Maker: Rudolf Karneth
Base Material: Zinc
Product Description: This 50 Engagement General Assault Badge is a textbook example of a tough-to-find badge. It is made of zinc. The original silver wash finish has faded, as is typical for these, though traces remain, and there is nice contrast between the massive central eagle emblem and the outer wreath. The obverse of this badge shows little or no wear, and all of the original detail is intact. The box with “50” numeral retains its black paint in the recesses. The reverse of this badge retains the original silvering to the wreath. It’s maker marked behind the wreath with the stylized “RK” maker mark of the firm of Rudolf Karneth. The block hinge and catch are correctly crimped in place, and the rivets are tight, as they should be. The wide attachment pin functions with no issues. This 50 Engagement General Assault Badge is a really nice and extremely desirable award, with a great look. The condition rates as excellent.
Historical Description: The German General Assault Badge was instituted on June 1, 1940. When the first Heer (Army) combat badges were instituted, they only recognized those in the Infantry and Panzer (Tank) units. This left the supporting elements of the German Army without an award to recognize their combat achievements. Initially the General Assault Badge was intended for Combat Engineer units, but later this was expanded to include other units such as Panzerjäger’s (Tank Hunters), Cavalry Units, down to Medical Personnel who assisted the Infantry or Panzers during combat engagements. Eligibility also continued to grow to include members of the Luftwaffe (Air Force), Kreigsmarine (Navy), Waffen-SS, and Combat Police units.
The requirements for the General Assault Badge were the same as that of the Infantry Assault Badge and the Panzer Assault Badge. The soldier must have taken part in three combat assaults on three separate days. Three assaults in one day would only count as one assault. Before the institution of the Tank Destruction Strip, awarded to soldiers who destroyed a tank by means of explosives or mine, the single-handed destruction of an enemy tank would also earn the soldier the General Assault Badge.
The Standard General Assault Badge consists of an Oakleaves wreath surrounding a large National Eagle grasping the swastika with crossed bayonet and stick grenade underneath. The General Assault Badge can be found in several different base metals such as Brass, Copper Coated Aluminum, Copper Coated Zinc, and Zinc. The use of the different types of base metal was directly impacted by the war as it progressed. Shortages forced manufacturers to switch from quality base metals like brass to lower quality base metals like zinc.
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