Institution of the Cholm Shield

This campaign shield that distinguished the members of the Wehrmacht who fought in the fierce battle of Cholm was created shortly after the end of the battle. The institution process and presentation criteria are covered in this segment.

The Cholm Shield was instituted on 1st July 1942 and was to reward all the persons who where honorably involved in the battle of Cholm . It was the second campaign shield instituted in German military history and is the rarest among these officially instituted campaign shields, with only about 5,500 awarded. The original decree for the newly instituted award was published in the " Reichsgesetzblatt " as following :

Article 1 :

As a remembrance for the three month defense of Cholm against a powerful and numerically superior enemy, I create the Cholm Shield

Article 2 :

The Cholm Shield is to be worn on the left arm

Article 3 :

The Cholm Shield is awarded as a battle award to Wehrmacht personnel and all personnel attached to the Wehrmacht, who honorably took part in the defense of the city of Cholm. The award is given in my name , the defender of Cholm ; Theodor Scherer

Article 4 :

The recipient also receives an award document

Article 5 :

The institution regulations are issued from the Chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht Führerhauptquartier , 1st July 1942 The Führer Adolf Hitler The Chief of the Oberkommando des Heeres Keitel

The dates that came into question for a possible award of the Cholm Shield were between 21.01.1942 and 05.05.1942, both days inclusive. Any person who was honorably involved inside the pocket during these days could receive the award . Landing by plane-- any kind, motorized or non- motorized-- in the enclosed area was also a criteria for receiving the award . The dropping of supply containers could not be taken into consideration for a possible award. (As an example : persons from the KG 4 who where involved in dropping supply containers were not eligible for the award of the Cholm Shield. )

The deadline for proposal of the award was closed at 31.12.1942 , and the awarding ceased officially on 01.04.1943. This deadline was, however, changed and awards were actually made until 30.01.1944.  From that time on no Cholm Shield could be awarded anymore.  The awardees received an award document and the appropriate entry was made in the soldier's personal papers (Wehrpass, Soldbuch , Wehrstammbuch).

The Cholm Shield was to be worn on the left upper arm of the military uniform.  It could also be worn on all Party (NSDAP) uniforms, including all organizations that fell under NSDAP control .  For civilian clothes a miniature Cholm Shield (Stickpin) was authorized and was to be worn on the left lapel of a suit.

An award could be made posthumously-- in that case the Cholm Shield (one example) and the award document were to be sent to the next off kin.

Unauthorized wear of the shield was considered a crime and was to be punished as such .