Product Description: This Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge is a unique example that certainly appears to be field worn. It’s a later war piece, made of zinc. The obverse has a very appealing look, with toning and some wear to the original silver finish, and strong original darkening to the lightning bolt and cloud. The eagle is a separate piece, applied with a single rivet. The eagle retains all of the original silver finish, with a slight, mild patina. The reverse of this badge is flat and smooth. There is no maker mark. This badge was broken in three places, and then very neatly repaired with solder. The solder repairs are obviously very old, and were very likely done by or for the badge’s wartime wearer. The repairs are almost invisible from the front. The hardware setup is intact and functional, with a barrel hinge, round wire pin, and sheet metal catch with catch plate. This Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge displays very nicely, and remains in overall very good condition.
Historical Description: In the early days of WWII, the German Air Force had few units intended to serve as infantry. As the war progressed, and especially after the disastrous first winter on the Eastern Front, more and more Luftwaffe personnel were being engaged in ground combat on the front lines. To recognize the combat experience of these soldiers, Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering introduced the Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge on March 31, 1942. The badge had been designed by Sigmund von Weech and featured a Luftwaffe eagle and swastika emblem atop a wreath, within which was a storm cloud striking the earth with a bolt of lightning. Those Luftwaffe soldiers who had previously been awarded German Army ground combat badges such as the Infantry Assault Badge, General Assault Badge or Panzer Assault Badge, were to exchange them for the new Luftwaffe badge. To earn this badge, Luftwaffe soldiers had to survive three ground combat actions on three separate days, be wounded in a ground combat action, or to have earned another decoration in such an action. Luftwaffe soldiers killed in ground combat were to receive the award posthumously. Personnel who could receive this award included paratroopers, members of the Luftwaffe Field Divisions, assault gun crews, and even Flak crews tasked with using their anti-aircraft guns against ground targets. On some of these badges, mostly early versions, the Luftwaffe eagle is a separate piece, riveted on. Later in the war, the eagle was most often integral to the badge.
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