Condition: Very Good
Maker: Hammer & Sohne
Base Metal: Zinc
Product Description: This Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge shows some age and wear, with a field worn look. It’s in very good condition overall. The bold wreath design on this award makes for an impressive effect. The base metal is zinc, and the typical gray color of the alloy is visible on the high points of the design where the finish has worn away. The recesses of the design retain dark original finish. The eagle is a separate piece, struck from Buntmetall, and affixed to the badge with a single rivet. The eagle shows a buildup of patina from age. The reverse of the badge has a slightly mottled appearance, from aging of the original finish. The hardware is intact, functional, and unrepaired. It’s unmarked, but was made by the firm of Hammer & Söhne. This Ground Assault Badge is perfect for a combat display and would be a fantastic adornment for a worn uniform.
Historical Description: In the early days of WWII, the German Air Force had few units intended to serve as infantry. As the war progressed, and especially after the disastrous first winter on the Eastern Front, more and more Luftwaffe personnel were being engaged in ground combat on the front lines. To recognize the combat experience of these soldiers, Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering introduced the Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge on March 31, 1942. The badge had been designed by Sigmund von Weech and featured a Luftwaffe eagle and swastika emblem atop a wreath, within which was a storm cloud striking the earth with a bolt of lightning. Those Luftwaffe soldiers who had previously been awarded German Army ground combat badges such as the Infantry Assault Badge, General Assault Badge or Panzer Assault Badge, were to exchange them for the new Luftwaffe badge. To earn this badge, Luftwaffe soldiers had to survive three ground combat actions on three separate days, be wounded in a ground combat action, or to have earned another decoration in such an action. Luftwaffe soldiers killed in ground combat were to receive the award posthumously. Personnel who could receive this award included paratroopers, members of the Luftwaffe Field Divisions, assault gun crews, and even Flak crews tasked with using their anti-aircraft guns against ground targets. On some of these badges, mostly early versions, the Luftwaffe eagle is a separate piece, riveted on. Later in the war, the eagle was most often integral to the badge.
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