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Query on equivalent awards between nations

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askhati
(@askhati)
Reputable Member

I am looking for some advice on awards and medals, not sure whether this is the best place to post it - but I figured it is neither a "Specialist Axis" nor a "Specialist UK" question.

I am working on an award progression list for the players in our local WW2 group, whereby a player who has already earned an Iron Cross 2nd class will, at the next recommendation for bravery, receive an Iron Cross 1st class - and likewise for other awards like the Infantry Combat Badge, the Wound Badge, the Anti-Partisan and Sniper Badges, and so forth. Each recommendation will result in the player earning one point in that award category; once they have the prerequisite number of points, they will earn a "better" version of the award within that same category (e.g. Combat points earned for your Infantry Combat Badge cannot be spent on the Bravery category to get a better Iron cross).

My question is this: for the German Bravery award listed below, what would be the UK equivalent?
- Iron Cross 2nd Class = 1pt
- Iron Cross 1st Class = 5pts
- Honour Roll Clasp = 10pts
- German Cross, Gold = 20pts
- Knight's Cross = 25pts

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Topic starter Posted : 11/06/2013 12:01 pm
MartinR
(@martinr)
Famed Member

We didn't give out quite as much bling as the Germans :) I can't remember when the distinction between the Military Medal & Military Cross was dropped, as they are essentially the same thing but for ORs vs Officers.

So maybe something like

Mentioned in despatches
MM/MC
DSO (officers only and subject to various restrictions)
VC

err, thats about it... You could be awarded the medals multiple times of course.

In a WW1 game I designed the various degrees of awards included sundry Knighthoods in different orders, as well as the ultimate accolade, private tea with the King.

Cheers
Martin

"Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" Helmuth von Moltke
Toys: AGM MP40, Cyma M1A1, TM M14/G43/SVT40, TM VSR/K98, SnS No. 4, ASG Sten, Ppsh.

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Posted : 11/06/2013 12:47 pm
Moss
 Moss
(@moss)
Prominent Member

As Martin said the Knights cross would be equivalent to the Victoria cross.
Might I recommend that you start with the war merit, it was much more common and and seems like it's worth 1 point where as the EK2 was harder to get.

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Posted : 11/06/2013 12:50 pm
askhati
(@askhati)
Reputable Member

Damn... I was under the impression the Knight's Cross (with no attachments - leaves, swords, diamonds) was far below the VC. I do not want to give awards that are THAT (VC) prestigious, as the men who earned them are really far beyond what we as airsofters and re-enactors can aspire to (personal opinion, YMMV).

We already have the Mentioned in Despatch as the UK equivalent of the Infantry Assault Badge (incorrectly called Combat above, my bad).

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Topic starter Posted : 11/06/2013 12:58 pm
Nurglitch
(@nurglitch)
Reputable Member

Didn't you guys have some intra-regimental non-formal accolades? For example in the Polish 10th Dragoons the black braid would be worn only by someone tested in battle, but it was a matter of shared convention, not official army policy. If I remember right some American paratroops could only blouse their trousers once they earned their jump wings, this was also not a formal accolade. Maybe stuff like this?

Kitwhore files: S&S Lee Enfield No. 4, AGM Sten Mk. II, Tanaka Kar 98k, WE Luger P08
Wishlist: AGM Stg44, possible LE No. 4 gas project

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Posted : 11/06/2013 1:02 pm
Moss
 Moss
(@moss)
Prominent Member

You could just have:

War merit
Iron cross 2nd class
Iron cross 1st class
Honour roll clasp
German cross

I'll let you decide how many points to what seen as it's your thing.

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Posted : 11/06/2013 1:03 pm
Moss
 Moss
(@moss)
Prominent Member

Didn't you guys have some intra-regimental non-formal accolades? For example in the Polish 10th Dragoons the black braid would be worn only by someone tested in battle, but it was a matter of shared convention, not official army policy. If I remember right some American paratroops could only blouse their trousers once they earned their jump wings, this was also not a formal accolade. Maybe stuff like this?

This seems like a good idea, if you can't find evidence of one you like you could make up your own. A daisy tucked into your helmet net perhaps?
But in all seriousness, you could just make up something like this.

