Product Description: This Close Combat Clasp in Silver is a nice example of this scarce and desirable award. It’s made of zinc. The obverse of the clasp retains strong visible traces of the original silver finish, though most of the surface has reverted to the dull gray color of the base metal, as is common with these. There is some minimal aging and patina. All of the original detail is intact. The reverse of this Close Combat Clasp in Silver is flat and smooth, and is well marked, with the name of the designer of the badge, Peekhaus in Berlin, as well as “A.G.M.u.K. Gablonz” indicating manufacture by Arbeitsgemeinschaft Metall und Kunststoff. This is the “large font” variant of this firm’s maker mark. The steel backplate is intact, and not replaced or repaired. The hardware setup is functional, and is textbook for this maker, with intact silver finish. This is a choice clasp that has a lot going for it. The condition rates as excellent.
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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