Added the Battle Order for Merit for the People and Fatherland and the Blücher Order – which was never awarded as it was a wartime only gallantry award and the German Democratic Republic never went to war! Despite that, they made a lot many of which are now ‘in the wild’ and, surprisingly, like many GDR awards exist in pre-1973 precious metal and later plated base metal versions! The design didn’t change, however.
Spent this afternoon tracking down the variants of the Blücher Order and the Blücher Gallantry Medal, neither of which was ever awarded yet exist in both pre-1973 precious metals and later plated base metal versions… but makes them relatively easy to pick up if you collect GDR medals. The East German authorities had quite a stockpile against a future need that thankfully never came to pass. It’s interesting that a communist state chose to have a cross for brave officers and a medal for more junior personnel.
I have very few (less than 10) GDR Medals and Badges, but this post really enlightened me and makes me want to acquire a Blucher Gallantry Medal. I looked it up, found a Wikipedia article (and your site… of course), that led me to the Armor Magazine article of 1994. Fascinating history here! Thanks so much.