Condition: Very Good
Maker: Steinhauer and Luck “S&L”
Time Period: Late War
Product Description: This late war General Assault badge has a great “field worn” look. It is made of zinc, as is typical for production in the last years of the war. It was originally finished with a thin silver wash, which remains about 60 percent intact. The front of this General Assault Badge shows wear, but retains great detail. Most of the eagle and swastika has reverted to the dull gray color of the base metal. On the wreath and hand grenade, the surviving original silver finish shows attractive age toning. The rear of the badge retains most of the finish, with some of the original shine. There is no manufacturer marking, but this is textbook Steinhauer & Lück construction, with the typical flat back, wide barrel hinge, and wide, soldered catch plate. The hardware is intact and functional, and this badge has no repairs despite having clearly been worn. This General Assault Badge by S&L is a great representative example of a late-war piece, that certainly looks to have been issued.
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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