Wow Product Description: This is a very nice and early JMME Paratrooper Badge, that has a lot going for it. It’s a top quality piece, with a nickel wreath. The eagle is made out of a brass alloy (Tombak). The front of this award is stunning, with outstaning eye appeal. The wreath shows full original detail, with beautiful, factory applied silver finish. The eagle has nice gold finish remaining, and shows light wear. This is the classic early style JMME eagle, with the “fletched wing” that is only found on these early types. The reverse of this Fallschirmjäger badge has a lovely, clean look. It’s maker marked behind the eagle with “JMME & Sohn, Berlin.” The original hardware is intact, and features a barrel hinge and round wire catch. The round wire attachment pin is functional. The rivets that affix the eagle to the wreath have been tightened at some point, perhaps by the original wearer, and the base of the pin has a small dot of solder on it. There are no other apparent repairs to note, and no damage. Overall, this remains a nice representative example of this scarce JMME Paratrooper Badge. The condition rates as excellent.
Historical Description: The German Paratrooper Badge (Fallschirmjäger Abzeichen) was first instituted on the 5th of November 1936, by order of Hermann Göring. It was originally awarded to Luftwaffe personnel after the completion of their training and the required six jumps. On September 1, 1937 the Heer (Army) version of the badge was instituted to recognize members of the Heer who had successfully qualified. However, by 1939 the Luftwaffe gained full control of all trained paratroopers and the small number of Heer Paratroopers were then absorbed into the ranks of the Luftwaffe.
The design of the badge features a diving eagle surrounded by a wreath. With this guideline in place, initially the Heer and Luftwaffe each had their own respective version of the Fallshirmjager Badge to call their own. The Luftwaffe’s version featured a gilded diving eagle clutching a swastika which was surrounded by a darkened wreath of laurel and oak leaves. (Please note that a specific maker exists which utilized a silvered wreath instead of the typical darkened wreath.) The earliest examples of the Luftwaffe Fallshirmjager badge were made of superior metals such as brass and nickel silver. As the war progressed, and the need to save precious metals became more of an obstacle, aluminum and zinc were substituted as replacements. The Heer Fallshirmjager Badge design was a silvered diving eagle surrounded by a wreath of gilded oak leaves with a national “Hoheitszeichen” positioned at the top of the wreath. The first Heer Paratrooper Badges were constructed of delicate aluminum, whose hardware was very prone to breaking. Early deluxe versions of the badge can be found made of “800” silver, such examples are extremely rare. The only known maker of the early Heer Paratrooper Badges is C.E. Juncker. The Heer Paratrooper Badge was discontinued in 1939 after the absorption of the Heer Fallshirmjager into the Luftwaffe, However, the badge was reinstituted in 1943 for members of the Heer who previously qualified and also for members of the Waffen-SS who qualified. These later badges were manufactured strictly in zinc. The only known manufacturers of the later Heer Paratrooper Badge is the firms of C.E. Juncker and Friedrich Linden, Ludenscheid (FLL). Cloth versions of both types of paratrooper badges exist in various forms of embroidery and bullion.
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