Product Description: This is a choice example of the desirable Black Wound Badge E. H. 126. This distinctive, triple maker marked badge is a product of the firm of Eduard Hahn in Oberstein. The obverse has great detail, and retains nearly all of its original black enamel painted finish. There is extremely light wear to the edges of the swastika emblem on the helmet. The reverse of this Black Wound Badge E. H. 126 is maker marked three times. The raised letters “E.H.” (for Eduard Hahn) can be found under the hinge and also, much smaller and more faintly, on the left side of the helmet. The maker code “126” is present below the helmet. The hardware on this badge is typical, functional, and shows no signs of repair. The hinge and catch are made of sheet metal, and the pin is a round wire type. Virtually all of the original paint is present on the reverse. This wound badge is in excellent condition, and would be hard to upgrade.
Historical Description: The German Wound Badge was instituted during the First World War to recognize those wounded in the conflict. It was designed using a World War One style Imperial German helmet as the main motif. The helmet was set on top two crossed swords against a pebbled background and surrounded by a laurel leaves wreath.
During the Spanish Civil War, the Third Reich reinstated the Wound Badge for a short period to honor those who were wounded during the conflict from 1936 to 1939. These German units participating in the assistance of the Spanish Fascists were deemed the “Condor Legion”. The pattern of the World War One Wound Badge was again used, except this time with a raised swastika on the center of the World War One era helmet.
At the outbreak of war in September 1939 with Poland, Adolf Hitler once again reinstated the Wound Badge Award. Again, the pattern of the badge was similar to that of the earlier style except the new design was freshened up a bit by using an M35 pattern German helmet and a slightly softer looking wreath. This pattern was used until the end of the war in 1945. It is impossible to know the exact numbers of wound badges awarded during the course of the Second World War due to the vast scale and countless individuals who were wounded or killed in the conflict.
The Wound Badge Awards came in three different types of grades representing the amount, or severity, of wounds received. The first grade, the Black Wound Badge was awarded for 1 to 2 wounds received in combat. The Silver Grade was awarded for 3 to 4 wounds, and finally the Gold Grade for 5 or more wounds, total disability, or death.
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