Spanish Blue Division Awards

    Spanish Blue Division Oficial Shield

    Blue Division Shield

    By the order of the German Army High Command an oficial Spanish national shield was authorized to be worn on uniform on 9 July 1941. The shield is machine weave, normally referred by collectors as BeVo because of the "Bevo-Wuppertal" firm, which used to manufacture many foreign legion insignias. Spanish made shields were also made and worn as well as printed types.

    Spanish Blue Division Dog-Tag

    Blue Division Dogtag Blue Division Dogtag

    Rare Spanish Blue Division "Erkennungsmarken" (Dog-Tag) from the collection of Mario de Cocq.

    Spanish Eastern Front Award

    The Spanish Government under Francisco Franco produced and issued many awards to volunteers and "Falange" party members. One of the most recognizable and prestigious awards is the Commemorative Medal for Spanish Volunteers in the Struggle against Bolshevism. However, this award was issued by the German Government and later reproduced by the Spanish Goverment as replacement piece for veterans.

    The Spanish Eastern Front Medal

    Blue Division Medal Blue Division Medal

    The "Erinnerungsmedaille fur die Spanischen Freiwilligen im Kampf gegen den Bolschewismus" (Commemorative Medal for Spanish Volunteers in the Struggle against Bolshevism) is also referred as the Spanish Blue Division Eastern Front medal.

    It was instituted on 3rd January 1944 to recognize the 250th Infantry Division. The medal was die struck in zinc alloy with a bronze wash. It shows on the bottom obverse a swastika with a spray of laurel leafs emanating from each side. The leafs are arranged differently on both ends. A sword crosses the center with two shields superimposed on it. The shield on the left shows the Wehrmacht eagle while the other featured the Falangists crushed arrows. Directly above the shields is an M-43 German helmet facing left, with the faint outline of the Wehrmacht Eagle on it.
    The reverse bottom has an Iron Cross, with the ribbon spread above it intertwined with a spread of leaves on both sides. On the left it shows laurels while on the right oak leaves. In the center, the medal bore the inscription "DIVISION ESPAÑOLA DE VOLUNTARIOS EN RUSSIA" (Division of Spanish Volunteers in Russia).

    On top of the medal, the ribbon ring normally is stamped with the number "1," which indicates that it was produced by the Deschler und Sohn firm. The medal measures 32mm in diameter and 1mm in width. The ribbon is 30mm wide, in the center is a 3mm yellow stripe followed by two wide red stripes then two white stripes and two black edges. The Spanish medal shows the German Eastern Front ribbon intead of the Spanish. 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. A German award Certificate was issued with the award.

    Spanish Volunteer Medal
    Blue Division Cross

    The Spanish Government presented the Division with a commemorative medal of its own. This award was surmounted by a Spanish Crown, with its main feature being a Spanish Eagle with an enamel Iron Cross in the center, representative of the collaboration between the nations. The reverse shows the Kremlin and the inscription "Rusia 1941," denoting that the struggle was in the East. It was held by a white ribbon that had on either side with the national colors of Spain and the Third Reich.

    The medal was presented to all Spanish Volunteers that fought in Russia. Because the swastika was not outlawed in Spain following the war, veterans continued to wear their awards as originally designed so there are post production awards.

    The Spanish post-WW2 medal is illustrated on the left side. The design features shown in the obverse and reverse are quite different compared to the pre-war made award posted on the right side.



    Blue Division Cross

    However, these post-war medals are not considered reproductions as the Spanish Government officially sanctioned them. The pre-war award was issued in a box with the inscription "MEDALLA DE TROPA-DONATIVO DEL MINISTERIO DEL EJERCITO" (Troop Medal-Donated by the Army Ministry). They were made by the Spanish firm Diez Co. of Madrid.

