Third Party Press

My Great Grandfather's Medals

Hoskins95

Member
Here is my collection of medals and certificates handed down to me by my German family. Included is a picture of Gefreiter Kurt Bernhardt, 1st Gebirgsjäger Division, 54th Pioneer Battalion. I question on the authenticity of the general assault badge but I know the rest of the medals and paperwork are 100%. Reason being, my grandfather said it was not his original badge, no other information on what that means. Of note, they misspell his last name on a certificate and for some reason, they put the 3rd Gebirgsjäger Division on the certificates. The Wehrmacht Lexicon and all other resources clearly show the 54th Pioneer Battalion as always being attached to the 1st Gebirgsjäger Division. Any ideas on that? My German family still has his journal and they said nothing in it shows being in the 3rd. Also, it lists his crazy trek through the Balkans and Austria and combat along with some funny drawings of a bored soldier. I'd like to translate it some day but my WW2 German cursive skills are BAD.Kurt.jpg
 

byf41

Junior Member
The wound badge you have is silver, the award document is for schwarz which would be a black badge. If he was wounded again after he had the black one he could have been awarded a silver one.
You have a nice photo of your great Grandfather and a great collection of his awards.
 
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Hoskins95

Member
Interesting! At first I thought, well, maybe it's just worn off some of the matte black paint but since the schwarz badge was made from sheet brass it would look like brass. It seems like you are correct! Thanks for the comment from both of you, much appreciated. I need to get that journal professionally translated, I could learn so much from it.
 

Guillaume d'Orange

Senior Member
Here is my collection of medals and certificates handed down to me by my German family. Included is a picture of Gefreiter Kurt Bernhardt, 1st Gebirgsjäger Division, 54th Pioneer Battalion. I question on the authenticity of the general assault badge but I know the rest of the medals and paperwork are 100%. Reason being, my grandfather said it was not his original badge, no other information on what that means. Of note, they misspell his last name on a certificate and for some reason, they put the 3rd Gebirgsjäger Division on the certificates. The Wehrmacht Lexicon and all other resources clearly show the 54th Pioneer Battalion as always being attached to the 1st Gebirgsjäger Division. Any ideas on that? My German family still has his journal and they said nothing in it shows being in the 3rd. Also, it lists his crazy trek through the Balkans and Austria and combat along with some funny drawings of a bored soldier. I'd like to translate it some day but my WW2 German cursive skills are BAD.View attachment 311082
Do you know what he was doing before he was in the army ? Job, studies, sport ?
 

grimlin13

Senior Member
The War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords, needs some attention. It is made from zinc and has zinc pest. If you do not do something about it, you won`t be able to pass it down to the next generation because it will be gone or in pieces. Put some petroleum jelly on it. Remove the ribbon first. Then coat the cross with the petroleum jelly. Put the cross in a baggie and let it set for a few days in a warm place. When you take it out of baggie, wipe cross off gently with a soft cloth. You might even use a NEW toothbrush (soft bristle) to get down into the recesses. Keep a thin coat of the petroleum jelly on the cross. It will keep air and moisture out. The pest may not be all gone as it eats into the zinc over time and will cause the zinc to crumble internally. Not much you can do if that is the case, but the petroleum jelly will slow it down if not stop it. Always wear cotton gloves when handling your badges and medals (paper too). The oils (acids) in your hands/fingers wreak havoc on stuff. You should probably get some petroleum jelly on that GAB as well.
 

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