Product Description: This Juncker Close Combat Clasp is a choice example. It is made of zinc. The obverse retains most of the original bronze finish. There is some slight wear and fading that exposes the base metal in some small areas. The detail is excellent, and there is a normal, untouched age patina. The reverse is flat, and is marked with the name of the designer of the badge (Peekhaus in Berlin) as well as the maker, Juncker, a desirable maker of these awards. The steel backing plate is intact, still held in place with the original, un-messed with crimps. The attachment hardware is also all-original and is textbook for Juncker. The fluted banjo pin and soldered hinge and catch show nice finish and no condition issues to note. This Juncker Close Combat Clasp has a great look, and displays very well. The condition rates as excellent plus.
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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