Product Description: This Heer Early Narvik Shield is a rare and desirable Type 1 piece. The shield is made of CupAl, mechanically bonded copper and aluminum, a high-quality alloy not used on later production pieces. The beautiful, early type silver electroplated finish is virtually all intact. This finish has a high real silver content, which is reflected in the typical dark surface toning in areas. The surface additionally shows an untouched age patina. All of the original detail is intact, with a couple of tiny areas of corrosion. This is a so-called Juncker variant of shield, though there is no maker mark on these. This early Heer Narvik Shield is complete with the original field gray wool backing. The wool has a small hole on each side, likely from having been mounted to a display at some point in the past. The reverse of this shield shows a typical backing plate. There is no backing paper, and all four of the original prongs are intact and visible. This hard to find shield remains sound, with no repairs. It has nice eye appeal. The condition rates as excellent.
Historical Description: The Narvik Shield (Ärmelschild Narvik) was awarded to members of the German Wehrmacht who participated in the battle of Narvik. “Unternehmen Weserübung,” the occupation of the neutral countries Denmark and Norway, began on April 9, 1940. On this day, a Regiment of Gebirgsjäger troops under the command of Generalleutnant Eduard Dietl landed in the city of Narvik, a Norwegian city north of the Arctic Circle, which was of strategic importance due to its harbor which remains ice-free year-round. A few days later, following a battle against the Royal Navy, this occupation force was strengthened by over 2,000 members of the Kriegsmarine. This combined force resisted Allied counterattacks until April 28, when British troops were able to take the city. German forces continued to attack the superior numbers of British troops until the British finally withdrew on June 8. The Narvik Shield was designed by the artist Richard Klein of Munich, with an Edelweiss to commemorate the Gebirgsjäger, an anchor to commemorate the Kriegsmarine and a propeller symbolizing the Luftwaffe. It was made out of iron and later also from zinc. This award was officially instituted by Adolf Hitler on August 19, 1940 and was issued to a narrowly defined group of Wehrmacht personnel who were active in the Narvik area between April 9 and June 8. It was made in two variants, with a silver finish for the Heer and Luftwaffe and a gold finish for the Kriegsmarine. Approximately 8500 of these shields were issued in total.
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