000101 The Eastern Front Medal (German: Medaille „Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42“) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to both German and Axis personnel.
It was awarded to those who served on the German Eastern Front during the winter campaign period of 15 November 1941 to 15 April 1942.
It was instituted on 26 May 1942 and was commonly known as the Ostmedaille (East Medal) or Russian Front Medal.
The medal was wryly called the Frozen Meat Medal or the "Order of the Frozen Flesh" (German: Gefrierfleischorden) by Heer, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS personnel to whom it was awarded.
Armed service personnel qualified for the badge after a minimum of 14 days served in active combat; 30 combat sorties for Luftwaffe members; 60 days of continuous service in a combat zone; being wounded or suffering a "frozen limb", severe enough to warrant the issue of a Wound Badge.
The medal could be awarded posthumously.
On 20 January 1943, the qualifications for the award changed to include both combatant and non-combatant personnel (including females) in the Wehrmacht. Also, foreign members of Wehrmacht units; personnel killed or missing in action and civilians working in area factories.
Geographic limits were placed on its award of east of Ukraine and Ostland or in the Finland area, east of the original 1940 Russo/Finnish border. It was officially decommissioned by Oberkommando der Wehrmacht on 4 September 1944.