Campaign(s) World War II
Established 16 March, 1936
|Eligibility Military personnel|
|Awarded for long service in the Wehrmacht|
The Wehrmacht Long Service Award (German: Wehrmacht-Dienstauszeichnung) was a military service decoration of Nazi Germany issued for satisfactory completion of a number of years in military service. On 16 March, 1936, Adolf Hitler ordered the institution of service awards for the first four classes. Thereafter, on 10 March, 1939, the 40 years service award was introduced.
Each branch of the Wehrmacht (army, navy, and air force) maintained their own version of the Long Service Award and the decoration was issued for four years (fourth class), 12 years (third class), 18 years (second class), 25 years (first class), and 40 years (1939 special class).
Professor Dr Richard Klein designed the awards. Recipients of lower year awards would wear the decoration simultaneously with higher level decorations. The manner they could be worn was:
The Long Service Award was retroactive throughout a service member's career, encompassing Reichswehr service as well as service dating during and before World War I. As such, there were a handful of 40 year awards presented, even though the Nazi era only lasted 12 years (1933-1945).
SS Long Service Award
The SS maintained their own Long Service Award given in grades of four years, eight years, 12 years, 25 years, and 40 years (though this class was never awarded).
Nazi Party and Police Long Service Awards
The Nazi Party and German Police had a similar service award. The NSDAP Long Service Award was given in grades of ten, 15, and 25 years. The Police Long Service Award was given in grades of eight, 18, 25, and 40 years (though the last class was never awarded).