Condition: Excellent/Near Mint
Product Description: This gorgeous Luftwaffe Officer Metal Breast Eagle is an absolute gem. It’s a pin-on badge that was intended for wear on an officer’s summer white linen jacket. Because the white jackets were intended to be washable, they used removable insignia. This Luftwaffe officer metal breast eagle has the look and feel of a high quality war badge. It’s made out of aluminum, and extremely detailed. It shows almost no wear, and only minor age patina. The finely struck eagle has a matte finish, which contrasts nicely with the brightly polished appearance of the swastika. The reverse of this very attractive Luftwaffe officer metal breast eagle shows only some minor handling marks. There is no manufacturer marking, but this style of eagle is attributed to the firm of Assmann. The hardware on this is intact, functional, and textbook for this style. The hinge is crimped in, as one would expect; there is no sign of any repair. This bird has loads of eye appeal and displays great. A choice example.
Historical Description: The German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht), as formed in 1935, and as they existed until the end of World War 2, consisted of the Army (Heer), the Air Force (Luftwaffe) and the Navy (Kriegsmarine). The Waffen-SS fell under the command of the Wehrmacht during the war. Each of these branches of service had a unique eagle design that was worn on both the formal dress and parade uniforms, and the field uniforms, of the members of that branch. These eagles were worn on soft headgear, including service and field caps, as well as on the uniform jacket. In the Heer, the Luftwaffe, and the Kriegsmarine, this eagle was worn on the chest of the tunic; collectors have termed these “breast eagles.” The Heer and the Luftwaffe generally used the same eagle style, though variations in color of the eagle or the backing distinguish between the two. The Luftwaffe used their own flying eagle emblem. The Waffen-SS sleeve eagle (and cap eagle) had wings that came to a distinctive tapered point. The cap, breast and sleeve eagles used by the various military branches were manufactured in many variations. There were machine-woven and machine embroidered versions, usually used by officers and NCOs. Hand-embroidered bullion wire eagles were typically for officers. There were metal eagles, for caps, or for uniforms that were intended to have detachable insignia. There were even eagles embroidered on camouflage fabric, intended for use on special field uniforms. There were also eagles in specific colors for use on tropical uniforms. Some of these eagles were mass-produced, and are still common today; others were and are very rare.
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