Ski Company, 250 "Division Azul"

A World War II Living History organization depicting the Spanish Volunteer Division that fought on the Eastern Front.

 "Sucio"

Collective Military Merit Badge 

Founding member of 250 Ski Company, Division Azul. 

 

Iron Cross (1st)

     Brigaded with SS and Panzer-grenadiers, 250 Ski Company was tasked with the defense of a hilltop outpost overlooking a critical supply route.  Throughout the day, the enemy launched repeated attacks from all directions in an attempt to overrun the position and cut the supply route.  Despite heavy casualties, the Kampfgruppe held the high ground for much of the morning, but were eventually driven back.  Regrouping quickly, the Kampfgruppe immediately counter-attacked, taking advantage of the enemy's confusion before they could consolidate. 

     The assault soon became very confused as the opposing forces intermingled in close quarter combat.  In the ensuing melee, Sucio found himself seperated from the rest of the Company. Making his way back to the rally point, he encountered a small team of enemy pioneers, one of them armed with a flamethrower.  Throwing hand grenades from a concealed position, Sucio suprised and killed the enemy pioneers and discovered the flamethrower was still functional. Realizing he was now behind enemy lines, Sucio relieved the previous owner of his weapon, using it with great effect to fight his way back to the Company's rally point.  The ferocity and tenacity of his desperate attack unnerved the enemy, believing themselves surrounded, and contributed greatly to the Kampfgruppe's efforts to reclaim the position.

     For this action, Sucio is awarded the Iron Cross, First Class.

Iron Cross (2nd)

     Taking advantage of the enemy's confusion during the defense of the village of Recht, Sucio captured an enemy half-track and, using it as cover, ambushed and annihilated an passing enemy squad preparing to assault into the village.  Knowing that his position was now compromised, Sargento Sucio then destroyed the enemy half-track and rejoined his comrades.

     For this action, Sucio is awarded the Iron Cross, Second Class.

Military Merit Cross (Red)

     During a Soviet counter-attack against Spanish positions in and around the Russian village of Alexandria, Sucio, not wanting to risk  his own guripas, struck out on his own to ascertain the enemy's exact dispositions. Making his way along a circuitous route, Sucio slipped through a gap in the enemy lines and made his way within sight of the enemy's command-and-control center. Seeing an opportunity to derail the enemy's battle plan, Sucio, armed only with a pistol, began desperate harassing fire. Shooting a few rounds and moving to another position while hidden in the treeline, Sucio managed to confound and disrupt the enemy's movements, killing no fewer than 5 officers and soldiers and wounding a dozen more.  

     Low on ammunition, Sucio had no choice but to disengage, but found himself being quickly surrounded.  Preparing himself for a final stand with his last three pistol rounds, Sucio was saved from impending doom by a large attack from the opposite direction. Unknown to Sucio at the time, two of his guripas, Oso and Tortuga, has also slipped through enemy lines and attacked the enemy's main command post, eliminating all resistance and capturing valuable intelligence.

     For his courageous act of personal gallantry and self-sacrifice, Sucio is hereby awarded the Military Merit Cross in Red. 

Service Awards

German Close Combat Clasp (Silver): As per unit requirements

German Infantry Assault Badge: As per unit requirements

German Eastern Front Ribbon: As per unit requirements

German Tank Destruction Badge: Awarded in conjunction with the Iron Cross

Spanish Civil War Medal (1st): Active combat operations in Somalia, 1993

Spanish Moroccan Campaign Medal: Deployment to Somalia, 1993

"Viejo"

Collective Military Merit Badge 

     Founding member of 250 Ski Company, Division Azul.  

Spanish Cross of Honor 

     For meritorious service as a Liason Officer while attached to 250 Ski Company, Division Azul, Viejo provided guidance and expertise to the officers and NCOs of the Ski Company during the unit's creation. Viejo has acted as an advocate for the Ski Company and was a valued proponent in securing the unit's HRS charter.

     For his undaunted support of the Ski Company, Viejo is awarded the Spanish Cross of Honor.

