Product Description: This Infantry Assault Badge in Silver is a very attractive example. This is the original variant known as the “pillow crimp” style, from the distinctive hardware attachment method on the reverse. The maker of this variant is as-yet unknown. This one retains decent original silver finish, with an appealing, bright look. There is some horizontal “tiger striping” of the finish on both sides, a result of the finish evaporating from the zinc base metal over time. The obverse of this eye-catching badge shows crisp detail, with virtually no sign of wear. The reverse of this badge is flat and unmarked. The typical “pillow crimp” hardware is intact and functional, with no repairs. The attachment pin ends in a blunt tip, and some slight bends along the length of the pin suggest this may have been fastened to a uniform in the past. Overall, this Infantry Assault Badge is a handsome piece that 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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