Condition: Near Mint
Product Description: This Heer Shooting Lanyard Grade 9 is a fantastic, near mint example of a rare award. The Grade 9 award represented a level of marksmanship achievement that few soldiers were ever able to obtain, and these are seldom encountered. The metal emblem on this one is the larger size, used on higher level awards, and retains virtually all of its striking original gold finish, with full original luster. The three basket knots on the lanyard also retain all of the original gold color, contrasting nicely with the aluminum braid. This Heer Shooting Lanyard Grade 9 is absolutely complete, and shows no fraying or even any sign of wear beyond the most minute traces of handling. The reverse of this Heer Shooting Lanyard Grade 9 has a textbook, hand applied disk of field gray wool, as well as a long strip of white rayon running along the length of the braid, both to protect the uniform from wear. This gold level marksmanship award is missing from most collections and makes for an extremely striking display piece.
Historical Description: Marksmanship was a highly valued skill in the militaristic culture of the Third Reich. For soldiers, of course, this skill was taught and trained, and soldiers were expected to achieve marksmanship proficiency. Members of paramilitary organizations such as the Hitler Youth also trained with the use of weapons, and of course there were civilian shooting clubs that held events and competitions as well. There were a myriad of different kinds of marksmanship awards that were used to recognize this skill. In the SS, and early in the German Wehrmacht, sleeve insignia was used in different patterns to display different levels of rifle qualification. Later, the Heer and Luftwaffe used special lanyards for this purpose. Heer and Luftwaffe lanyards used distinctive emblem patterns, as did the Panzer branch of the Heer. The lanyards were produced in many different grades for which a soldier could qualify, and were not worn on the field uniform. Because of this, issue of these lanyards were discontinued around the start of WWII. Civilian and paramilitary groups had their own wide array of different marksmanship awards, ranging from pins and badges to non-portable medals and award plaques.
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