Rudolf Karneth General Assault Badge

Condition: Excellent

Maker: Rudolf Karneth

Base Material: Zinc


Product Description: This zinc General Assault Badge is an outstanding example, with fantastic original finish. The obverse retains about 90 percent of the original silver wash, which has a slight age patina and very minor bubbling. It’s hard to find these zinc badges with nice silver wash like this. This badge is nicely struck, with great detail. The reverse of this zinc General Assault Badge is mostly flat, with typical age bubbling to the original finish. There is no manufacturer marking, but this badge variant is known to have been made by the firm of Rudolf Karneth in Gablonz. The hardware is textbook for this maker, with a crimped-in ball hinge, and round wire pin and catch. The hardware is still functional, and there are no traces of repair or damage of any kind. This eye-catching badge has lots of visual appeal, and remains in a strong excellent condition.



Historical Description: The German General Assault Badge was instituted on June 1, 1940. When the first Heer (Army) combat badges were instituted they only recognized those in the Infantry and Panzer (Tank) units.  This left the supporting elements of the German Army without an award to recognize their combat achievements.  Initially the General Assault Badge was intended for Combat Engineer units, but later this was expanded to include other units such as Panzerjäger’s (Tank Hunters), Cavalry Units, down to Medical Personnel who assisted the Infantry or Panzers during combat engagements.  Eligibility also continued to grow to include members of the Luftwaffe (Air Force), Kreigsmarine (Navy), Waffen-SS, and Combat Police units. 

 The requirements for the General Assault Badge were the same as that of the Infantry Assault Badge and the Panzer Assault Badge.  The soldier must have taken part in three combat assaults on three separate days.  Three assaults in one day would only count as one assault.  Before the institution of the Tank Destruction Strip, awarded to soldiers who destroyed a tank by means of explosives or mine, the single-handed destruction of an enemy tank would also earn the soldier the General Assault Badge.   

 The Standard General Assault Badge consists of an Oakleaves wreath surrounding a large National Eagle grasping the swastika with crossed bayonet and stick grenade underneath.  The General Assault Badge can be found in several different base metals such as Brass, Copper Coated Aluminum, Copper Coated Zinc, and Zinc.  The use of the different types of base metal was directly impacted by the war as it progressed. Shortages forced manufacturers to switch from quality base metals like brass to lower quality base metals like zinc. 


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