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Posted : 11/06/2013 1:06 pm
askhati
(@askhati)
Reputable Member

This list...
#5 War merit
#4 Iron cross 2nd class
#3 Iron cross 1st class
#2 Honour roll clasp
#1 German cross
...seems like a good starting point for the Germans. However, the points for each would vary according to what UK awards you use as their equivalent:
- if the German Cross and the DSO are equivalent at X points for position #1, but the Honour Roll Clasp (#2) is more prestigious than the UK equivalent for #2, then you would need the points to change accordingly. So ideally you need to do the following:
- decide which awards to give, making sure that the lowest and the highest are roughly equivalent
- determine the total number of award per faction "tree" - e.g. 5 for the Germans, 4 for the UK, 6 for the US
- determine the relationship of each award to one another - e.g. was the German #2 award more/less prestigious than the UK #2?
- according to the relationships above, work out the point requirements

I have been working on this idea for some time, but my lack of knowledge regarding UK awards - especially their ranking prestige - has hampered the effort quite a bit.

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Topic starter Posted : 11/06/2013 1:24 pm
HeadShot
(@headshot)
Illustrious Member

The problem in British ceremonial dress is that you also include orders of chivalry, which confuses matters.

This might help though:

http://www.petergh.f2s.com/medals.htm



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Posted : 11/06/2013 3:12 pm
Universal Gunner
(@universal-gunner)
Reputable Member

For British Army ORs it would be:

VC
DCM
MM
MID

Officers:

VC
DSO
MC
MID

Royal Navy and RAF share some and also have their own awards

I have a small skewer hidden in the collar of my jumping jacket, and a razorblade in my gaiter, as well as my knife.

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Posted : 11/06/2013 3:26 pm
askhati
(@askhati)
Reputable Member

Looking at the numbers again, I do not think the Knight's Cross was really at the same level as the VC:

In 1986, the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR) acknowledged 7,322 presentations made to the members of the three military branches of the Wehrmacht—the Heer (Army), Kriegsmarine (Navy) and Luftwaffe (Air Force)—as well as the Waffen-SS, the Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD—Reich Labour Service) and the Volkssturm (German national militia). There were also 43 recipients in the military forces of allies of the Third Reich for a total of 7,365 recipients.[2] Analysis of the German National Archives revealed evidence for 7,162 officially—de facto and de jure—bestowed recipients, including one additional presentation previously unidentified by the AKCR.[3]

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight%27s ... Iron_Cross

The Victoria Cross was awarded 182 times to 181 recipients for action in the Second World War.

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Se ... recipients

The KC with Oak Leafs and Swords was awarded only 160 times, which puts it in roughly the same league as the VC (to my mind).

So a possible list would be:
Iron Cross 2nd - ?
Iron Cross 1st - Military Medal
Honour Clasp - ?
German Cross - DSC(?)
Knight's Cross - DCM

My reason for not matching the Mentioned in Despatch to the EKII is that I would like the use it as the equivalent of the Infantry Assault Badge. However, if anyone knows of a more suitable match for the IAB, please let me know.

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Topic starter Posted : 12/06/2013 8:02 am
Gadge
(@gadge)
Illustrious Member

I might have missed this but whats the intention?

Is it for forum 'accolades' like our own medal ribbons or for awarding medal to be worn for attending events?

I dont have any really strong feelings about it but some might consider giving out valour awards for airsofting a bit bad taste?

I know in 'living history' circles it's considered bad form to wear bravery awards that you have not earned (never stopped me having an IKII ribbon on my tunic tbh), especially the really 'big' ones like the VC.

Like i say, personally i'm not fussed and part of me thinks it's quite interesting and might help people have 'characters' in their games but be aware you might get a lot of flak for it.




"I think we are in rats' alley - Where the dead men lost their bones."

