Product Description: This Heer Grade 8 Shooting Lanyard is a great example. These higher grade lanyards are vastly tougher to find than the lower grade awards. This one is textbook and very attractive. The emblem is made out of bare aluminum, and is extremely crisp, with no evident wear. It’s a large emblem used only on the higher grade awards, with sword handles that extend to just beyond the outer wreath edge. The lanyard itself is made from wire braid, which retains full original luster. There is no fraying or damage, and only extremely slight age toning. The end opposite the emblem is adorned with 3 wire braid acorns, which together with the large emblem indicate the grade. The loops for affixing this lanyard to a soldier’s uniform remain intact. On the reverse, this Grade 8 Shooting Lanyard is complete with the original rayon backing to protect the braid when worn. The backing to the emblem is typical German Army field gray wool, and is still held in place with the original hand stitching. This backing fabric shows light mothing, with some losses near the edge. Overall, this desirable award for an accomplished marksman remains in a strong very good condition.
Historical Description: Marksmanship was a highly valued skill in the militaristic culture of the Third Reich. For soldiers, of course, this skill was taught and trained, and soldiers were expected to achieve marksmanship proficiency. Members of paramilitary organizations such as the Hitler Youth also trained with the use of weapons, and of course there were civilian shooting clubs that held events and competitions as well. There was a myriad of different kinds of marksmanship awards that were used to recognize this skill. In the SS, and early in the German Wehrmacht, sleeve insignia was used in different patterns to display different levels of rifle qualification. Later, the Heer and Luftwaffe used special lanyards for this purpose. Heer and Luftwaffe lanyards used distinctive emblem patterns, as did the Panzer branch of the Heer. The lanyards were produced in many different grades for which a soldier could qualify and were not worn on the field uniform. Because of this, issue of these lanyards was discontinued around the start of WWII. Civilian and paramilitary groups had their own wide array of different marksmanship awards, ranging from pins and badges to non-portable medals and award plaques.
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