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Klink's Honors

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Joined: 23 Jan 2009
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Location: No. Central Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:31 am    Post subject: Klink's Honors  Reply with quote

Shoulder and lapel badges are rank insignia of Oberst (Colonel.)
On his right chest is the insignia of Luftwaffe.  Other branches have a winged eagle clutching a swastika, but the others are more mechanical looking, straight lines.  The wings of a Luftwaffe eagel are more natural looking.  The yellow Background of his epaulettes and lapels indicate Luftwaffe as well.

On his left tunic, bottom - up and left to right

Eagle clutching a swastika is a Pilot's Badge.  This indicates he passed a test which allows him to fly a plane.  You might call it his 'wings.'

Eagle clutcing a swatstika in front of a cloud which has a lightnig bolt extending to the ground is a Lufwaffe Ground Combat Badge.  At some point Klink was, during WWII, was involved in some ground assault.

Iron Cross and Spange. The Iron cross (Eisernes Kreuz) is a galantry badge earned for some act of heroism, somewhat akin to a bronze star.  The eagle above is a Spange which translates  as 'bar'.  This means he earned the Iron Cross in WWI. Since he earned his first EK in WWI embossed on the bottom of the lower cross arm should be the year "1914".  Those awarded in WWII would have "1939" embossed.   When he earned an Iron Cross again in WWII, rather than giving him another EK, he is given a Spange, the eagle pinned above it.  This has "1939" embossed in the lower bar of this Spange.   There are two levels of Iron Cross.  2nd class and the higher level, 1st class.  The actual metal badge is the same, but it comes with a ribbon for placing around one's neck.  It is usually only used ceremonially, when the EK is awareded.  After that the ribbon is removed and only the medal worn on the tunic.  A black and white striped ribbon indicates 2nd class, a Red, white and black striped ribbon indicates 1st class.  A service ribbon is also part of the award whcih is worn on a bar above the left hand pocket.  Sometimes you will see a ribbon fastened under a tunic button, then folded under.  This is also signifies the wearer is a EK recipient.  Not sure why some wear it and some don't.  

edit: Incidentally, this '[Cross pattée' decoration is neither Nazi, nor German specific.  It is a very ancient form of award, dating back to the Teutonic Knights and the Roman Empire... maybe older.  The modern German Army still issues it.  Some of other countries' medals have this type of cross as well

A cross worn at the neck is a higher level of Iron cross, called the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross and it has a number of levels.  I'll discuss it in other postings, probably General Burkhalter.

The ribbon bar above Klink's pocket.  This is not authentic.  It is just a mish mash of different colored ribbons.  This type of props department ribbon bar shows up quite often on numerous characters on HH.  This is the only part of Klink's awards that changes.  I have some screen capstures of him with what appear to be an authentic ribbon bar.  I will post it when I find it.  I seem to recall that one ribbon on his ribbon bar was black and white which would seem to indicate his EK was EK2, Iron Cross 2nd class.

Except for the ribbon bar, his badges on his uniform are either authentic, or reasonably authentic replicas and consistent through-out the series.
Karl as in Cpl. Karl Langenscheidt

Raus! Everybody raus mit euch!

Last edited by Karl on Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:35 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very cool!!!!
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to be a bit of a German military badge collector and have looked at the smaller, more "authentic" looking  ribbon bar that Klink wears in other episodes, as well as Schultz's ribbon bar.  On the shorter version of Klink's ribbon bar, to the viewer's far right (wearer's left), in its proper place, is a medium blue ribbon with eagle/swastika on it, which is a long service award.  On the opposite end is the WW-I EK2, which he would of course have gotten since he has the EK1 with spange.  In the episode I saw it, the EK2 ribbon did not have a spange on it, which would be incorrect, since Klink had the spange for his EK1.  There were 2 or 3 other ribbons on that bar that I couldn't make out.

Schultz appears to have an Anschluss ribbon in addition to the long service ribbon and a couple others I couldn't make out.  