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Posted : 12/06/2013 12:08 pm
askhati
(@askhati)
Reputable Member

I agree with the whole sentiment of "If you haven't earned it, don't wear it" - and my intention with implementing the system was two-fold:
1) I do not want a guy of 40 showing up at the games, with no airsoft or combat experience whatsoever - and he is wearing a Wound Badge in Silver, a Knight's Cross with Oak Leafs and Swords - and every award between them.
2) If an award is to be worn, it must be earned; if it is to be earned, it must be according to criteria similar to that used for the actual war-time awarding of the medal

Now, the second point is obviously an issue in airsoft. Knowing that your worst fate is a BB to the face is REALLY not comparable, in any way, to a guy who charges an MG nest single-handedly and is subsequently given an EKII.

So. We devised a system whereby battlefield behaviour is split into the following categories:
- Bravery (Iron Cross tree, as above; Military Medal on UK side, Bronze Star for US)
- Combat (Infantry Assault Badge - Mentioned in Despatch - Combat Infantryman Badge)
- Wound/Sacrifice (Wound Badge - Wound Stripe - Purple Heart)

At the end of each 24h scenario (of which there are only 2-3 per year), the German and Allied players come together at the game end for a debrief. Each attending player is given a scenario ribbon for attending the scenario (as seen in my signature), which they can then attach to their uniform to "show off" their participation. Each side is also given two points from the list above, usually defined in advance - e.g. for our last game, we had 1x Bravery and 1x Combat point allocated for each side, and this was listed in advance with the game announcement. Attending players thus knew, right from the start, what was up for grabs.

Then, after the awarding of the scenario ribbons, we start with the available award points (usually in the order above), list the requirements for each point, and then ask each team to nominate two candidates from their own team for the respective points. So the Germans nominated two Bravery candidates, as well as two Combat candidates (player can earn multiple nominations for different awards), and the Allies did likewise for their team. Each candidate was then presented to the opposing team, their commendation was listed/explained - and the opposing team then took the vote on who got the award. So the Allies voted on which Germans got the Bravery and Combat points respectively, and vice versa.

Now, as complicated as this may sound, the reasoning is simple:
- if you want a Bravery/Combat/Wound point, your behaviour on the field has to impress the opposing team to the point where they, with due honour and respect, acknowledge your performance as outstanding and worthy of recognition
- if you do not perform heroics on the field, you will not earn the heroic awards and NOT have the right to wear them on your outfit - regardless of the size of your wallet or the duration of service
- at each subsequent event, that player can now visibly be seen to be an exemplary player, which allows commanders to, at a glance, determine who has the best qualifications for any required mission or patrol that needs to be executed

Does it approach the real circumstances under which these awards were given?
No, it does not.
Is it as floaty as most re-enactment rules on awards, where people can earn the EKII/I and IAB merely by standing around at public events and having their photos taken?
No, most definitely not.

It is a compromise, and as far as compromises go, it was the best we could come up with at the time. Suggestions are welcome, as always, along with constructive dialogue and criticism.

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Topic starter Posted : 12/06/2013 1:00 pm
Universal Gunner
(@universal-gunner)
Reputable Member

So a possible list would be:
Iron Cross 2nd - ?
Iron Cross 1st - Military Medal
Honour Clasp - ?
German Cross - DSC(?)
Knight's Cross - DCM

The DSC is a naval award to junior officers (equivalent to MC) although was extended to Army & RAF peronnel serving aboard vessels. You really are limited with army awards and are probably better off considering the awarding of bars if you wish to mirror the British and Commonwealth system.

I have a small skewer hidden in the collar of my jumping jacket, and a razorblade in my gaiter, as well as my knife.

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Posted : 12/06/2013 1:14 pm
Nurglitch
(@nurglitch)
Reputable Member

I honestly don't know how people in UK or USA will react to airsofters wearing VC or MOH. I know in Poland if airsofters started awarding each other Virtuti Militari there would be hell to pay with possible involvement of the justice system (and black eyes after some spirited discussions) :)

Can't you just create campaign medals or badges instead? And stick to repros of only the lowliest of awards?

Kitwhore files: S&S Lee Enfield No. 4, AGM Sten Mk. II, Tanaka Kar 98k, WE Luger P08
Wishlist: AGM Stg44, possible LE No. 4 gas project

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Posted : 12/06/2013 1:16 pm
askhati
(@askhati)
Reputable Member

I honestly don't know how people in UK or USA will react to airsofters wearing VC or MOH. I know in Poland if airsofters started awarding each other Virtuti Militari there would be hell to pay with possible involvement of the justice system (and black eyes after some spirited discussions) :)

Can't you just create campaign medals or badges instead? And stick to repros of only the lowliest of awards?

Agreed, that is why the VC and MOH are very much not an option for us. Highest on the German side is the Knight's Cross; on the UK and US side, I am still looking for comparable awards - and hence my earlier commentary on why I felt the VC was not a suitable equivalent to the KC. With our current award system, the KC requires 25 Bravery points - which equates to 8 years where the player earned 3x Bravery awards every year. Given that we award less than 3 Bravery points per year, and given the chance of one player winning all three of them in a given year, 8 years in a row... Suffice to say, it will take some time before we see them on the field! EKII, Wound Badges in Black, and the IAB will be around in small amounts, but it will be 5-6 years before we see anything "major" on the field.

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Topic starter Posted : 12/06/2013 1:25 pm
Gadge
(@gadge)
Illustrious Member

I can totally see both side in this.

The LARPer in me sees it as character progression and quite cool tbh.

Some awards like EKII were pretty liberally given out and if you're playing a 'character' i can understand the idea of earning the awards

But i can also see Nurglitch's point but i think in the context of 'private battles' you're unlikely to cause offence... you're certainly highly unlikely to meet any genuine recipients of any of the axis awards to even the VC on the brit side to complain but i do understand the 'ethics' behind it.

Like you say, the dafter players will turn up decked out like xmas trees anyway so perhaps some structure where its near impossible to 'earn' the top awardds will keep them of the field.?

I'd be interested to see how this develops.

At an old PBI game we game the whole german side 'west wall defence' medal bars as a freebie as its not really a bravery or valour award, more just one for being in a certain place at a certain time.

Re-enactment wise in PBI we used to expect people to have had a comparable award (valour based) to be able to wear one but 'campaign medals' were ok if they were part of your character.. i.e chomley would be expected to have pip, squeak and wilfred WWI medals (only joking Dave)




"I think we are in rats' alley - Where the dead men lost their bones."

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Posted : 12/06/2013 6:01 pm
askhati
(@askhati)
Reputable Member

It is most definitely part of the roleplaying / character development angle, agreed. The guys who have earned awards from the two big 24h events to date are all intensely proud of their awards - and each and every one of them has worked hard to earn those awards. Even the regular scenario ribbons, which every attending player gets, are becoming prestigious - and this is after just one year of "campaigning"!

As explained before, the purpose is to both reward commendable actions on the field, and to dissuade people from doing The Christmas Tree - perfect analogy, Gadge :P An unexpected side-effect is the "bond of brothers" that is starting to grow between the guys because of these awards. A guy has the "First In France" scenario ribbon? You can talk to him about anything that happened at the event, and he will know EXACTLY what you are on about. You run into the Tommy who won the last Military Medal? You know exactly how and for what he earned it. It is the type of thing I would expect from a real infantry unit in the field, and while it is a small thing - it helps immensely with the period immersion.

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Topic starter Posted : 12/06/2013 9:03 pm
askhati
(@askhati)
Reputable Member

Bumping for any more suggestions on this.

Also looking at Soviet equivalences to the following, any ideas?
Iron Cross 2nd - ?
Iron Cross 1st - ?
Honour Clasp - ?
German Cross - ?
Knight's Cross - ?

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Topic starter Posted : 25/06/2013 8:19 am
MartinR
(@martinr)
Famed Member

There is a full tabel of Soviet medals here along with numbers awarded which might give you some ideas:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders,_d ... viet_Union

Maybe something like:

Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class
Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class
Medal for Courage (or 'Military Merit'?)
Order of the Red Star
Order of the Red Banner

Hero of the Soviet Union is like the VC so probably best avoided.

Cheers
Martin

"Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" Helmuth von Moltke
Toys: AGM MP40, Cyma M1A1, TM M14/G43/SVT40, TM VSR/K98, SnS No. 4, ASG Sten, Ppsh.

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Posted : 25/06/2013 10:21 am
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