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SS 12 Years Long Service Cross - Award

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SS Long Service Awards (German: SS-Dienstauszeichnungen) were given in grades of four years, eight years, twelve years, twenty-five years, and forty years. The four and eight-year service awards were in the form of circular medals while the 12 and 25-year service awards were in the form of swastikas.The SS service awards were designed in Munich by Professor Karl Diebitsch. The awards varied in design depending on the length of service of the recipient.According to historian Chris Ailsby the awards ceased to be given at the end of 1941.

The branches of the Wehrmacht (Luftwaffe, Heer and Kriegsmarine) had different insignia.The Nazi Party and German Police had a similar service award.The NSDAP Long Service Award was given in grades of ten, fifteen, and twenty-five years.The Police Long Service Award was given in grades of eight, eighteen, twenty-five,and forty years (approved but never awarded).

It was first introduced by Adolf Hitler on 30 January 1938,but some other sources give the date as 14 March 1936.On its reverse side,each award had emblazoned the inscription,in German: FÜR TREUE DIENSTE IN DER SS ("For Loyal Service in the SS"). The medal was awarded to SS members in the SS-Verfügungstruppe, SS-Totenkopfverbände and the SS-Junkerschule who served honourably and were on active service.

The four-year and eight-year awards are the most common awards, and as such, are not as rare, but the twelve-year and higher awards are a lot rarer, and those that owned them were likely to have been too old to have served on the front lines.Despite the fact that the whole Nazi movement lasted for little over 25 years (1919-1945) and the SS were founded only in 1923, awards of the 25-year version were made well before 25 years of actual service were completed.This was because the period between 1925 and 1933 (what the Nazis termed Kampfzeit ("Time of Struggle") counted double,and any service in the Armed Forces in the First World War and afterwards, as well as the Police, was also included. Nevertheless, it was one of the rarer awards given out by Nazi Germany. The 40-year award was never given out because no one fulfilled its criteria.


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