Product Description: This FLL Infantry Assault Badge is a rare and desirable very early variant. It is made of stamped sheet zinc. The obverse retains most of the original high quality, early type silver finish. There is attractive, even age toning. Slight wear exposes the zinc in some small spots. This badge shows lots of sharp detail. The intricate detail to the head of the eagle, which would later be obscured by a die flaw, is still fully evident in this early production piece. The reverse of this badge is hollow, with lots of finish and an uncleaned patina. There is no maker mark, but this variant is known to have been made by the firm of FLL (Friedrich Linden, Lüdenscheid). The hardware is textbook for this maker and is all original with no repairs. This is a tough badge to find and this is a choice piece that would be tough to upgrade. The condition rates as excellent plus plus.
Historical Description: The Infantry Assault Badge (Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen) was instituted on December 20, 1939, by German Army commander Generalfeldmarschall Walther von Brauchitsch. The design of the badge featured the iconic K98 rifle, the standard German Infantry weapon of WWII, surrounded by oak leaves and surmounted by a German Army eagle and swastika emblem. The creation of this design has been attributed to the C.E. Juncker firm in Berlin. The badge could be awarded to members of the Heer and SS-VT (later the Waffen-SS) who participate in ground combat as infantry. To earn this award, soldiers had to participate in three or more assaults, counterattacks, or reconnaissance missions, or to have participated in hand to hand combat in an assault, or to have participated in three days of reestablishing combat positions. These actions had to take place on separate days to meet the award criteria. On June 1, 1940, a Bronze grade of this award was instituted, for motorized infantry. The criteria for the award were the same, only for motorized units. The earliest versions of the Infantry Assault Badge were made of Tombak or other high-quality alloys, with a plated finish. Later production awards were generally zinc alloy, with a bronze or silver wash that often faded with wear and time.
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