German Army Belt Buckle, Aluminum

Condition: Very Good


Product Description: This is a great representative example of the classic German Army belt buckle. This one was issued and worn, and has a great “field” look. The front of the buckle bears the traditional German Army “Gott Mit Uns” (God is With Us) motto, over a German Army eagle and swastika emblem. These aluminum Army buckles were early, with steel replacing them around the start of the war. Nearly all of the original field-gray paint has been worn off of the front of the buckle, revealing bare aluminum. Honest use has worn away the details to the high points on the eagle, though much detail remains in the recesses. The reverse of this German Army belt buckle retains most of the original factory paint, which has partially taken on a brownish tone from age and patina. The massive catch on this is made out of a separate piece of aluminum, which is an interesting construction variant, as these typically have an integral catch. Another interesting variation here: the pebbling is visible on the back; most manufacturers made Army buckles with a smooth reverse. The belt attachment prongs are intact and functional. This German Army belt buckle is a really interesting piece, with lots of unique character, and remains in very good condition.

Historical Description: The belt buckle was an important part of the regalia worn by all uniformed military, civil, political and paramilitary organizations during the Third Reich. The belt (“Koppel”) was part of the uniform, and would always be worn while on duty. The belt buckle (“Koppelschloss”) was generally specific to each organization, with many organizations having separate belt buckles for officers and for enlisted personnel, sometimes with different colors and finishes to further denote specific purposes. The buckles were adorned with various mottos and designs specific to the organizations for which they were intended. Many designs used the German national eagle emblem, in a variety of forms. Belt buckles were worn with uniforms ranging from finely tailored officer parade uniforms, to the issue uniforms of enlisted soldiers in combat. Generally speaking, most German belt buckles of the Third Reich were made with two prongs on the reverse, to allow the buckle to be worn and adjusted on a belt. The buckle had a catch that would mate with a hook on the belt, when worn. The earliest Third Reich buckles were often made of brass, or nickel silver. Later, aluminum became very common, and was used on private purchase as well as enlisted buckles of the German military, with or without a painted or plated finish. After WWII began, most enlisted military buckles were steel. Nazi belt buckles were popular souvenirs for Allied troops who served in Europe. Some types were made by the millions and remain quite common today. Others were made in limited numbers and are very rare.


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