Maker: Friedrich Linden in Lüdenscheid
Product Description: The Gold Close Combat Clasp is a very rare award to find. Fewer than 700 Close Combat Clasps in this grade were ever awarded. This is a great, all-original example. Approximately 30 percent of the original gold wash is still present, with more remaining on the front than on the reverse. The remaining original finish is still very bright. The reverse of the badge has mostly reverted to the gray color of the zinc base metal, though the pin retains nearly all of its original gold finish. It’s manufacturer marked with the raised “F.L.L” logo for Friedrich Linden in Lüdenscheid. The hardware setup is intact, functional, and showing no damage or signs of repair. It’s a nice representative example of an extremely desirable Gold Close Combat Clasp, a rare award that is missing from most collections.
Historical Description: The Close Combat Clasp (Nahkampfspange) was instituted on November 25, 1942, to recognize the feats of German soldiers in close quarters combat. Units with soldiers who survived hand-to-hand fights with the enemy and other extremely close range combat actions would keep track of the dates and places of each of these battles, and soldiers who managed to make it through many of these fights became eligible for this award. Because only front-line troops with direct combat experience could earn this clasp, it was a regarded by the soldiers as a very prestigious award. The Close Combat Clasp was awarded in three grades: Bronze for 15 close combat days, Silver for 25 close combat days, and Gold for 50 or more days of close combat. Hitler reserved the right to personally award the Gold Close Combat Clasp, which was widely regarded as more prestigious than even the Knight’s Cross. The total amount of these clasps awarded, in all grades, was fewer than 50,000.
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