Product Description: This L/56 Infantry Assault Badge is a one-look original example. It’s a typical later war piece, made of solid zinc. The obverse retains most of the original silver finish, which has some attractive age toning. The high points, particularly on the K98 rifle and German Army eagle, show a bit of wear and have reverted to the gray color of the base metal. The reverse of this L/56 Infantry Assault Badge also has plenty of original silvering, with zinc showing through. It’s nicely maker marked “L/56” in raised lettering beneath the pin, indicating manufacture by the firm of Funke & Brüninghaus in Lüdenscheid. The hardware setup is typical for this maker, with a crimped in hinge and catch, and a round wire pin. There is no sign of repair. This badge remains in very good overall condition, and is a nice representative example of this type.
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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