 31 January 1973 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the organization. This was not an automatic mass award to all personnel; it was individually awarded to deserving Kampfgruppen members of merit. Awards were only made once, in September 1973.

    The medal is a circular, iron-colored disc of 31 mm diameter. Its obverse shows a Kampfgruppen member holding an AK47 assault rifle, surrounded by the words “20 JAHRE KAMPFGRUPPEN DER ARBEITERKLASSE” [“20 YEARS KAMPFGRUPPEN DER ARBEITERKLASSE”]. The reverse bears the national emblem of the GDR surrounded by the words “FÜR DEN SCHUTZ DER ARBEITER- und BAUERN-MACHT” [“FOR THE DEFENCE OF THE WORKERS’ AND FARMERS’ STATE”] and an open laurel wreath around that.

    The ribbon is plain red; its ribbon bar has a metal miniature of the medal’s obverse design minus the text.


    The medal and its ribbon bar in their presentation case:


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_Erinnmed_01.JPG 
Views:	71 
Size:	116.6 KB 
ID:	790344

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_Erinnmed_02.JPG 
Views:	50 
Size:	121.9 KB 
ID:	790345

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_Erinnmed_03.JPG 
Views:	51 
Size:	89.9 KB 
ID:	790346
    Last edited by HPL2008; 01-16-2015 at 10:18 PM.

  5. #4

    Default

    Schießabzeichen der Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse

    Marksmanship skills were rewarded with the Schießabzeichen der Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse [Shooting Badge of the Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse].

    The badge was instituted in 1966 and originally came in two classes (bronze and silver). The first model, awarded from 1966 – 1974, additionally bore small oval inserts with Roman numerals (ranging from I to X) at the bottom of the badge, displaying the number of times the wearer had qualified for that grade.

    In 1975, the system was simplified and the badge now came in the three grades (bronze, silver and gold) only, with no additional identifying marks for the number of qualifications.

    The hollow-backed badge shows the KG’s rifle-and-red-flag symbol besides a target with a black center and a factory building, all inside an open laurel wreath. The red flag was initially enameled; on late pieces made from 1986 onwards, it was polyester-coated.


    First model badges in bronze with number “I” and “II” and silver with number “I”:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_SchA_1_01.JPG 
Views:	52 
Size:	134.2 KB 
ID:	790366

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_SchA_1_02.JPG 
Views:	54 
Size:	135.0 KB 
ID:	790367

    Second model badges in bronze, silver and gold:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_SchA_2_01.JPG 
Views:	48 
Size:	130.8 KB 
ID:	790368

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_SchA_2_02.JPG 
Views:	51 
Size:	113.5 KB 
ID:	790361



    Bestenabzeichen

    Like other uniformed services, the Kampfgruppen had their own Bestenabzeichen [literally “Badge of the Best”, bust probably better translated as “Badge of Excellence”].

    The badge was instituted in 1970. Originally, it came in one class only. However, it could be awarded multiple times; as with the first model of the Kampfgruppen shooting badge, the number of awards was identified by a small oval insert bearing a Roman numeral (ranging from I to V; higher grades were manufactured, but were never awarded).

    In 1975, the numbered inserts were abolished and two classes of the badge were added: The original Bestenabzeichen now became the silver class and was supplemented by a lower (bronze) and a higher (gold) class.

    In 1984, the bronze and silver classes were abolished, and the badge was now awarded in one class (gold) only.

    All three models are hollow-backed badges featuring a red flag decorated with a cluster of laurel wreaths. The first model badge had an enameled red flag; the later models came with enameled, plastic-coated or painted flags. The third model badge was slightly re-designed with a somewhat beefier appearance and the inclusion of the Kampfgruppen logo on the red flag.

    Here are examples for the three models of this badge. Top: First model with number "I" insert, center group: second model in bronze, silver and gold, bottom: third and final model.


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_BestAbz_01.jpg 
Views:	67 
Size:	118.6 KB 
ID:	790362

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_BestAbz_02.jpg 
Views:	89 
Size:	123.5 KB 
ID:	790363



    Qualifizierungsabzeichen für Kommandeure der Kampfgruppen

    Instituted in 1984 as an equivalent to the graduation badges worn by officers of the other uniformed services, this qualification badge was awarded to those who had successfully attended the commanders' training course at the Zentralschule für Kampfgruppen "Ernst Thälmann" [Central School for the Kampfgruppen "Ernst Thälmann"] at Schmerwitz. (Founded in 1957, the ZSfK was awarded the name "Ernst Thälmann" on the occasion of its 10th anniversary in 1967 in honor of the German Weimar-era politician and Communist leader murdered at the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1944.) The basic qualification courses for Kampfgruppen commanders lasted two and later three months, with later supplementary courses of two weeks’ length.

