When Hitler started a blitzkrieg against the Soviet Union, he hardly guessed that tens of thousands of his soldiers would end up in hospitals not so much from battle wounds as after meeting with severe Russian frosts. However, pedantic Germans and such hardships were not left without a reward. During the 1941-1942 winter campaign in the USSR, the soldiers of the Third Reich received a separate medal, which they ironically nicknamed "frozen meat".
Note: the material does not propagate the ideas of fascism, but was created for informational purposes only.
In fairness, it should be clarified that the Soviet army also suffered a lot from the abnormal frost: 180 thousand soldiers left the front due to frostbite. However, the Germans, not used to the harsh Russian winter, lost 50 thousand more for the same reason. In many respects, such figures among the Wehrmacht soldiers were explained by the fact that they were going to end their "lightning war" earlier, and were not ready for such low temperatures.
The first frosts hit back in November 1941. In early December, when the Soviet army switched from defensive to offensive tactics, the thermometer showed up to forty degrees below zero, and these numbers hit the Germans no worse than the Soviet troops. Everything froze: from soldiers to weapons and military equipment. Even the tanks "stuck" to the ground, and in order to somehow solve this problem, fires were made under the bottoms of the armored vehicles. The trains did not escape the severe frost, which is why Army Group Center received less than half of its equipment.
Most of all, German soldiers suffered with their shoes. Boots and boots in the Reich were knocked out with metal rivets, and they simply froze in the cold and froze their feet. But the Red Army men were more fortunate here: they received boots one size larger, so they had the opportunity to warm themselves with straw or paper.
The command of the army of the Third Reich decided not to ignore all these torments in the cold near Moscow. In May 1942, he instituted a special medal for battles in the East, which was awarded to Wehrmacht servicemen who had fought for at least 14 days without rest and Luftwaffe pilots who had 30 consecutive days of combat missions. It was called Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/1942 (Winter Battle in the East). But most often the "Eastern Medal" went to those soldiers who were frostbite during the 1941-1942 winter campaign in the USSR, for which the Wehrmacht was wittily called the medal for "frozen meat".
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