Product Description: This is a nice example of a desirable Infantry Assault Badge, made of a brass alloy, Tombak. This is a high quality material that was used for early production pieces. These are quite a bit harder to find than the zinc examples that appeared early in the war and remained in production through the end. The obverse of this badge has a great look. It’s a worn piece, with most of the original silver finish having been worn away. Most of the surface shows the brassy color of the base metal. The original silver finish that does remain on this badge has developed a heavy, dark patina. The obverse shows some scattered contact marks and typical traces of honest wear, but retains lots of great detail, showing a very appealing design. The reverse of this choice Infantry Assault Badge is unmarked, but this variant is known to have been produced by the Schickle firm. The hardware setup is complete, with a sheet metal hinge and catch, and a functional attachment pin. There are no signs of repair. This charming badge remains in excellent 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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