Product Description: This Early CupAl Kriegsmarine Narvik Shield is a great example of a scarce award. This is struck from CupAl, an alloy of mechanically bonded copper and aluminum, associated with high quality, early production awards. The Kriegsmarine version of this award was to have a gold finish. This one was nicely gilded, and has a beautiful look. Most of the original finish remains intact on the obverse, with lots of original luster, and some slight wear that exposes the copper color of the base material in a few areas. All of the original fine detail is intact. The reverse also retains great original finish in the recesses, with slight wear. All four of the original attachment prongs are intact, with some light verdigris from age. This Early CupAl Kriegsmarine Narvik Shield is the so-called “LDO” style, which was sold without the backing cloth and back plate found on issue type examples. This one does not appear to have ever been worn on a uniform. It’s in excellent condition.
Historical Description: The Narvik Shield (Ärmelschild Narvik) was awarded to members of the German Wehrmacht who participated in the battle of Narvik. “Unternehmen Weserübung,” the occupation of the neutral countries Denmark and Norway, began on April 9, 1940. On this day, a Regiment of Gebirgsjäger troops under the command of Generalleutnant Eduard Dietl landed in the city of Narvik, a Norwegian city north of the Arctic Circle, which was of strategic importance due to its harbor which remains ice-free year-round. A few days later, following a battle against the Royal Navy, this occupation force was strengthened by over 2,000 members of the Kriegsmarine. This combined force resisted Allied counterattacks until April 28, when British troops were able to take the city. German forces continued to attack the superior numbers of British troops until the British finally withdrew on June 8. The Narvik Shield was designed by the artist Richard Klein of Munich, with an Edelweiss to commemorate the Gebirgsjäger, an anchor to commemorate the Kriegsmarine and a propeller symbolizing the Luftwaffe. It was made out of iron and later also from zinc. This award was officially instituted by Adolf Hitler on August 19, 1940 and was issued to a narrowly defined group of Wehrmacht personnel who were active in the Narvik area between April 9 and June 8. It was made in two variants, with a silver finish for the Heer and Luftwaffe and a gold finish for the Kriegsmarine. Approximately 8500 of these shields were issued in total.
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