Product Description: This RAD EM Parade Buckle is a nice representative piece. Unlike the standard issue type, this private purchase type has the shovel, wheat and swastika Reicharbeitsdienst organizational emblem on a separate, stamped aluminum roundel, which is affixed to the aluminum body of the buckle with four prongs. The front of the buckle shows light, even wear, and has only very slight age toning to the bare aluminum surface. There are some scattered wear marks, but lots of original detail remains. The reverse reveals typical signs of use, with some marks from where this was connected to a belt hook many times. There is a little ding on one edge, and some wear to the bright finish of the steel roller bar and prongs assembly (with associated patination to the bare steel), but no major damage. The overall condition is very good. This RAD EM Parade Buckle remains completely intact and functional, and has a great look.
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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