|The Lapland Shield was the last officially instituted German battle shield of the war. This award, created in February of 1945, was to recognize the efforts of the 20th Mountain Army group commanded by General Boehme, who had been fighting a two front war against the British and the Russians since November 1944. The shield was officially approved on May 1st, 1945, a day after Hitlerís death. The Army surrendered to the British on May 8th, 1945.Thought the shield was recorded into Soldbuchs as early as April, it is believed that no awards were actually presented at this time. However, after the cessation of hostilities the German forces in the area found that their captor, General Thorne, went against common practice and allowed his prisoners to wear their decorations (it is of interest to note that the reason for the liberal attitude of the British forces was that at that time the possibility of using German troops to stem the Soviet advance had not been discarded). In light of this circumstance, the men of 20th Army began to produce their own shields from whatever material was available in the area.