Product Description: This Assmann-made Minesweeper Badge is a beautiful example. These badges by this maker are desirable and hard to find. This one is an early production piece, made of a brass alloy (Tombak). The wreath and eagle emblem on the obverse has mostly reverted to the brassy color of the base metal,. with some traces of gilding. The central water plume and waves are nicely silvered, with light, honest wear that exposes the Tombak at some high points of the design. The reverse of this Minesweeper Badge is flat and smooth, and retains nearly all of the original finish. It is maker marked on the center with the stylized “A” maker mark of the firm of F. W. Assmann & Söhne, in Lüdenscheid. The hinge and catch are held in place with the original solder. The banjo type attachment pin is very loose, and is possibly wartime repaired, with the original pin having been re-installed in a reverse configuration. This is an attractive badge, by a desirable maker, and has appealing character and wear. The condition rates as excellent.
Historical Description: The Minesweeper, Sub-Chaser and Escort Vessel War Badge (Kriegsabzeichen für Minensuch-, U-Boot-Jagd- und Sicherungsverbände) was instituted on August 31, 1941, by Kriegsmarine leader Grossadmiral Erich Raeder. The purpose of this award was to recognize the achievement and experience of the sailors on the German Navy’s minesweeper vessels. In this unnerving duty, sailors faced exposure to the elements as well as constant danger from mines, submarines, and airplanes. The Minesweeper Badge features a representation of an exploding sea mine, surrounded by a wreath and surmounted by the German national eagle and swastika emblem. It was designed by Otto Placzek and was made in tombak and zinc, with most later examples being the zinc type. The award could be ordered by leaders of minesweeper boats, patrol boats, and special units, and by superior Kriegsmarine commands. To qualify for this badge, a sailor had to make three operational sorties, be wounded on a sortie, show exemplary conduct over a six-month period, participate in an especially dangerous mission, serve on escort duty for 25 days or more, or be on a ship that was sunk by enemy action- the badge could be awarded posthumously.
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