This is different from English usage, which distinguishes between the two. In English, the front lower leg portions are called shank or shin, while the lower halves of the back legs are referred to as “legs.” There doesn’t appear to be a generic term in English for all four lower leg halves.
Cuts from these lower legs are inexpensive cuts. They have a good deal of connective tissue in them that breaks down into a superbly flavoured gelatin when cooked. The gelatin also acts as a thickener. The centre bone is a good source of marrow, particularly in the hind legs. Rear legs are larger and have more meat on them.
Wadschinken provide very good quality soup meat.
Lower legs from calves are used in Ossobuco.
A whole lower leg can also be roasted very slowly in the oven.
Wadschinken is Austrian; in Germany the term is “Hesse.” When referring to a calf in Germany it is called “Kalbshachse” or “Kalbshaxe.”