Product Description: This Luftwaffe Belt and Buckle is a “been there” survivor, that shows obvious signs of wear and age. The enlisted issue aluminum buckle is a desirable, early piece, with the first pattern, “droop tail” eagle design. The front of the buckle shows heavy wear and built-up patina. The buckle is complete, and retains the original leather tab. The tab shows a lot of age and wear, with age darkening, and is very well marked, with a Luftwaffe “LBA” depot marking as well as a unit mark for Kampfgeschwader 257. This was a flight unit formed in 1937 and redesignated in 1939. This buckle is affixed to an original issue type belt. The belt is a wartime example, dated 1940, with a typical maker mark on the hook end. The belt has a typical wartime steel hook. The hook has lost its original painted finish, and is rusty from poor storage. It could possibly be cleaned up, but is perhaps better left as is; stored in a dry place, the rust will not get any worse. The leather of the belt shows heavy wear, and is slightly stiff, but remains complete and sound. This Luftwaffe Belt and Buckle is one that no doubt saw extensive wartime use. The condition of this set rates as very good.
Historical Description: The belt buckle was an important part of the regalia worn by all uniformed military, civil, political, and paramilitary organizations during the Third Reich. The belt (“Koppel”) was part of the uniform and would always be worn while on duty. The belt buckle (“Koppelschloss”) was generally specific to each organization, with many organizations having separate belt buckles for officers and for enlisted personnel, sometimes with different colors and finishes to further denote specific purposes. The buckles were adorned with various mottos and designs specific to the organizations for which they were intended. Many designs used the German national eagle emblem, in a variety of forms. Belt buckles were worn with uniforms ranging from finely tailored officer parade uniforms, to the issue uniforms of enlisted soldiers in combat. Generally speaking, most German belt buckles of the Third Reich were made with two prongs on the reverse, to allow the buckle to be worn and adjusted on a belt. The buckle had a catch that would mate with a hook on the belt, when worn. The earliest Third Reich buckles were often made of brass, or nickel silver. Later, aluminum became very common, and was used on private purchase as well as enlisted buckles of the German military, with or without a painted or plated finish. After WWII began, most enlisted military buckles were steel. Nazi belt buckles were popular souvenirs for Allied troops who served in Europe. Some types were made by the millions and remain quite common today. Others were made in limited numbers and are very rare.
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