Condition: Near Mint
Product Description: This is a great example of the Luftwaffe Shooting Lanyard, in near mint condition. These are scarce, and quite a bit harder to find than the more commonly encountered Heer marksmanship lanyards. This Luftwaffe Shooting Lanyard is a Grade 1 example, for a soldier who has achieved the minimum proficiency level necessary to earn the lanyard. It’s a textbook, all-original piece. The intertwined blue and wire braided lanyard is correct for the Luftwaffe, as is the beautifully die-struck metal emblem with oak leaf wreath and Luftwaffe eagle and swastika emblem. This metal emblem retains great detail and shows virtually no wear. The lanyard itself has no fraying or damage, and shows only extremely minor age toning. The reverse of the oval braided section to which the metal emblem is attached, is finished with a piece of field blue Luftwaffe uniform wool, hand sewn (as is typical), to protect the uniform from the metal prongs that affix the emblem to the lanyard. This Luftwaffe Shooting Lanyard is all complete and intact, with loops at each end allowing it to fasten to buttons on the Luftwaffe dress uniform. It’s a very attractive piece of Luftwaffe regalia.
Historical Description: Marksmanship was a highly valued skill in the militaristic culture of the Third Reich. For soldiers, of course, this skill was taught and trained, and soldiers were expected to achieve marksmanship proficiency. Members of paramilitary organizations such as the Hitler Youth also trained with the use of weapons, and of course there were civilian shooting clubs that held events and competitions as well. There were a myriad of different kinds of marksmanship awards that were used to recognize this skill. In the SS, and early in the German Wehrmacht, sleeve insignia was used in different patterns to display different levels of rifle qualification. Later, the Heer and Luftwaffe used special lanyards for this purpose. Heer and Luftwaffe lanyards used distinctive emblem patterns, as did the Panzer branch of the Heer. The lanyards were produced in many different grades for which a soldier could qualify, and were not worn on the field uniform. Because of this, issue of these lanyards were discontinued around the start of WWII. Civilian and paramilitary groups had their own wide array of different marksmanship awards, ranging from pins and badges to non-portable medals and award plaques.
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