Condition: Very Good
Maker: Berg & Nolte, Lüdenscheid (B&NL)
Base Metal: Zinc
Product Description: This worn General Assault Badge has tremendous character and shows clear traces of wear. Most of the original silver finish is worn away from the high points on the front, revealing the dull gray color of the zinc alloy base metal. The recesses of the design retain some of the silvering, which has toned from age. This contrast between the gray zinc and the age-toned silvering gives this badge a wonderful depth. The reverse of the badge has a mottled appearance and shows age. It’s unmarked, but was made by the firm of Berg & Nolte in Lüdenscheid. The hardware is complete, textbook, and intact, with no issues. In typical B&NL fashion, as with many of their late war combat badges, the catch is slightly recessed in the back of the badge to add additional support and structure to the solder joint. This is a really handsome General Assault Badge.
Historical Description: The German General Assault Badge was instituted on June 1, 1940. When the first Heer (Army) combat badges were instituted they only recognized those in the Infantry and Panzer (Tank) units. This left the supporting elements of the German Army without an award to recognize their combat achievements. Initially the General Assault Badge was intended for Combat Engineer units, but later this was expanded to include other units such as Panzerjäger’s (Tank Hunters), Cavalry Units, down to Medical Personnel who assisted the Infantry or Panzers during combat engagements. Eligibility also continued to grow to include members of the Luftwaffe (Air Force), Kreigsmarine (Navy), Waffen-SS, and Combat Police units.
The requirements for the General Assault Badge were the same as that of the Infantry Assault Badge and the Panzer Assault Badge. The soldier must have taken part in three combat assaults on three separate days. Three assaults in one day would only count as one assault. Before the institution of the Tank Destruction Strip, awarded to soldiers who destroyed a tank by means of explosives or mine, the single-handed destruction of an enemy tank would also earn the soldier the General Assault Badge.
The Standard General Assault Badge consists of an Oakleaves wreath surrounding a large National Eagle grasping the swastika with crossed bayonet and stick grenade underneath. The General Assault Badge can be found in several different base metals such as Brass, Copper Coated Aluminum, Copper Coated Zinc, and Zinc. The use of the different types of base metal was directly impacted by the war as it progressed. Shortages forced manufacturers to switch from quality base metals like brass to lower quality base metals like zinc.
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