Product Description: This is a nice, representative example of a wartime manufactured Silver Infantry Assault Badge, as worn by members of the German Army and Waffen-SS. This one is made of zinc. It retains about 80 percent of the original silver wash, which is more than one typically sees on these zinc badges. The front shows some aging and patination, with typical slight bubbling of the finish as well as a few small areas of zinc pest. The wreath and eagle retain excellent detail, with only light wear to high points. The reverse is marked with “MK” in a triangle; the identity of the manufacturer that used this mark still has not been identified. This silver Infantry Assault Badge features correct, unrepaired “Gablonz” style hardware, with a straight pin, and a ball hinge and sheet metal catch that have been crimped into place. The toning on the reverse matches the condition of the front. Overall, this badge remains in a strong very good condition.
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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