Close Combat Clasp in Silver – Rudolf Souval

Condition: Good


Product Description: This is a very attractive and well-preserved example of the silver Close Combat Clasp. It’s marked “R.S.” indicating manufacture by the firm of Rudolf Souval. The heavy plated finish on this badge is exceptional, with the original silvering retained to a much higher degree than is typically encountered on these zinc badges. The finish on this Close Combat Clasp is easily 95 percent intact, with its original luster, and only a few very small marks here and there, mostly to the reverse. It’s a crisp strike, with bold detail to the leaves. The original crimped-in steel backing plate is present, with some flaking of the dark finish due to age. The hardware setup features a wide pin. The hinge and catch are original to the badge, but both have been reattached, possibly a period repair- but in any case, very neatly done. The silver Close Combat Clasp was a prestigious combat award, earned by those who survived 30 days of close combat with the enemy. This one is gorgeous.

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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