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Pohjoisrintamamerkki (Nordfront-Kreuz) / Lapinrintamamerkki (Lapplandfront-Kreuz) /
Jäämerenrintamamerkki (Eismeerfront-Kreuz)

North Front Cross / Lapland Front Cross / Arctic Front Cross 

Those three commemorative badges were issued to Finnish and German military personnel who fought Red Army in Karelia, Lapland and Murmansk region in 1941-1944. Marshal Mannerheim ordered the badges to be handed out to Germans while Finnish still had to purchase them by their own. In case of Germans those badges had no official standing and thus no corresponding entry in Soldbuch and Wehrpass was provided.

Altogether twelve variants of this series of badges existed that are described in detail below.

All the badges had a form of a dark blue enameled equilateral (35x35 mm) Teutonic cross that had silvered fragments of Finnish short-armed swastika between its arm carrying names of combat operation areas executed in capital letters.

White or black enameled central round medallion embroidered by a golden oak leaves wreath was superimposed on a cross.

All badges were screw back and worn on the left breast pocket.

North Front Cross medallion carried red enameled shield with a stylized Finnish coat-of-arms, i.e. golden rampant lion and two national flags – Finnish and German above. Depending on a pattern two dates “1941-42” or “1941-43” were situated between flagstaffs. The name of a badge in golden capital letters was placed at the bottom and run in semicircle: “Pohjoisrintama – Die Nordfront”.   

Arms of Finnish swastika carried names of four military campaigns: Salla, Kiestinki, Uhtua and Petsamo.

North Front Cross had four patterns, namely:

1. White central medallion, dates “1941-42”.
2. Black central medallion, dates “1941-42”.
3. White central medallion, dates “1941-43”.
4. Black central medallion, dates “1941-43”.

Finnish crosses Plate 1

Lapland Front Cross medallion carried Finnish golden rampant lion against white background on top and two national flags – Finnish and German below. Depending on a pattern two dates “1941-1943” or “1941-1944” were placed between flagstaffs. The name of a badge in golden capital letters run in semicircle in two rows at the bottom: “Lapinrintama – Die Lapplandfront”.   

Arms of Finnish swastika carried names of the following military campaigns: Salla, Kiestinki, Alakurtti and Petsamo.

Lapland Front Cross had four patterns, namely:

1. White central medallion, dates “1941-1943”.
2. Black central medallion, dates “1941-1943”.
3. White central medallion, dates “1941-1944”.
4. Black central medallion, dates “1941-1944”.

Finnish crosses Plate 2

Arctic Front Cross medallion was the same as the North Front one except the name of a badge: “Jäämerenrintama – Die Eismeerfront”.

Four patterns of the Lapland Front Cross are known to exist:

1. White central medallion, dates “1941-1943”.
2. Black central medallion, dates “1941-1943”.
3. White central medallion, dates “1941-1944”.
4. Black central medallion, dates “1941-1944”.

Finnish crosses Plate 3

Production of those badges by various manufacturers led to minor varieties, e.g. shape of digit “4” in dates (“4” and “Ч”), shape of Finnish lion’s paw and tail, shape and attachment method of Finnish and German color cloths to flagstaffs (all found at Nordfront-Kreuz), etc.

After Mannerheim signed an armistice with the USSR on September 09, 1944 German regulations introduced on November 11, 1944 prohibited wearing of Finnish awards including those Commemorative crosses by German military personnel.

Though wearing of those badges by Finnish veterans after the World War II was allowed, it was restricted to unofficial functions only.

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