Eastern Front Medal

The Eastern Front Medal - Medaille Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42 - was a World War II German military decoration awarded to both German and Axis personnel. It was for those who served on the German Eastern Front during the "first winter campaign" period of 15 November 1941 to 15 April 1942. It was instituted on 26 May 1942 and was commonly known as the Ostmedaille (East Medal). Geographic limits were placed on its award of east of Ukraine and Ostland or in the Finnland area, east of the 1940 Russo/Finnish border. It was officially decommissioned by Oberkommando der Wehrmacht on 4 September 1944.

The medal was wryly called the Frozen Meat Medal or the "Order of the Frozen Flesh" - Gefrierfleischorden - by Heer, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS personnel to whom it was awarded. They qualified for the badge after a minimum of 14 days served in active combat; 30 days of flying personnel over enemy held land; 60 days of continuous service in a "combat zone"; being wounded or suffering a "frozen limb", severe enough to warrant the issue of a Wound Badge.

On 20 January 1943, the qualifications for the award changed to include: both combatant and non-combatant personnel (including females) in the Wehrmacht. Also, foreign members of Wehrmacht units; personnel killed or missing in action and civilians working in area factories.

Type: Military decoration
Eligibility: Military personnel & civilian personnel
Awarded: for service during the winter of 1941/42 in the Soviet Union
Campaign World War II
Status: Obsolete


Established: 26 May 1942
Last awarded: 4 September 1944
Total awarded: Over 3 million