Product Description: This is a virtually perfect example of a Close Combat Clasp in Bronze. It is made of fine zinc, which retains virtually all of the original factory applied bronze lacquer finish. The finish shows attractive, bright color tones, and is in an outstanding state of preservation. All of the original detail is intact, and there are no signs of having been worn. The reverse of this Close Combat Clasp in Bronze is typical, flat and smooth, with the name of the designer (Peekhaus) as well as the maker mark for “A.G.M.u.K.” in raised lettering, indicating manufacture by the firm of Arbeitsgemeinschaft Metall und Kunststoff in Gablonz. The hardware is intact and unrepaired, with a textbook, functional fluted attachment pin. The steel back plate is intact, still held in place with the original crimps. These clasps are getting harder to find, especially in this condition. This one rates as near mint.
Historical Description: The Close Combat Clasp (Nahkampfspange) was instituted on November 25, 1942, to recognize the feats of German soldiers in close quarters combat. Units with soldiers who survived hand-to-hand fights with the enemy and other extremely close-range combat actions would keep track of the dates and places of each of these battles, and soldiers who managed to make it through many of these fights became eligible for this award. Because only front-line troops with direct combat experience could earn this clasp, it was a regarded by the soldiers as a very prestigious award. The Close Combat Clasp was awarded in three grades: Bronze, for 15 close combat days; Silver, for 25 close combat days, and Gold, for 50 or more days of close combat. Hitler reserved the right to personally award the Gold Close Combat Clasp, which was widely regarded as more prestigious than even the Knight’s Cross. The total amount of these clasps awarded, in all grades, was fewer than 50,000.
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