Iron Cross (1st & 2nd)

     During heavy fighting in the village of Recht, Viejo, acting as Liason Officer to 250 Ski Company, directed adjacent German forces to the support of the hard-pressed Spanish guripas.  His actions relieved some of the pressure on the Spanish troops, briefly opening an escape route. Seeing their chance, the Spanish survivors safely withdrew from the village under the covering fire provided by the allied units that Viejo had directed toward the fight.

      For his actions in allowing the Spanish to withdraw intact, Viejo is awarded the Iron Cross, First and Second Classes.   

Military Merit Cross (Red)

     While attached as a liaison officer to 250 Cia. Esquiadores in action against Allied forces along the Merderette River, Viejo proved an invaluable asset in protecting the Spanish flank, defeating several attempts to encircle and trap the Spanish, and in directing follow-on German forces into line alongside the Spanish advance, thereby facilitating the Kampfgruppe's success in driving enemy forces from their defensive positions.

     For his actions, Viejo is hereby awarded the Military Merit Cross, in Red, First Award. 

Service Awards

German Close Combat Clasp (Gold): As per German requirements

German Infantry Assault Badge: As per unit requirements

German Eastern Front Ribbon: As per unit requirements

"Antonio"

Collective Military Merit Badge 

     Founding member of 250 Ski Company, Division Azul.  

Individual Military Merit Medal

     Assuming command of a Kampfgruppe consisting of German SS, Italian Alpini, and Spanish guripas, Antonio was tasked with the recovery and capture of a downed enemy airman. Moving deliberately, the Kampfgruppe encountered an enemy patrol in the vicinity of the downed airman.  Pushing the Alpini and guripas to either flank, Antonio took direct control of the SS and ordered a hasty attack. Using the SS to find and fix the enemy, Antonio directed his flanking units to execute a double envelopment, nearly encircling the superior enemy patrol, forcing them to retreat across an open field and inflicting heavy casualties. Soon after, the downed enemy airman was secured.

     Reinforced, the enemy attempted to recover their downed pilot and attacked in force. Antonio ordered the Alpini and guripas to hold their positions while he pulled the SS back in a fighting withdraw.  This action funnelled the enemy force to the center of the line, allowing the Kampfgruppe to deliver a devastating fire to the enemy's front and flanks, destroying them in detail.

     For his actions in the recovery of the enemy airman and the complete destruction of a numerically superior enemy force, Antonio is awarded the Individual Military Merit Cross. 

Iron Cross (1st & 2nd)

  Awarded in conjunction with Individual Military Merit Medal

War Merit Cross (1st & 2nd)

     For distinguished service as a squad leader, Antonio demonstrated tactical proficiency while in action. Coordinating with adjacent friendly forces, Antonio assumed command of a bogged down German attack, and leading his squad of guripas as a spearhead, overcame stiff enemy resistance. This coordination would not have been possible if not for Antonio's ability to act as a translator between Spanish and German forces.

     For this action, Antonio is awarded the War Merit Cross with Swords, First and Second Classes. 

Military Merit Cross (Red)

    While engaged with Allied forces in and around the village of Rochoya, Antonio distinguished himself while acting as Assistant Squad Leader.  Having picked up several stragglers in the confused action, Squad Leader Oso was forced to relinquish command of the squad to Antonio while he coordinated the efforts of his ad-hoc battle-group.  Antonio, as acting squad leader, stepped in the vacancy, leading the Spanish squad in heavy combat and proved to be of great assistance to Oso in executing a series of ambushes that decimated no less than three enemy platoons.

     For his selfless devotion to duty, Antonio is awarded the Military Merit Cross in Red. 

Military Merit Cross (White)

     Without regard for his own safety, and possessing a strong desire to help others in crisis, Antonio did, on two known occasions, rush to the aid of fellow soldiers who had been injured during the course of an event. 

     For his selfless devotion to aid and comfort those in distress, Antonio is awarded the Military Merit Cross in White.

Service Awards

German Close Combat Clasp (Silver): As per unit requirements

German Infantry Assault Badge: As per unit requirements

German Eastern Front Ribbon: As per unit requirements

Spanish Civil War Medal (1st): Active combat operations in Iraq, 2009

"Oso"

Collective Military Merit Badge 

     Founding member of 250 Ski Company, Division Azul.  

