Product Description: This Infantry Assault Badge in Silver is a choice example of a hard to find variant. It’s a mid war production badge, struck from fine zinc. The obverse retains most of the original silver finish, which shows attractive age toning as well as some bubbling as is commonly seen with these zinc awards. The badge has an even, light patina and great eye appeal. All of the original detail is intact. The reverse of this badge is flat and smooth. It’s marked behind the butt of the rifle with the LDO mark “L/51,” an uncommon marking to find on these badges. This indicates manufacture by the firm of E. Ferdinand Wiedmann. The hardware setup is textbook for this maker, with a sheet metal hinge and round wire catch with catch plate. The round wire attachment pin comes to a blunt point, and is functional. This Infantry Assault Badge is complete and sound, with no damage or repairs. It’s a great piece, in excellent plus condition.
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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