Germany Third Reich (1933-1945)


The Third Reich period in German history is the era of national socialism under Adolf Hitler from January 30, 1933 to the end of the Second World War, May 8, 1945. Under his dictatorship remilitarization of Germany, culminating in the war, created the need for an entirely new line of both military and civil decorations.

The military decorations encompass all military organizations of this time, including the Condor Legion and all three branches of the Wehrmacht, the Heer (Army), Luftwaffe (Air Force), and the Kriegsmarine (Navy). The civil decorations include everything non-military, sports badges, and awards of the NSDAP and various other organizations, like the Hitler Youth and the German Red Cross. A small portion focuses on the awards of the Free City of Danzig, as well as Third Reich-related organisations that already operated during the interwar period, like the Stahlhelm League or the Technical Emergency Help, better known as TeNo.

The two main identifiers that make a regular Third Reich decoration more collectable are the composition and the maker. The material used can greatly influence the price and desirability of a decoration. As a general rule, early decorations were made of what was called “Buntmetall” (coloured metal), an umbrella term for several alloys, including tombac, nickel silver, bronze, or brass. Shortly after the beginning of the war some companies switched to aluminum for badge production. However, due to it being cheap and abundant, by ca. 1942 all companies had settled on zinc as their material of choice. The Collector Tools feature an extensive list of Third Reich makers of decorations, complete with their LDO and PKZ numbers.

