Awards · Military Medals

The Defence Wall Honour Award

West Wall Medal Document

This medal which is more commonly called the West Wall Medal was originally issued for the construction of the German Siegfried line in response to the France Marginot Line. Instituted on the 2nd of August 1939, it was given both to Civilian Construction workers for ten weeks labour or for 3 weeks service for the military for fortification service. The first actual award of this medal took place on the 23rd November 1939 when Adolf Hitler awarded Dr Fritz Todt, as well as other high ranking officers and party officials this award. It should be noted that members of the armed forces who had
received the Memel or Oct 1938 medal were not authorised for this award, although several men did in fact acquire it.

West Wall Medal Early and West Wall Medal Late for Comparison FrontThe award was re-instituted again in 1944 on the 10th of October by Hitler as a reward and also encouragement to both soldier and construction workers who had been working on both the channel defences and later the Siegfried line to bolster their defence of Germany as well as morale. Members who held the awards were authorised a bar. To date, no known example has surfaced.

The award in both cases is the same, only the metal composition changed. The award is oval shaped and to the front is a nazi army eagle holding a swastika over a crossed sword and spade, with a pill box below. On the edges are a wreath ofWest Wall Medal Early and West Wall Medal Late for Comparison Back oak leaves. To the reverse it has again, the oak leaves wreath with the letters “Fur Arbeit Zum Schutze Deutschlands” (For work on the defence of Germany) to the centre. The award is made of bronzed/brass firstly but this gave way to bronzed zinc for the 1944 issues. The award suspends from a brown and white ribbon that ranked below the Iron Cross, War merit Cross etc Just behind the occupation awards.

Most collectors will have the 2nd pattern type in their collections, but the first early brass types are well worth hunting down. When awarded, the medal usually came in a paper packet with the title to the front and the maker’s name to the reverse. One type that turns up more than any is worth noting and that is “CARL POELTATH SCHROBENHAUSEN”. Many people have been concerned by these, as a large number appeared on the market place in about 1989. All were in near mint and the paper award packets are mint, but what concerned some people are the spelling mistakes that have condemned thEarly Packeted West Wall Medal Frontese all as fake. The fault lies in the place name which does have on some, a spelling mistake, but the confusion is then compounded by some people’s misunderstanding of the German font used. On some paper packets, the town’s name appears to look like “Schrobenhanfen” whereas it should be “Schrobenhausen”. This is correct, but what has not been taken into account is firstly the letters are put in by hand and a “u” has been put in upside down making it an “n” and that the font we are used to, has the “s” in “SchrobenhauSen” appearing like the letter “f” . This is further confirmed when you turn over the paper packet and read the front. It is “Deutsches” but appears as “Deutfches”.

Early Packeted West Wall Medal BackThe award also came with a citation that took on many different forms, but all follow the same lay out and have the man’s name and unit typed or written into it, with a seal or stamp to the bottom of the document..

Price of Award

You should expect to pay about £25.00 for a late war type in paper packet and about £45.00 for an early award. As for copies, probably due to the large number of originals the only ones we have seen have been cheap lead examples. For more information refer Jamie Cross Collectibles.


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