Product Description: This Heer Painted Buckle – B&N is a choice example of the standard wartime enlisted issue buckle for German Army soldiers. It’s made of stamped steel, and retains virtually all of the original, factory applied, matte field gray paint. This buckle does not appear to have ever been issued or worn, as there is almost no wear to the paint, and only a couple of scattered, small marks. It does show some age, with some tiny spots of surface rust here and there. The reverse of this Heer Painted Buckle – B&N is textbook, with a spot welded catch. The roller bar and prongs assembly for affixing this to a belt is also made of steel, and shows some corrosion. This buckle is marked near the catch with “B&N 43” indicating manufacture by the firm of Berg & Nolte A.G. in Lüdenscheid, in 1943. These unissued buckles are desirable and keep getting harder to find. The condition of this one rates as excellent plus.
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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