    The badge is a gold-colored, pentagonal screwback badge. Its red central field bears a portrait of Ernst Thälmann over a Kampfgruppen logo surrounded by an open laurel wreath. The badge was worn on the right breast of the uniform, above the other badges worn there.

    Here is the badge:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_KdrAbz_01.JPG 
Views:	219 
Size:	171.5 KB 
ID:	790364

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_KdrAbz_02.JPG 
Views:	37 
Size:	169.3 KB 
ID:	790365
    Last edited by HPL2008; 01-16-2015 at 10:22 PM.

  6. #5

    Default

    Jubiläumsabzeichen

    Like other uniformed services, the Kampfgruppen had anniversary badges that were presented to their members on the occasion of significant anniversaries for the founding of the respective service. In the NVA, such anniversary badges could be worn on the uniform on the actual date of the event and the ten days preceding it. After the anniversary, the badges were no more to be worn but were kept as a memento. While I am not aware of the exact regulations employed by the Kampfgruppen in this matter, it is probably safe to assume that they were similar or identical to those of the NVA.

    I am aware of anniversary badges for the 25th (1978), 30th (1982) and 35th (1988) anniversaries of the Kampfgruppen. Of course, by the winter of the year following their 35th anniversary, the Kampfgruppen would be de-activated, disarmed and in the process of complete disbandment.

    Here are the badges for the 25th, 30th and 35th anniversaries:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_JubAbz_01.JPG 
Views:	94 
Size:	167.9 KB 
ID:	790370

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_JubAbz_02.JPG 
Views:	59 
Size:	161.5 KB 
ID:	790369
    Last edited by HPL2008; 01-16-2015 at 10:19 PM.

  7. #6

    Default

    Here is the final piece for now, a typical example for the medal bar of a Kampfgruppen member. The decorations are, from left to right:

    • Verdienstmedaille der Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse in Bronze
    • Medaille für ausgezeichnete Leistungen in den Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse
    • Medaille für treue Dienste in den Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse in Silber
    • Medaille für treue Dienste in den Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse in Bronze


    The silver medal is quite tarnished.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_OS_01.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	111.3 KB 
ID:	790372

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_OS_02.jpg 
Views:	76 
Size:	102.8 KB 
ID:	790371
    Last edited by HPL2008; 01-16-2015 at 09:56 PM.

  8. #7
    ?

    Default

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20141117_111336_968.jpg 
Views:	76 
Size:	240.8 KB 
ID:	791007

    Here's mine, your Liestungen medal appears to have a black outline. I have seen this before and was wondering the significance, if any, of your variation?

  9. #8

    Default

    Quote by Hagen View Post
    Here's mine, your Liestungen medal appears to have a black outline. I have seen this before and was wondering the significance, if any, of your variation?
    Those are just variants without any special significance.

    For additional illustration, here are my two examples of this medal side by side. On the left is the single medal; the outline of the flag appears slightly blackened on this one. On the right is the medal from the four-place medal bar, on which the blackening is spread well beyond the flag.

    Personally, I think that even the darkened outline as such is simply a result from the heat involved in the application of the red coating in the flag. I have no doubt that its untidy spreading beyond the flag not intended.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KGr_MedAL_03.jpg 
Views:	261 
Size:	118.5 KB 
ID:	791177

    I have two period East German publications on the decorations of the GDR: Auszeichnungen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik by Frank Bartel [Berlin, 1979] and Taschenlexikon Orden und Medaillen. Staatliche Auszeichnungen der DDR by Günther Tautz [Leipzig, 1983]. A black outline around the flag is mentioned in neither publication's description of this medal, and a photograph in the former doesn't show this outline either. (The latter has no photographs, but illustrates all medals by color drawings.)

  10. #9
    ?

    Default

    I like your explanation on the heat process, makes sense. Some day I hope to get.a Frank Barrels book. I see them referenced a lot.

Similar Threads

  1. Kampfgruppen field jacket and trousers

    In Nationale Volksarmee
    02-01-2016, 04:21 AM
  2. Important! Photographing badges and medals.

    In Orders & Decorations of the Third Reich
    07-17-2013, 12:41 PM
  3. New medals and badges

    In Orders & Decorations of the Third Reich
    03-07-2013, 09:20 PM
  4. Some badges and medals

    In Orders & Decorations of the Third Reich
    06-26-2012, 11:33 AM
  5. My Third Reich medals and badges

    In Collections display
    10-27-2011, 08:57 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •