The Balloon Observer's Badge (German: Ballonbeobachterabzeichen) was a military decoration of Nazi Germany during World War II. It was awarded to German Army personnel who operated gas balloons flying them 300 ft (91 m)-500 ft (152 m) above the ground.[1] The balloons were easy targets for Allied pilots and ground fire. Due to its late introduction, only a very small number of badges were awarded.[2]

The die-struck badge features a laurel wreath of oak leaves and acorns surmounted by the national eagle grasping a swastika. Below this is a representation of an observation balloon.[1] The Balloon Observer's Badge had three grades based on a point system: Bronze (20 points); Silver (45 points) and Gold (75 points).[3]

Points were awarded for particular conditions, such as the difficulty and success of a mission. There is no record of the gold version ever being awarded. Recommendation for the award was rendered by a commanding officer of either the observer unit, artillery unit or army unit.[3]

Notes

  1. ^ a b Angolia 1987, p. 104.
  2. ^ Angolia 1987, pp. 104, 105.
  3. ^ a b Angolia 1987, p. 105.

References

  • Angolia, John (1987). For Führer and Fatherland: Military Awards of the Third Reich. R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 0912138149.