On December 22nd in Panzer Grenadier:
Battle of the Bulge #42 - Trapped!Battle of the Bulge #43 - Ettelbruck
Battle of the Bulge #44 - Martelange and WarnachElsenborn Ridge #25 - Elsenborn Ridge
Winter Soldiers #8 - One Last AttemptWinter Soldiers #9 - What really Happened at Les Tscheous?
Honoring Our Best, Vol. 32

On November 8th vince hughes became the first member to complete West Wall, earning his first ever tour of duty medal in the process.

Vince is a voluntarily-retired PG-HQ moderator, and was on staff when we first began discussing the tour of duty medal program.

I can vividly recall our curmudgeonly friend poopoo-ing the idea. Whilst raising his nose skyward as only a real Redcoat can, he sniffed something to the effect that:

"I only play what looks good or what my selection dice give me. Playing an entire game straight through? That's preposterous."

Despite his dis-enthusiasm, the tour of duty medal program went ahead and has proven quite popular.

How popular?

I present to you this unedited, breathless email from our very same Snooty Hughes (now, apparently, quite reformed!):

Subject: A Medal at Last!

Shad,

OK, you've dished out medals with all that mush about pushing the Axis forces back and serving the free World and whatever other crap ! Well I would like to claim the Westwall Medal being the first to complete the module and how deserved it was too ! (also greatful to Matt and Beast for not getting started on this module before I finished with their play-rate).

10 scenarios, 7 wins, a draw and 2 defeats by Herr Hughes fighting all 10 battles as Commander of the hard-pressed German defenders. Out-manned, out-armoured, out-OBA'd with large stretches of land to defend with often just newly raised Volksgrenadiers. US Commanders, Sawyer, Langston and Baumber all did their best to push past the defences around the Hurtgenwald, with only Baumber registering the 2 American wins and the draw in his 5 attempts. Langston lost his only encounter and poor Commander Sawyer suffering 4 defeats. The Wall still stands.(in most places at least ?). I sir, claim my medal of distinction for defending the Fatherland against overwhelming forces and more often beating the hated enemies back.

Our beloved mate wasn't done, he goes on to propose his own ribbon design!

Based on the flag of the Municipality of the HurtgenWald. Mainly bright green and white with a small dash of yellow. Its plusses being that it represents the colours of the area as per the banner and follows a PG trend for such things being based on the area battled over's own flag.

The nerve!

vince hughes, in recognition and commemoration of your accomplishments, you are hereby awarded this ribbon:

West Wall

Congratulations, you silly ol' cop! ;-)

November 20th, 21:34

As requested (demanded?), the West Wall tour of duty medal ribbon is based off of the flag of the Municipality of the HurtgenWald. :-)

November 21st, 6:34

Vince:

Congrats!!!

(edited November 22nd, 13:31)

Congratulations, Vince! You just extended the war into late '45! ;)

Well done!

(edited November 22nd, 19:15)

This would have been cool as well: http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/serviceawards/westwall_medal.htm . Although primarily issued for early war service, I gather that some awards were issued in 1944.

Congrats to the "plank owner"!

November 23rd, 3:22

PY,

Couldn't get into the link. Is that the 'Westwall' medal you refer to ? If so, Matt also mentioned that one, but it appears to be a medal awarded to civilian workers that assisted in the building of the Wall in 39/41 ?

Both that and the Hurtgenwald flag were proffered as possibilities ?

I'll be honest, I quote like the colours on the one designed in the end. Slightly different to most.

November 23rd, 3:24

Thanks all, but I had to send a polite message to both Matt and The Beast when I only had two left to play, asking they stay off this set as they always seem able to easily chew through scenarios.

They would have pipped me to the post.

November 23rd, 4:02

This link should work. PY's is missing an underscore or two for reasons unknown.

November 23rd, 6:40

Shad, thanks. Yes that is the one I mentioned that Matt gave me notice of. Unfortunately, it is only for civvies that designed and built as opposed to PG counters (and the soldiers) that fought on it.

(edited November 23rd, 6:53)

Well done Vince old son. Sill our games were split exactly 50/50, so who knows if you would have stopped my boys from entering the "Green Fields Beyond". Think this was a good scenario pack too, doing a good job of simulating the combat around the much vaunted "West Wall". Now can we get back to beating up Italians or Romanians I want some easy meat to try and redress our HtH Win/Loss ratio.

(edited November 23rd, 7:22)

I actually counted your results incorrectly Wayne.

The Germans results were

v Wayne = Played 6 - W3, D1, L2

v Alan = Played 3 - W3

v Tony = Played 1 - W1

Total - Played 10, Won 7, Drew 1, Lost 2

November 23rd, 18:22

Vince,

"it appears to be a medal awarded to civilian workers that assisted in the building of the Wall in 39/41 ?"

Yes, I saw that, but then also read somewhere - admittedly a bit hasty - that some later '44 awards were made. But as you suggest, perhaps again this was for civilian work: just seemed strange to have a civilian award as a "campaign ribbon."

In any case, my bringing it up wasn't intended to be critical of your selection. I was just searching about for campaign ribbons since the topic was in my mind.

November 24th, 2:16

No crticism taken at all PY, just developing the conversation. It is a shame that the real medal was not a military one.

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