World War II 1936 German "Blue Division" Spanish Civil War Volunteer Medal Item #0768
1936 German "Blue Division" Spanish Volunteer Medal (Late Spanish Government Issued)
The award presented to the legions was the “Erinnerungsmedaille für die Spanischen Freiwilligen’ im Kampf gegen den Bolschewismus”, or “Commemorative Medal for Spanish Volunteers in the Struggle against Bolshevism.. Known as the “Blue Division Medal”, it was instituted on January 3rd 1944 to recognize the 250th Infantry Division.
The “Blue Division Medal” was die struck in zinc alloy with a bronze wash. It was produced by the Deschler und Sohn firm, and measured 32mm in diameter and 1mm in width.
It featured on the bottom obverse a swastika with a spray of laurel leaves emanating from each side, with the leaves arranged differently on both ends. A Military sword crossed the center, with two shields superimposed on it. These shields were flat toped with a pointed bottom, on the left one was the Wehrmacht eagle while the other featured the Falangists crushed arrows. Directly above the shields was an M-43 German helmet facing left, with the faint outline of the Wehrmacht Eagle on it.
The reverse bottom had an Iron Cross, with the ribbon spread above it intertwined with a spread of leaves on both sides. On the left, these were laurels while on the right they were oak leaves. In the center, the medal bore the inscription DIVISION ESPANOLA DE VOLUNTARIOS EN RUSIA” (Division of Spanish Volunteers in Russia) in capital letters. On top of the medal was the ribbon ring, through which a ribbon loop was placed which was normally stamped with the number “1”. The ribbon was 30mm wide, with a 4mm black edge, a 2mm white stripe and an 18mm red center band with a 3mm yellow stripe on this red.
The medal was presented on a maroon box with paper hinge or in an envelope in which the entire name of the award was written in gothic script. In both cases the award was wrapped in tissue paper.
It is interesting to note that Franco allowed the wear of Nazi Germany awards in their original form after the war and therefore the “Blue Division” medal was officially produced in Spain as a replacement piece for veterans. Because their wear was officially sanctioned, these are not considered reproductions.