Product Description: This is a beautiful example of an desirable early General Assault Badge. It is hollow on the reverse, and made of Tombak, a brass alloy typically used on early awards. There is no manufacturer marking on this, but it is believed that this type was made by the firm of Otto Schickle. The finish on this is a very nice silver electroplating. It is over 90 percent intact on the front and back, and has taken on a very pleasant mellow patina with age. The badge shows only light wear, which has exposed some of the yellow colored Tombak base metal on high points such as the swastika. The hardware on this General Assault Badge is completely intact, with no indications of any repair, and features a typical blunt pin. These early badges are really quite a bit more scarce than the subsequent zinc versions. This one is gorgeous.
Historical Description: The General Assault Badge (Allgemeines Sturmabzeichen) was instituted on June 1, 1940 to recognize the combat achievements of members of the German military who participated in infantry attacks despite not being in Infantry units. The design of the award featured a large Wehrmacht eagle and swastika emblem above a crossed rifle bayonet and hand grenade, encircled by a wreath. It was a breast badge that could be affixed to the uniform with a pin, or less frequently, with a threaded screw post and retaining disk. The award was originally intended primarily for combat engineers, but it was awarded to many other types of units that supported infantry attacks, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank units, as well as battlefield medics. To earn this badge, a soldier had to be ineligible for the Infantry Assault Badge. He had to participate in three infantry attacks or indirect assaults on three different days, or to have been wounded or earned another decoration in an attack or assault. Prior to the introduction of the Tank Destruction Badge in 1942, the General Assault Badge was also used to recognize those soldiers who had single-handedly destroyed an enemy tank using hand-held weapons. In June, 1943, four new grades of the General Assault Badge were introduced to recognize the experience of soldiers who had participated in larger numbers of assaults. These grades had small plates affixed to the lower front of the badge, indicating the number of assaults the wearer had participated in: 25, 50, 75 or 100 assaults. The higher grades of this award were rarely awarded before the war ended.
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