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The Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe (Honor Goblet of the Luftwaffe) was a Luftwaffe award established on February 27, 1940 by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, the Reich Minister of Aviation and Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe. It was officially known as the Ehrenpokal "für besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg", or Honor Goblet "For Special Achievement in the Air War". The award was given only to flying personnel (pilots and aircrew). Recipients' named were published in the periodical Ehrenliste der Deutschen Luftwaffe (Honor List of the German Air Force). German archival records indicate that approximately 58,000 were given to "on paper", but only 13-15,000 goblets were actually awarded according to the records.

The award was made to aircrew who had already been awarded the Iron Cross First class but whose had not had performance that merited the German Cross or Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.

The actual goblet could be produced in two materials, fine silver (German: Feinsilber) or also in German Silver (German: Alpaka) or Nickel silver. The size is about 200 mm tall x 100 mm in diameter. The object was produced in two pieces which were fitted together into one unit. The obverse depicts two eagles in mortal combat while the reverse bears an Iron Cross in high relief. Oak leaves and acorns adorn the stem. The words "Für Besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg" are formed into the base, the meaning as given above.

World War I predecessors

The design of the Ehrenpokal was based on a World War I aviation award, the Ehrenbecher für den Sieger im Luftkampfe, or Honor Goblet for the Victor in Air Combat. This award was generally given upon one's first victory in aerial combat (although the actual award bestowal might come some time after the victory). It has been reported but the late aviation historian Neal O'Connor was unable to confirm before his death that the requirement for aerial victories may have been increased later in the war as air combat became somewhat more commonplace. The exact number of awards is unknown, but it was less common than its World War II successor.

Among notable recipients of the Ehrenbecher für den Sieger im Luftkampfe were:

The Imperial German Navy had its own aviation forces in World War I, and created its own non-portable award for victory in aerial combat. This was the Ehrenpreis für Vernichtung eines feindlichen Flugzeugs,or Honor Prize for the Destruction of an Enemy Aircraft. This was not a goblet, but a trophy of two eagles engaged in a mid-air fight.

There was also another, even rarer, Imperial German award, the Ehrenbecher für erfolgreiche Angriffe aus der Luft, or Honor Goblet for Successful Attacks from the Air. This was apparently only bestowed a handful of times, to members of bomber or Zeppelin crews for certain successful attacks.




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