The Eastern Medal or "Medaille Winterschlacht im Osten" 1942/42, translated “Winter Battle in the East 1941/42 Medal”, was a military award of the German Wehrmacht created by ordinance of Adolph Hitler on 26 May 1942. This medal was awarded to any member of the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS in recognition of experience in the struggle against the Bolshevik enemy and the Russian Winter within the period from 15 November 1941 to 15 April 1942. It was also awarded posthumously to any service member who died in the line of duty within the Soviet Union. German soldiers nicknamed it the “Frozen Meat Medal" or the "Order of the Frozen Flesh” due to the horrendous cold and icy conditions encountered there.
This medal is a die struck piece made of zinc alloy and at some point had a silver wash on the outer rim and helmet, much of which has gone to time. The center section has a blued gunmetal colored finish. The outer rim features a German helmet and stick grenade centered above a Wehrmacht-style eagle gripping a swastika over a laurel leaf sprig. The reverse of the medal has a recessed rim with a smooth background embossed with "Winterschlacht Im Osten 1941/42" above a crossed sword and laurel leaves. According to the Fantastic website The Ostmedaille-database this piece is attributed to maker15 Friedrich Orth/Wien and is rated as "Quite Rare" A very nice example in fine condition. Full sized files available upon request.