Hollow Zinc General Assault Badge by Rudolf Karneth

Condition: Very Good

Manufacturer: Rudolf Karneth


Product Description: This is a nice, representative example of a hollow zinc General Assault Badge. The front of the badge retains about 50 percent of the original silver finish. The faded finish reveals the gray color of the zinc alloy base metal. The badge shows wear and age, and is uncleaned, with some very minor oxidation in a few spots. The reverse of the badge shows the stamped construction and retains about 70 percent of the original finish. This hollow zinc General Assault Badge is unmarked, but is a design that is attributed to the maker of Rudolf Karneth. The hardware setup features a round brass alloy wire pin and catch, and a sheet metal hinge. The pin, hinge and catch are complete, intact, functional, and unrepaired. This is an attractive hollow zinc General Assault Badge with a “been there” look.


Historical Description: The German General Assault Badge was instituted on June 1, 1940. When the first Heer (Army) combat badges were instituted they only recognized those in the Infantry and Panzer (Tank) units. This left the supporting elements of the German Army without an award to recognize their combat achievements. Initially the General Assault Badge was intended for Combat Engineer units, but later this was expanded to include other units such as Panzerjäger’s (Tank Hunters), Cavalry Units, down to Medical Personnel who assisted the Infantry or Panzers during combat engagements. Eligibility also continued to grow to include members of the Luftwaffe (Air Force), Kreigsmarine (Navy), Waffen-SS, and Combat Police units.

The requirements for the General Assault Badge were the same as that of the Infantry Assault Badge and the Panzer Assault Badge. The soldier must have taken part in three combat assaults on three separate days. Three assaults in one day would only count as one assault. Before the institution of the Tank Destruction Strip, awarded to soldiers who destroyed a tank by means of explosives or mine, the single-handed destruction of an enemy tank would also earn the soldier the General Assault Badge.

The Standard General Assault Badge consists of an Oakleaves wreath surrounding a large National Eagle grasping the swastika with crossed bayonet and stick grenade underneath. The General Assault Badge can be found in several different base metals such as Brass, Copper Coated Aluminum, Copper Coated Zinc, and Zinc. The use of the different types of base metal was directly impacted by the war as it progressed. Shortages forced manufacturers to switch from quality base metals like brass to lower quality base metals like zinc.


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