Product Description: This Painted Steel Heer Buckle is very nice and totally original. The obverse retains approximately 85 percent of the original, wartime, matte green finish, with honest wear to the high points and edges. Where the paint is worn, the bare steel has taken on a pleasant, old, uncleaned patina. The “Gott Mit Uns” roundel with German national eagle and swastika emblem retains full original detail. On the reverse, this painted steel Heer buckle retains 95 percent of the original paint, with typical age patination. Near the catch for the belt hook, this buckle is marked with the initials “HK” indicating manufacture by the firm of Hermann Koller, in Pforzheim. The catch is spot welded in place, as is typical; the prong bar that would have been used to affix this to a soldier’s belt is complete and functional. This is a great example of the standard wartime buckle worn by enlisted men and NCOs (and sometimes officers) of the German Army. It would be perfect for a combat display, and remains in excellent condition.
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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