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Medaille Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42 [Eastern Winter Campaign 1941/42 Medal]

Object | Accession Number: 2012.452.1

Eastern Winter 1941-1942 Campaign Medal [Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42] issued to an unnamed German soldier for participation in the first winter campaign of Operation Barbarossa, the German offensive against the Soviet Union, November 15, 1941 - April 15, 1942. Sometimes known as the Ostmedaille (East Medal) or Russian Front Medal, it was introduced on May 26, 1942. The conquest of Russia had been a core aim of Hitler's since the 1920s: Germany needed the living space in Eastern Europe and it needed to eliminate the Communist threat, which to Hitler was also part of the worldwide Jewish conspiracy. Germany launched Operation Barbarossa on June 22, 1941, attacking the Soviet Union along an 1800 mile front with the largest invading force in history to that point. The losses on both sides were enormous. By July, the Germans had advanced to within 200 miles of Moscow, but were pushed back to Smolensk by a Red Army counteroffensive in December. The Germans resumed the offensive in summer 1942 and reached the outskirts of Stalingrad in September. The German Army was defeated there in February 1943 and the Soviets maintained the offensive on the Eastern front until the end of the war. German Armed Forces in the west surrendered unconditionally on May 7, 1945, and in the east on May 9, 1945.

commemoration:  1941 November 15-1942 April 15
issue:  after 1942 May 26-before 1944 September 04
issue: Germany
Military Insignia
Object Type
Medals, German (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of William King
Record last modified: 2023-02-13 10:53:54
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