Product Description: This Reichsbahn Official’s Buckle is a terrific example of a hard-to-find belt buckle, that has a lot going for it. These buckles were worn by officers of the Reichsbahn, the German national railway during WWII. The front of the Reichsbahn official’s buckle features the winged wheel emblem of the Reichsbahn, surmounted by a German national swastika emblem, surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves. The condition of this one is fantastic, rating near mint. The original gilt finish on this is extraordinarily well preserved, with full original luster. The swastika, wreath and high points of the design are highly polished, with an almost mirror-bright finish. There are a few extremely tiny areas of finish loss, likely the result of storage and handling rather than actual wear and use. The reverse of this Reichsbahn Official’s Buckle is likewise perfect. It is marked with a stylized “A”, the commercial type emblem of F. W. Assmann & Soehne. It is also marked “D.R.G.M,” indicating a trademarked design, and is dated “40,” indicating the date of institution of this belt buckle pattern. This gorgeous buckle is complete with both original keepers, which are intact and functional, though some fading of the finish from age is evident. This buckle has tremendous visual appeal and would make a great display piece for any belt buckle or Reichsbahn collection.
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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