Product Description: This Silver Infantry Assault Badge is a very attractive, near mint example, with lots of original finish and shine. It’s made of zinc, and is a product of an unknown Vienna based maker, and is known to collectors as the “Pillow Crimp” variant. The obverse is really nice, and retains most of the original silvering, which is still bright. There is some very light wear, that exposes the base metal on high points and edges. All of the original detail is still present. The reverse of this Silver Infantry Assault Badge also retains lots of original finish. It is flat and smooth, and unmarked. The hardware setup is intact, functional, and shows no sign of repair. The hinge and catch plate are held in place with the distinctive “pillow” crimp style. The original pin is made of round steel wire. This badge has great eye appeal, and it would be tough to find a better example of this variant.
Historical Description: The Infantry Assault Badge (Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen) was instituted on December 20, 1939, by German Army commander Generalfeldmarschall Walther von Brauchitsch. The design of the badge featured the iconic K98 rifle, the standard German Infantry weapon of WWII, surrounded by oak leaves and surmounted by a German Army eagle and swastika emblem. The creation of this design has been attributed to the C.E. Juncker firm in Berlin. The badge could be awarded to members of the Heer and SS-VT (later the Waffen-SS) who participate in ground combat as infantry. To earn this award, soldiers had to participate in three or more assaults, counterattacks, or reconnaissance missions, or to have participated in hand to hand combat in an assault, or to have participated in three days of reestablishing combat positions. These actions had to take place on separate days to meet the award criteria. On June 1, 1940, a Bronze grade of this award was instituted, for motorized infantry. The criteria for the award were the same, only for motorized units. The earliest versions of the Infantry Assault Badge were made of Tombak or other high-quality alloys, with a plated finish. Later production awards were generally zinc alloy, with a bronze or silver wash that often faded with wear and time.
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