Conditon: Very Good
Maker: Friedrich Linden, Lüdenscheid (FLL)
Variant: 1.14.2; Crimped Hardware
Product Description: A nice and all-original example of a bronze Close Combat Clasp. This one is very clean and has a lot of attractive original finish. It is made of zinc. The original bronze Brennlack finish is thin, but still covers more than 90 percent of the surface on both the front and back. There is no corrosion, and only very slight evident wear. The reverse of this bronze Close Combat Clasp bears the name of the award’s designer as well as the “FLL” logo indicating manufacture by the firm of Friedrich Linden in Lüdenscheid. The hardware setup on the reverse is completelty intact and functional, with no repairs. The crimped in hinge and catch are firmly in place. The wide pin is made of brass. The backplate on this one is magnetic and firmly in place with the original crimps. FLL Close Combat Clasps are notorious for having missing or repaired backplates. This one is totally complete and untouched. A very fine representative example of a bronze Close Combat Clasp, in very good condition.
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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