    Spanish War Cross for Enlisted

    Spanish War Cross

    The Spanish War Cross was instituted on 14 March 1942 and awarded for distinguished acts or services that proved especially effective in the outcome of a battle or combat. In the center of the cross with swords has the royal crown, which is attached separately.
    The cross was also awarded with palms indicating that the recipient performed a higher rated act but not sufficient for an award of the Individual Military Merit Medal or a field-promotion.
    This award was made by the Spanish firm Egaña and came in a small blue carton box.

    Officers and NCO's received breast stars (with or without palms) based on the 1937-42 type and a Grand Cross, hanging from a sash badge can be awarded to general officers.

    Spanish Blue Division Medal Bar

    Spanish Blue Div. Bar

    Seven piece medal display bar worn by a highly decorated Blue Division veteran.
    The following medals are shown from left to right:
    the Red Military Merit Cross, which was established on 17 June 1936 commemorating the start of Franco's campaign.
    Next is the Campaign Medal, which was commonly awarded to members of the Condor Legion.
    The "Sufrimiento por la Patria" (Suffering for the Homeland) medal with the blue enameled was only awarded to Officers. The yellow ribbon with a red cross indicates a wound obtained in combat.
    Next is the Spanish governmemt issued Blue Division medal showing an eagle with an Iron Cross.
    The recipient was awarded with the German 2nd class Iron Cross.
    Next award is the Commemorative Medal for Spanish Volunteers in the Struggle against Bolshevism.
    The last award is the German Eastern Front medal.
    From the collection of Mr. Luis Navarro.

    Spanish Blue Div. Bar

    Spanish veteran service bar from left to right:
    On top shows a light blue ribbon bar, which represents the War Cross for enlisted.
    Next is a red with white stripe ribbon bar representing the red Military Merit Cross.
    The white ribbon bar is for the Spanish Blue Division volunteer medal.

    Below is one of the most recognizable German war bars, the Iron Cross 2nd class.
    Next is the German Eastern Front ribbon bar.
    The last bar shows the ribbon colors of the Commemorative Medal for Spanish Volunteers in the Struggle against Bolshevism.
    This bar belong to a Spanish veteran, from the collection of Mr. Luis Navarro.

    Spanish Eastern Front Award Documents

    Blue Division Doc.

    Rare Spanish Eastern Front award document dated in November 1943. During this period the Blue Division was being withdrawn to Spain. The document is hand written and has been signed by the German Commander of the 18th Army, Generaloberst Lindemann. This document is part of the collection of Mr. Luis Navarro.

    Blue Division Doc.

    The red Cross Merit medal document dated December 1st 1942. This Spanish document was awarded to a Spaniard in the Blue Division. The document has been signed by General Muños Grandes.
    Posted in the Document is the Merit Cross in Red.

    Spanish Falange Badge

    Spanish Falange Badge Spanish Falange Badge

    A large percentage of Spaniards that volunteered to fight in the Eastern Front were members of Falangist movement (Franco's fascist party), which was the only legal party allowed in Spain. These volunteers were allowed to wear on their German uniforms a blue shirt hence the reference of the Spanish Blue Division. The blue shirt was a symbolic representation of the Falalgist party. Another popular party emblem was the Falange "Yoke-and-Arrows." The emblem comes from the period of the Catholic Kings of Spain (Fernando and Ysabel). The yoke is an ancient symbol for Queen Ysabel, and the arrows the symbol for King Fernando. The badge shown above was worn on German uniform, on the side of the cap and attached in the center of the national shield. The reverse shows a security pin attached by means of a small circular plate. The badge is made of zinc and was manufactured in Mallorca, Spain.

    Blue Division Collection

    Blue Division Collection

    In the background is a very rare Spanish Blue Division campaign newspaper printed in Riga, Latvia in June 1943. In front shows an official war press picture showing Spaniards in the Eastern Front, dated January 8, 1942. On top of the picture is a charity label. Next to it is a rare postcard sleeve pocket showing the divisions national shield. Below on the corner are membership pins for the Falangist and Spanish Blue Division veterans. The shield shown is Spanish made and issued to Blue Divison veterans.

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