The Ostmedaille, also known as the Russian Front Medal, was instituted by Adolf Hitler in May of 1942. Serving to commemorate the first Russian winter campaign, it was issued to personnel on the basis of four criteria. The main qualification having served fourteen days in combat between November 1941 and April 1942. Constructed of die struck alloy, the circular medal features the national eagle clutching a swastika with an oak sprig behind. Inscribed on the reverse, “Winterschlacht Im Osten 1941/42” translates to “Winter Battle in the East 1941/42”. A period original rayon ribbon is attached by loop and suspension ring connecting to the Stahlhelm over Stielhandgranate rim.
Additionally the medal is accompanied by it’s original paper packet, featuring the maker stamp “C.F. Zimmermann Pforzheim” on the reverse. Furthermore the paper packet’s tissue is included which was regularly discarded. Included with the award is a period single medal bar with a felt pin backing. As it is a single bar, it would have been worn on the soldier’s field blouse. Also included is a miniature privately purchased Ostmedaille lapel pin which were permitted for wear on civilian clothing.
Lastly, the grouping is completed by the soldier’s award document issued to Unteroffizier Walter Strenge. Strenge served in the 11th company of the 46th Infantry Regiment as part of the Wehrmacht’s 30th Infantry Division. Due to Strenge’s rank, he likely served during the 30th’s campaigns through both Belgium and France before Russia. Before Operation Barbarossa, the 30th was on standby as part of the plans for Operation Sea Lion, but moved to Army Group North as part of the 16th Army in June of 1941. The award document is properly stamped and signed, but due to the quality of signature I have made little progress in determining who it belongs to.