Individual Military Merit Medal     

     Having displayed the utmost proficiency in leading a squad of Spanish soldiers, along with units from our German comrades in the defense of Rochoya,  Oso set up positions on an airfield in such a way to catch the enemy in ambush.  During the attack, he located secondary and tertiary positions while funneling new troops into the fight. 

     Later in the battle, he brilliantly executed an ambush on platoon of enemy soldiers.  Moving to new positions, he again lured the remaining enemy into an ambush.  Oso then took up positions on a fuel depot, deploying his men with clear fields of fire while scouting for secondary and tertiary positions.  As the enemy advanced through the wood line, he positioned a friendly unit to his flank.  

     Falling back from the enemy, Oso set the stage for a third L-shaped ambush. While moving to a rocket battery site, he encircled an enemy element.  Once at that position, he set the squad into position and lured an enemy squad into a final, fourth ambush.

     For his actions, Oso is hereby awarded the Individual Military Merit, First award. 

Iron Cross (1st & 2nd)

     As part of a concentrated attack against Soviet positions during operations in and around the Russian village of Alexandria, Oso and a small contingent of guripas found themselves seperated from the main assault by a vicious Soviet counter-attack. Taking the initiative, he led his small detachment in a wide flanking maneuver to attack the enemy position from behind. Providing covering fire, Oso quickly dispatched a pair of enemy sentries, enabling his small force to launch a lightning raid against the enemy's main Headquarters, crippling the enemy's command and control. 

     Throughout the day, Oso continued to lead guripas in disrupting the enemy's attacks, often inticing the unsuspecting formations into well-laid ambushes and inflicting serious damage. 

     For his actions, Oso is awarded the Iron Cross, First and Second Classes, as they proved to be instrumental in turning the tide of the battle and halting the Soviet advance to relieve Leningrad.

Military Merit Cross (Red)

     For participation in the capture of an enemy airman that resulted in the envelopment and destruction of a numerically superior and determined enemy force.

Service Awards

German General Assault Badge: As per unit requirements

Spanish Civil War Medal (2nd): Serving in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2008-2012.

 "Timo" 

Collective Military Merit Badge 

     Founding member of 250 Ski Company, Division Azul.  

Iron Cross, (1st & 2nd) 

     While defending the village of Recht, Timo barricaded himself and a small detachment of guripas inside the village's largest structure and directed a brutal fight within the building's confines. Against overwhelming odds, the defenders beat back numerous attempts to seize the strongpoint, inflicting a significant casualty rate of 10-to-1 upon the enemy. As more enemy reinforcements moved up, Timo and his guripas used the chaotic situation they had created to escape the trap, leaving the enemy disorganized and unable to pursue.

     For this action, Timo is hereby awarded the Iron Cross, First and Second Classes, as his actions were clearly above and beyond the call of duty, allowing friendly forces to fall back and regroup for a final counterattack.

 

Individual Military Merit Medal

     Against odds of 3-to-1, Timo urged his guripas to close on an enemy force 1000 meters distant.  Moving aggressively, his small detachment covered more than 800 meters before the enemy could react.  Within minutes of initial contact, Timo had outmanuevered the superior force, trapping them in a double envelopment and destroying them in detail.

     For this action, Timo is hereby awarded the Individual Military Merit Cross for his heroic and gallant leadership in executing such a difficult manuever.

Military Merit Cross (Red)

     While participating in an operation that led to the capture an enemy airman, 250 Cia. Esquiadores became heavily engaged by enemy forces attempting to recover their downed aircrew. In the ensuing battle, the guripas were forced to withdraw and dig-in on a heavily wooded hilltop.  The enemy made numerous attempts to overrun the position by frontal assault and were turned back each time with heavy losses.

      A long pause settled in, and the guripas sensed the enemy was attempting to encircle and trap them on the hilltop.  Antonio, in command of the guripas on the hill-fort, decided to fight his way out of the trap with his prisoner.  As the detachment made their way out of the encirclement, Timo broke away from the main body, finding a strong defensive position that offered adequate cover and concealment and overlooked the escape route and all approaches to it.  From this position, Timo was able to keep the enemy off-balance, slowing their advance and preventing them from blocking the escape route, allowing his comrades to make their way to friendly lines with the captured airman.

