From the collection of Dirk Geiger (Germany) we got some Pictures from this rare Dunkirk Shield (Duenkirchen Schild). As you can see it is handmade by some soldiers during their time in the fortress.
In a directive dated September 4th, 1944, Adolf Hitler had Dunkirk explained to a FORTRESS. The concept of fortification included the port itself as well as the city of Dunkirk. In the context of the defense of the fortresses of Dunkirk, which had begun through the invasion of the Allies in Normandy, the Vizeadmiral Friedrich Frisius had the idea of creating something as a reminder for the 15,000 German defenders. So the Idea of the Dunkirk Shield was born.
BUT the Dunkirk shield is not a combat badge of the Wehrmacht, since neither its foundation nor the award was officially made. The Dunkirk shield was therefore only regarded as a „tradition badge“.
With the entry into the “Soldbuch”, there was no claim to official acceptance of the shield by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Therefore, this shield was not included in the Act of Title, Order, and Honor Sign of July 26, 1957.
The Dunkirk shield had never been designed as an arm shield (like Narvik Shield or Cholm Shield), but was worn on the left side of the field-cap, similar to the white of the mountain troops.
The fortress of Dunkirk finally surrendered on 9 May 1945 against French, British and Czech units. During the siege, Vizeadmiral Frisius had the so-called Dunkirk shield made from makeshift metal supplies, and distributed to the soldiers of the army, the navy, and probably an unknown number of military forces, in order to strengthen their sense of communion. The „award“ of the shield was confirmed by the entry in the “Soldbuch”.
Its width is about 34 mm and its height is 41 mm. The form corresponds to the shield form, the center of the lighthouse being shown by Dunkirk.
On the left is the number 19 and the number 44 on the right (1944). Above the lighthouse the name DUENKIRCHEN can be read in capital letters. On the lower side of the sign there is an anchor chain and the relief of raised sea waves. On some shields you will find little holes in the corners, so the soldiers could sew it to their Filed cap.
Some facts about Vizeadmiral Friedrich Frisius
He was born in January 17th, 1895 in Salzuflen and died in August, 30th 1970 in Lingen.
During World War I he was awarded with the Iron Cross 2nd class and 1st class.
In World War II he also got the clasp to the Iron Cross 2nd class and 1st class. During the time in the Fortress Dunkirk he was awarded the German Cross in Gold in September 16th, 1944.
TC & GH