Product Description: A beautiful and scarce example of a Cased Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge. Finding a Cased Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge on the market today is nearly impossible, as most of these awards were presented simply in paper packets, and even those can be scarce. The badge is made by GWL, which is the only maker known to be housed in the cases. The badge is made of die-forged zinc with an integral hinge and catch. The front of the badge is in excellent condition, and as with most of the GWL produced Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badges most of the original finish has evaporated. The reverse features the recessed GWL makers mark. The pin is intact and functioning. The case is of typical late war manufacture, using a simple flocking material, and leatherette covering on the exterior. This is a Type 2 case using a single barrel hinge. The intricate front clasp is intact and functioning. The upper lid of the case features the title “Erdkampf-Abz” in gold lettering. A small hole can be seen on the upper lid as well. This is an extremely rare Cased Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge set we are pleased to be able to offer, don’t miss the chance!
Historical Description: In the early days of WWII, the German Air Force had few units intended to serve as infantry. As the war progressed, and especially after the disastrous first winter on the Eastern Front, more and more Luftwaffe personnel were being engaged in ground combat on the front lines. To recognize the combat experience of these soldiers, Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering introduced the Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge on March 31, 1942. The badge had been designed by Sigmund von Weech and featured a Luftwaffe eagle and swastika emblem atop a wreath, within which was a storm cloud striking the earth with a bolt of lightning. Those Luftwaffe soldiers who had previously been awarded German Army ground combat badges such as the Infantry Assault Badge, General Assault Badge or Panzer Assault Badge, were to exchange them for the new Luftwaffe badge. To earn this badge, Luftwaffe soldiers had to survive three ground combat actions on three separate days, be wounded in a ground combat action, or to have earned another decoration in such an action. Luftwaffe soldiers killed in ground combat were to receive the award posthumously. Personnel who could receive this award included paratroopers, members of the Luftwaffe Field Divisions, assault gun crews, and even Flak crews tasked with using their anti-aircraft guns against ground targets. On some of these badges, mostly early versions, the Luftwaffe eagle is a separate piece, riveted on. Later in the war, the eagle was most often integral to the badge.
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