     Timo kept up the interdiction fire until Antonio returned with the detachment and counter-attacked, resulting in the envelopment and complete destruction of the numerically superior and determined enemy force.

    For his courageous act of personal gallantry and self-sacrifice, Timo is hereby awarded the Military Merit Cross in Red, First Award.

Service Awards

German Close Combat Clasp (Gold): As per unit requirements

German Infantry Assault Badge:  As per unit requirements

German Eastern Front Ribbon:  As per unit requirements

Spanish War Cross:  Decorated for valor, Iraq, 2003.

Spanish Civil War Medal (1st): Active combat operations in Iraq

Spanish Wound Medal (1st): Recipient of the Purple Heart

 "Juan"

Iron Cross (2nd)

     While acting as a machine gunner, Juan single-handedly attacked and destroyed an armored infantry squad as they attempted to dismount from their vehicle. As enemy reinforcements arrived, Juan was unable to maintain the initiative and was forced to withdraw before completing the destruction of the enemy personnel carrier.

     For this action, Juan has been awarded the Iron Cross Second Class.

War Merit Cross (2nd)

     Juan has tireless worked to improve the overall impression of 250 Ski Company.  He has provided valuable insight on period weapons systems and tactics.  He also acts as the company armorer and maintains the company's heavy machine gun.

     In recognition of his contributions to the overall effectiveness and accuracy of the company, Juan is authorized the War Merit Cross with Swords Second Class.

Service Awards

German Close Combat Clasp (Silver): As per unit requirements 

German Infantry Assault Badge: As per unit requirements

German Eastern Front Ribbon: As per unit requirements

Spanish Civil War Medal (1st): Active combat operations in Iraq, 2009

 

"Alejandro"

War Merit Cross (2nd)

     Alejandro has proven invaluable to the overall impression of 250 Ski Company. His research efforts have provided the company with resource materials that has enabled the company to maintain a high degree of historical accuracy. Through his efforts, the company has made and maintains a relationship with a sister unit in Spain which has provided the unit with translations, identification papers, and countless other amenities, including access to one of the foremost experts and authors about Division Azul.

     For his efforts and selfless devotion, Alejandro is authorized the War Merit Cross with Swords Second Class.

Military Merit Cross (Red)

      Acting as flank security during an advance on the village of Recht, Irlandes and Alejandro kept an effective vigil that detected and eliminated an enemy patrol attempting to flank the Spanish attacking force.

     Elimination of the enemy patrol alerted the defenders in the village of the presence of our troops, forcing the Spanish to launch their southern attack prematurely.  The ensuing frontal assault quickly became bogged down as the enemy reacted quickly.  Fire slackened only slightly as an adjacent German unit attacked the village from the east, allowing the Spanish to advance slowly and cautiously.  

     The enemy defenders were suddenly thrown into chaos as another, unknown German unit attacked from the west.  Believing they were being attacked by overwhelming numbers from three sides, the enemy quickly abandoned their defenses and beat a hasty retreat, when out of the smoke from the west appeared only two Spanish soldados--Irlandes and Alejandro.

     Later in the same battle and acting as rear security during the defense of a vital bridge crossing, Alejandro, with only Tortuga supporting him, found himself facing an overwhelming enemy force that had crossed unopposed further upriver.   Despite the odds, the two guripas managed to delay the enemy attack by bounding from one firing position to another in an effort to make themselves look more numerous than they were.

     Through their efforts, Tortuga and Alejandro held off the enemy attack, destroying two jeeps and killing or wounding dozens of enemy troops in the process, until the company dealt with the main attack and returned to support the two beleaguered soldados.  

    For his actions , Alejandro is hereby awarded the Military Merit Cross, in Red. 