As far as the much longer ribbon bar he has in the picture posted above, The main thing that leads me to believe it is incorrect is that it does not appear to have a long service medal on it, which is a very easy ribbon to spot since it is all blue.  Outside of Klink's apparent ineptitude (though he DOES have an EK1 in both world wars!) it is not impossible for an officer to have that many ribbons.  Though there were comparatively few German ribbons in WW-II (but a LOT of badges), there were TONS of ribbons in WW-I.  Germany was an Empire made up of  Kingdoms, Arch-Duchies, Principalities, Duchies, the Hanseatic states and some free cities that all  had their own medals in addition to those of the empire itself.  For example, the Duchy of Anhalt gave out the Friedrich-Kreuz along with several others and the Kingdom of Wurttemberg had a Militärverdienstorden or "Order of Military Merit."  In all there were over 20 states that issued medals and some of them had over 20 different medals/orders, many of which came in several classes.  In all, there were literally hundreds of different ribbons awarded in WW-I Germany when you combine all of the different classes of the various orders and medals.

Their crammed together look was not uncommon either, though this is an unusually large number of ribbons.  German ribbon regulations, at least in WW-I, only specified the height of the ribbon, 17mm.  The most common width was 15mm, but they came as large as 25mm and as small as 12.5mm.  These look like maybe 12.5mm or maybe a mix of 12.5 and 15mm.  One looks like a WW-II War Merit Medal.

We really need to get a better picture of these and those of other characters.  It would be fun to check them out!  They almost certainly are implausible for Klink, though it would be fun to know just how implausible.  The smaller ribbon bar I saw in other episodes looks very plausible however.

I might also make a small correction to Karl's post, the black and white striped version of the EK ribbon is for WW-I, the black white and red version is for WW-II.  The EK1 was strictly a breast cross and did not have a corresponding ribbon.  The EK2 did have a ribbon but was never worn around the neck.  However, the Knights Cross version WAS suspended from a neck ribbon, as Karl says later... so I think the earlier thing about the neck ribbon was just a typo.

Interestingly, it was very common for the EK2 ribbon to be worn through the 2nd buttonhole of the tunic.  I have tried to supply a link below to a picture of a highly decorated paratrooper that has an EK2 with roll of honor clasp through his buttonhole. The link should be at the bottom.

I believe that this practice started because the medals did not come with a pin and late in the war you usually did not get a separate ribbon for your ribbon bar. No Kidding!  So there was often nothing to be pinned on for an award ceremony, especially in the field.  You couldn't even be handed a nice hinged box with your medal in it, since they came in cheesy envelopes late in the war! So, when they were awarded, it was common to stuff the ribbon of the medal through the tunic buttonhole rather than pin it on.  The German ribbon bars, other than single ribbons, were pretty much custom made.  Those of you that have been in U.S. service know that our ribbons slide onto a separate bar that has pinbacks and that the bars come in various standard lengths from 1-5 ribbons wide.  The Germans just did not have such a thing.  You could get individual ribbons with a pin on their back, but there was no modular system for multiple ribbons like the U.S. has.  

Even when a soldier had some ribbons on a regular ribbon bar, they'd often have their EK2 through the buttonhole.  In those cases I think they did it for show, because the award was a bit more prestigious.  I have also seen this done with the Eastern Front Medal and I think I've even seen the War Merit Medal that way.  But things like the West Wall Defense Medal would never be anywhere but a ribbon bar for regular wear, even if they got shoved through the buttonhole at the award ceremony.

Sorry for the length of the post, I'm a professor and tend to get long winded!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the contrary, we like long winded as long as the wind is informative.

In the movie Valkyrie, that displays the war exploits of Col. von Stauffenberg, there are a couple scenes, one with a good up close view of his tunic above the pocket.  There is clearly a few 'stitches' where a 'ganged' bar for holding multiple ribbons. (he is not, in these scenes wearing his ribbons)  Is this then a historical inaccuracy?

Karl as in Cpl. Karl Langenscheidt

Raus! Everybody raus mit euch!
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