Product Description: This Heer Narvik Shield is a nice, representative example of this scarce and desirable campaign award. It is made of a zinc alloy. On the obverse, this attractive shield retains approximately 85 percent of the original silver wash. Light wear to high points exposes the gray color of the base metal, though lots of original detail remains. The backing cloth on this shield is a typical wartime type Feldgrau wool fabric, indicating this piece was intended for issue to one of the Heer soldiers who participated in the Narvik battles. The cloth backing is missing some sections, and it’s possible that the shield was re-pinned to this backing at some point after it was made. The reverse of this Heer Narvik Shield is missing its paper backing; it’s likely this piece was issued and worn on a uniform. The original zinc backing plate is intact, as are all four of the original brass alloy prongs that hold this plate in place. There is no maker marked, but this shield variant is known to have been manufactured by the firm of Wilhelm Deumer, in Lüdenscheid. This shield has great character, and is in very good condition overall.
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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