Service Awards

German Close Combat Clasp (Bronze): As per unit requirements

German Infantry Assault Badge: As per unit requirements

German Eastern Front Ribbon: As per unit requirements

 "Xavier"

German General Assault Badge: As per unit requirements

German Eastern Front Ribbon: As per unit requirements

Spanish Civil War Medal: Active combat operations in Iraq, 2007

"Irlandes"

Military Merit Cross (Red)

     Acting as flank security during an advance on the village of Recht, Irlandes and Alejandro kept an effective vigil that detected and eliminated an enemy patrol attempting to flank the Spanish attacking force.

     Elimination of the enemy patrol alerted the defenders in the village of the presence of our troops, forcing the Spanish to launch their southern attack prematurely.  The ensuing frontal assault quickly became bogged down as the enemy reacted quickly.  Fire slackened only slightly as an adjacent German unit attacked the village from the east, allowing the Spanish to advance slowly and cautiously.  

     The enemy defenders were suddenly thrown into chaos as another, unknown German unit attacked from the west.  Believing they were being attacked by overwhelming numbers from three sides, the enemy quickly abandoned their defenses and beat a hasty retreat, when out of the smoke from the west appeared only two Spanish soldados--Irlandes and Alejandro.

    For his actions in turning the enemy's flank, Irlandes is hereby awarded the Military Merit Cross, in Red. 

Service Awards

German Close Combat Clasp (Bronze): As per unit requirements

German General Assault Badge: As per unit requirements

German Eastern Front Ribbon: As per unit requirements

Spanish Civil War Medal (2nd): Serving in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2012-2016.

 "Tortuga"

Iron Cross (1st & 2nd)

     As part of a concentrated attack against Soviet positions during operations in and around the Russian village of Alexandria, Tortuga and a small contingent of guripas found themselves seperated from the main assault by a vicious Soviet counter-attack. Taking part in a wide flanking maneuver to attack the enemy's rear flank, Tortuga soon found himself in the main Headquarters of the enemy, seizing as many documents as he could. It was soon discovered that, among those documents were several enemy code books that were quickly used in decyphering several intercepted enemy messages. These decoded messages proved invaluable in countering further Soviet operations.

     Throughout the day, Tortuga continued to play a pivotal role in disrupting the enemy's operations, often gaining an advantageous position to provide enfilading fire to cover the movements of fellow guripas

For his actions, Tortuga is awarded the Iron Cross, First and Second Classes, as they proved to be instrumental in turning the tide of the battle and halting the Soviet advance to relieve Leningrad. 

Military Merit Cross (Red)

     During operations in and around the village of Recht, Tortuga distinguished himself in the defense of a crucial river crossing.  While the company was heavily engaged with enemy forces attempting to capture a vital bridge, an unknown enemy force had forded further upstream and were coming down on our flank and rear.

     Acting as rear security, Tortuga found himself facing an overwhelming enemy force  with only Alejandro supporting him.  Despite the odds, the two guripas managed to delay the enemy attack by bounding from one firing position to another in an effort to make themselves look more numerous than they were.

     Through their efforts, Tortuga and Alejandro held off the enemy attack, destroying two jeeps and killing or wounding dozens of enemy troops in the process, until the company dealt with the main attack and returned to support the two beleaguered soldados

     For his actions, Tortuga is awarded the Military Merit Cross, in Red, First Award. 

Service Awards

German Close Combat Clasp (Bronze): As per unit requirements

German Infantry Assault Badge: As per unit requirements

German Eastern Front Ribbon: As per unit requirements

"Mono"

Iron Cross (2nd)

    For an act of intrepidity, at the risk of his own life while serving as a rifleman, 1st Platoon, 250 Ski Company, Division of Spanish Volunteers, Cazador Mono neutralized a machine gun nest that was pinning down the rest of the platoon.  Seeing the enemy gun firing from a concealed position, Cazador Mono, on his own initiative, flanked the nest and assaulted the position. Charging into the enemy nest, Cazador Mono braved the incoming fire and, throwing back an enemy grenade, killed one enemy soldier. Surprised and stunned by such a reckless assault, the surviving crew members surrendered. After lead the prisoners away from the machine gun towards friendly lines, Cazador Mono then discovered that his rifle has not been loaded.

   For his actions, Cazador Mono is awarded the Iron Cross, 2nd Class.

Service Awards

Spanish Wound Medal (2nd): As per unit requirements