Product Description: This General Assault Badge by Wiedmann is a desirable, maker marked badge, with a great look. It’s made of fine zinc, and likely dates from the later period of the war. The front of the badge retains a healthy amount of original finish, which has an even age patina. On the high points, the gray color of the zinc alloy base metal is exposed. It’s a nice strike, with great detail that shows only extremely slight wear. The reverse of this General Assault Badge by Wiedmann is textbook, with typical Wiedmann appearance and hardware. It’s flat, with a round steel wire pin, and a soldered hinge and catch plate. The hardware is functional and unrepaired. The reverse of the eagle is stamped with the Wiedmann “ÜÜ” logo. This is an attractive example of a General Assault Badge, and remains in excellent condition overall.
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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