Maker Marked: “30” Hauptmünzamt Wien (The Vienna Mint)
Product Description: This Gold Wound Badge is a wonderful example, by one of the best and most sought-after makers of this award. The badge itself is the wide pin variant, which is harder to find than the round pin type. This Gold Wound Badge is a top quality, early piece, struck from heavy tombak brass alloy, and with a thick gold finish. The finish is almost completely intact, with lots of luster, and some very minor spots and age toning. There are some very tiny scattered marks, but the badge shows no trace of having been actually worn. The reverse of the badge has nearly all the finish, as well as that desirable wide pin, and a sheet metal catch that is textbook for this maker. There is an incised maker code “30” indicating manufacture by Hauptmünzamt Wien (the Vienna Mint). This Gold Wound Badge is a top-shelf example of this desirable combat award.
Historical Description: The German Wound Badge was instituted during the First World War to recognize those wounded in the conflict. It was designed using a World War One style Imperial German helmet as the main motif. The helmet was set on top two crossed swords against a pebbled background and surrounded by a laurel leaves wreath.During the Spanish Civil War the Third Reich reinstated the Wound Badge for a short period to honor those who were wounded during the conflict from 1936 to 1939. These German units participating in the assistance of the Spanish Fascists were deemed the “Condor Legion”. The pattern of the World War One Wound Badge was again used, except this time with a raised swastika on the center of the World War One era helmet.
At the outbreak of war in September 1939 with Poland, Adolf Hitler once again reinstated the Wound Badge Award. Again the pattern of the badge was similar to that of the earlier style except the new design was freshened up a bit by using an M35 pattern German helmet and a slightly softer looking wreath. This pattern was used until the end of the war in 1945. It is impossible to know the exact numbers of wound badges awarded during the course of the Second World War due to the vast scale and countless individuals who were wounded or killed in the conflict.
The Wound Badge Awards came in three different types of grades representing the amount , or severity, of wounds received. The first grade, the Black Wound Badge was awarded for 1 to 2 wounds received in combat. The Silver Grade was awarded for 3 to 4 wounds, and finally the Gold Grade for 5 or more wounds, total disability, or death.
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