Third Riech West Wall Medal
The Deutsches Schutzwall-Ehrenzeichen or the West Wall Medal - (made of bronzed brass) was authorized on 2 August 1939. It was awarded to: (1). The troops stationed along the western German border ("Siegfried Line") prior to 1 May 1940. (2). Those who designed and built the Siegfried Line fortifications along the western German border prior to 31 January 1941.
After the D-Day Landings on 6 June 1944, the fortifications required upgrading and a large work force was employed. The West Wall Medal was again authorized to recognize the efforts of the force strengthing the fortifications along the western German border (to include not only the area of the Siegfried Line but also the expanded defences - mainly to the north). In some cases, the 1939 version was awarded even though the new version was made of bronzed zinc (due to wartime economy measures). The Allied advance over-ran most of the West Wall fortifications by September 1944.