This West Wall medal was created on August 2nd, 1939 by World War II Germany to recognize those soldiers of the Wehrmacht (German Armed Forces) who designed and built the fortifications on Germany's western borders and the troops who were stationed there prior to May 1940, and was awarded up until 31 Jan. 1941 for the first issue. A total of 622,000 were awarded to qualified "soldaten" (soldiers).

The medal itself is oval in shape, and was created from bronzed brass. The obverse contained a bunker and above it a shovel and sword crossed, and of course, above all the German state eagle. On the reverse the words "Für Arbeit zum Schutze Deutschlands" appeared, which translates as "For Work in The Defense (Protection) of Germany." The medal was suspended from a orangeish ribbon with two vertical white stripes set just in from the edges. This was the same ribbon pattern used to represent this medal's award on a ribbon bar. It was usually presented in a brown paper packet to the soldier along with an award certificate.

With the Allies invading France and coming closer to Germany, especially after D-Day, the German High Command realized it was necessary to re-strengthen the frontal lines of the fatherland. Soldiers were once again sent to built fortifications along the West wall area,or the "Siegfried" line, and the West Wall medals were once again produced and issued. This time the medal was constructed of in Bronzed zinc, as opposed to the brass - a cheaper construction. A bar with the date "1944" was authorized to be clasped onto the ribbon for those who already held the 1939 award, but it was never mass-produced for unknown reasons.

The medal is now a collector's item and can usually be purchased from a reputable dealer, in excellent condition, for about $35 USD.

Here one can view a picture of the ( front and the ( reverse of the medal.

Sources for specific data & photos:,

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