Product Description: This is a choice example of a JFS Close Combat Clasp. It’s marked on the reverse with the name of the designer of the clasp, E. E. Peekhaus, as well as the square “JFS” logo of the manufacturer, Josef Feix & Sohn. This JFS Close Combat Clasp is made of zinc, and has a beautiful bronze Brennlack finish that remains about 95 percent intact on both the front and rear. It’s not easy to find a bronze Close Combat Clasp that retains so much original finish. The clasp is in excellent condition overall, showing some age, but almost no wear. The reverse has the crimped hinge and catch setup that is textbook for this maker. The wide pin is intact and functional, the hardware is untouched, with no repairs. The backplate is still firmly in place with the original crimps, and has never been reattached. A very appealing example of a desirable JFS Close Combat Clasp.
Historical Description: The Close Combat Clasp (Nahkampfspange) was instituted on November 25, 1942, to recognize the feats of German soldiers in close quarters combat. Units with soldiers who survived hand-to-hand fights with the enemy and other extremely close range combat actions would keep track of the dates and places of each of these battles, and soldiers who managed to make it through many of these fights became eligible for this award. Because only front-line troops with direct combat experience could earn this clasp, it was a regarded by the soldiers as a very prestigious award. The Close Combat Clasp was awarded in three grades: Bronze, for 15 close combat days; Silver, for 25 close combat days, and Gold, for 50 or more days of close combat. Hitler reserved the right to personally award the Gold Close Combat Clasp, which was widely regarded as more prestigious than even the Knight’s Cross. The total amount of these clasps awarded, in all grades, was fewer than 50,000.
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