Sources


Ailsby, Christopher. A Collector’s Guide to the Kriegsmarine. Ian Allen Publishing Ltd., 2007.
Angolia, John R. Belt Buckles and Brocades of the Third Reich. San Jose: R.J. Bender Publ, 1982.
Angolia, John R. Cloth Insignia of the NSDAP and SA. R. James Bender Publishing, 1985.
Angolia, John R. Daggers, Bayonets, & Fighting Knives of Hitler’s Germany. R. James Bender Publishing, 1971.
Angolia, John R. Swords of Germany, 1900/1945. R. James Bender Publishing, 1988.
Angolia, John R. The HJ, Vol. 1. R. James Bender Publishing, 1991.
Angolia, John R. The HJ, Vol. 2. R. James Bender Publishing, 1992.
Angolia, John R. and Adolf Schlicht. Uniforms and Traditions of the German Army 1933–1945, Vol. 1. R. James Bender Publishing, 1984.
Angolia, John R. and Adolf Schlicht. Uniforms and Traditions of the German Army 1933–1945, Vol. 2. R. James Bender Publishing, 1986.
Angolia, John R. and Adolf Schlicht. Uniforms and Traditions of the German Army 1933–1945, Vol. 3. R. James Bender Publishing, 1987.
Angolia, John R. and David Littlejohn. Labor Organizations of the Third Reich. R. James Bender Publishing, 1999.
Angolia, John R. and David Littlejohn. NSKK-NSFK. Uniforms, Organisation & History. R. James Bender Publishing, 1994.
Baer, Ludwig. History of the German Steel Helmet, 1916-1945. R. James Bender Publishing, 1985.
Bender, Roger James. Legion Condor. Uniforms, Organization and History. R. James Bender Publishing, 1992.
Davis, Brian L. German Army Uniforms and Insignia 1933–1945. Brockhampton Press, 1988.
Davis, Brian L. Uniforms and Insignia of the Luftwaffe. Volume 1: 1933-1940. Arms and Armour Press, 1991.
Davis, Brian L. Uniforms and Insignia of the Luftwaffe. Volume 2: 1940-1945. Arms and Armour Press, 1995.
Fisher, Daniel and Oliver Lock. Einheitsfeldmütze. Military Mode Publishing, 2012.
Halcomb, Jill. The SA. A Historical Perspective. Crown/Agincourt Publishers, 1985.
Halcomb, Jill, Wilhelm P.B.R. Saris, and Otto Spronk. Headgear of Hitler’s Germany. Mountain View: R. James Bender Publishing, 1989.
Herzfeld, Andreas. Die Rimann’sche Sammlung deutscher Autoflaggen und Kfz-Stander. Band 1 - Deutschland bis 1945. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Flaggenkunde e.V., 2013.
Johnson, Thomas M. Vol. 1 of Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich. Columbia: Self-Published, 1975.
Johnson, Thomas M. Vol. 2 of Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich. Columbia: Self-Published, 1976.
Johnson, Thomas M. Vol. 3 of Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich. Columbia: Self-Published, 1978.
Johnson, Thomas M. Vol. 4 of Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich. Columbia: Self-Published, 1981.
Johnson, Thomas M. Vol. 5 of Collecting the Edged Weapons of the Third Reich. Columbia: Self-Published, 1985.
Ley, Robert ed. Organisationsbuch der NSDAP. Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1938 (5th edition).
Littlejohn, David. The Hitler Youth. Agincourt Publishers, 1988.
Littlejohn, David and C.M. Dodkins. Vol 1 of Orders, Decorations, and Badges of the Third Reich. Mountain View: R. James Bender Publishing, 1968.
Littlejohn , David and C.M. Dodkins. Vol 2 of Orders, Decorations, and Badges of the Third Reich. Mountain View: R. James Bender Publishing, 1973.
Morgan, Pat and Jon Maguire. German Headgear in World War II. Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1997.
Niemann, Detlev. Price Guide: Orders and Decorations, Germany 1871-1945. 2nd ed. Hamburg: Niemann Verlag, 2004.
Niewiarowicz, Ken. Germany’s Helmets, 1933-1945: A Modern Study. R. James Bender Publishing, 2009.
Nimmergut, Jörg. Anhalt-Hohenzollern. Vol. 1 of Deutsche Orden und Ehrenzeichen bis 1945. Zentralstelle für Wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, 1997.
Nimmergut, Jörg. Limburg-Reuss. Vol 2 of Deutsche Orden und Ehrenzeichen bis 1945. Zentralstelle für Wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, 1997.
Nimmergut, Jörg. Sachsen-Württemberg I. Vol 3 of Deutsche Orden und Ehrenzeichen bis 1945. Zentralstelle für Wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, 1997.
Nimmergut, Jörg. Sachsen-Württemberg II - Deutsches Reich. Vol 4 of Deutsche Orden und Ehrenzeichen bis 1945. Zentralstelle für Wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, 1997.
Nimmergut, Jörg. Deutsche Orden und Ehrenzeichen, 1800-1945. Battenburg: Gietl Verlag, 2008.
Saris, Wilhelm P.B.R. Aiguillettes of the Third Reich. R. James Bender Publishing, 2007.
Tucker, Michael F. Vol 1 of German Combat Badges of the Third Reich. Richmond: Windidore Press, 2002.
Weber, Sascha and Gerhard R. Skora. Vol 1 of The Kriegsmarine Awards. B&D Publishing, 2001.
Wheeler, George T. Seitengewehr: History of the German Bayonet, 1919-1945. Mountain View: R. James Bender Publishing, 1999.
Wilkins, Gary. A Collector’s Guide to Cloth Third Reich Military Headgear. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2002.Wehrmacht-Awards.com: http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/
Helmut Weitze Militärische Antiquitäten KG: https://www.weitze.com/
Oakleaf Militaria, Inc.: http://www.oakleafmilitaria.com/index.html
German Militaria: http://www.germanmilitaria.com/
German Daggers.com: http://www.germandaggers.com/
eMedals Inc.: https://www.emedals.com/
Wittmann Antique Militaria: http://www.wwiidaggers.com/welcome.htm
Johnson Reference Books & Militaria: http://www.johnsonreferencebooks.com/
German-Helmets.com: http://www.german-helmets.com/
War Relics Forum: http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/
Ulric of England Fine Miliaria: http://www.ulricofengland.com/
Feldgrau.com: http://www.feldgrau.com/

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