Product Description: This Heer Belt and Buckle is a nice, honest set, that shows traces of wear and age. The buckle is a prewar enlisted issue type buckle, made of aluminum, with a brown leather tab. The buckle shows heavy wear and patina, with traces of the original field gray painted finish. The bare aluminum contrasts nicely with the darker paint traces in the recesses of the design. The buckle is complete, with an integral catch and aluminum roller bar and prongs assembly. The tab is held in place with the original stitching, and is dated 1939. The leather belt also shows heavy wear, nicely matching the buckle. The leather tongue that retains the buckle is complete and remains affixed with the original factory stitching. The belt is a size 95, and is maker marked and dated 92. The belt hook is the typical wartime steel style, with rust and some pitting; the original painted finish has been worn away. The leather of the belt is slightly stiff, which is not unusual. This appealing Heer Belt and Buckle has a nice, “field” look, and would be perfect for a wartime combat mannequin. It also displays nicely as an evocative artifact in its own right. The overall condition of this set rates as very good.
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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