Condition: Near Mint
Maker: Hauptmunzampt, Wien
Base Material: Tombak
Product Description: This is an outstanding example of a very desirable cased Tombak Gold Wound Badge, made by the Vienna Mint. These early cased Vienna Mint gold wound badges are some of the nicest ever made. The badge itself is in incredible, near mint condition, and still retains all of the beautiful original fire gilded gold finish, with great original luster. The badge is an early, top quality piece, made of Tombak, with a nice, heavy feel in the hand. All of the crisp original detail is present on this wound badge. The reverse of this badge is unmarked, but this type is attripbuted to the Vienna Mint (Hauptmünzamt Wien), with a round pin, sheet metal catch and narrow sheet metal hinge. The hardware setup is intact, functional and unrepaired, and the finish on the reverse of the badge is perfect. The case is also a textbook example, with minor patina and a few scattered marks to the black artificial leather on the reverse. The underside of the case shows some slight wear, but retains the original Hauptmünzamt Wien maker label. The inside of the case is nice and clean, with a perfect flocked insert for the badge, and no damage to the white silk lining inside the lid. This cased Tombak Gold Wound Badge has great eye appeal, and is certainly a choice 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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