War II Medals can be classified into two categories: Military and
Political. The military medals were rendered to soldiers who normally
participated in campaigns or performed heroic deeds while political
awards were given to those who provided service to their countries.
This article will emphasize on the types of military medals and
badges produced by Axis Countries and Foreign Legions that provided
military and political support to Germany. However, this article
on Axis awards would not do justice without mentioning German war
medals, which took certain precedence and were considered honorary
awards to those foreign soldiers that fought along side the Germans.
Such an award was the German highest decoration, the Knight Cross
of the Iron Cross or "Ritterkreuz," which was awarded to 7600 Germans
out of 15 million men that participated in World War II. About 465
Waffen-SS men including foreigners received the Knight Cross. The
following is a list of Foreigners in the Waffen-SS who received
the Knight Cross:
As indicated each Axis country produced and awarded their own military medals and badges. The following illustrations shown are just a few of the types of campaign medals or badges that were awarded to soldiers who participated on the Eastern Front.