Product Description: This Infantry Assault Badge in Silver by S&L retains loads of its original finish, far more than is usually encountered. It’s got a bright silver wash, that remains very heavy on the front, and almost perfectly intact on the reverse. Some of the finish on the high points on the front has been worn away in spots, revealing the dull gray zinc base metal. There is some old patina buildup in a few areas. The reverse of the badge features crimped-in hardware, with a steel hinge and pin, and round Tombak wire catch. The steel components show typical aging. The badge is unmarked, but this design has been attributed to the firm of Steinhauer und Lück, a prestigious award manufacturer who also made Knights Crosses. This is a really great example of the desirable Infantry Assault Badge in Silver by S&L. It’s rare to find one with so much original bright finish.
Historical Description: The Infantry Assault Badge (Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen) was instituted on December 20, 1939, by German Army commander Generalfeldmarschall Walther von Brauchitsch. The design of the badge featured the iconic K98 rifle, the standard German Infantry weapon of WWII, surrounded by oak leaves and surmounted by a German Army eagle and swastika emblem. The creation of this design has been attributed to the C.E. Juncker firm in Berlin. The badge could be awarded to members of the Heer and SS-VT (later the Waffen-SS) who participate in ground combat as infantry. To earn this award, soldiers had to participate in three or more assaults, counterattacks, or reconnaissance missions, or to have participated in hand to hand combat in an assault, or to have participated in three days of reestablishing combat positions. These actions had to take place on separate days to meet the award criteria. On June 1, 1940, a Bronze grade of this award was instituted, for motorized infantry. The criteria for the award were the same, only for motorized units. The earliest versions of the Infantry Assault Badge were made of Tombak or other high quality alloys, with a plated finish. Later production awards were generally zinc alloy, with a bronze or silver wash that often faded with wear and time.
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