Maker: Vienna Mint (Hauptmünzamt Wien) “30”
Base Metal: Brass “Tombak”
Product Description: This is a gorgeous, outstanding example of a very desirable maker marked early tombak cased gold wound badge. The badge is in excellent condition. It’s maker marked “30” on the reverse, indicating manufacture by the Vienna Mint (Hauptmünzamt Wien) also the marked on the cased gold wound badge box. This manufacturer is known for their extremely high quality wound badges, and this example is no exception. It’s made of tombak, and feels very heavy in the hand. It has a beautiful, fire gilded gold finish. The heavy original finish retains lots of original luster, and is more than 90 percent present. There is some minor finish wear to the high points on the front and especially the swastika, exposing the brass-colored base metal. The hardware on the reverse of this tombak Gold Wound Badge is intact, functional, and without repair, and is absolutely textbook for this maker. This badge is complete with its case of issue, which is excellent condition. The exterior of the cased gold wound badge shows only extremely minor age. The black paper hinge on the rear of the case has worn through from opening and closing but still is operational due to the interior hinge material. The underside of the case has an embossed printed manufacturer label for Hauptmünzamt Wien, matching the maker mark on the Gold Wound Badge itself. The interior of the case shows minor age and wear with some very light staining to the interior of the lid. The reverse has some normal age patina, as well as the concentric circle marks normally found on badges by this maker. This tombak cased gold wound badge is a very desirable variant of a hard-earned combat badge.
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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