Product Description: This Six Dot Close Combat Clasp in Silver is a nice example of an uncommon clasp. This one is made of zinc, and is unmarked, as is standard for these. The finish has faded from the zinc, and the obverse has reverted to the gray color of the base metal, with uncleaned old patination in the recesses of the design that adds visual depth. This clasp appears to have been worn, but retains crisp, bold detail. The backing plate retains the original darkening. The maker of this clasp is unknown; this variant is referred to by collectors as the “six dot” because of the six punch marks used to affix the backing plate on the reverse. The back of this clasp is fairly clean, and untouched, with the original “six dot” crimps still holding the original backing plate. The brass hardware retains the original finish, leaving no doubt that this award is a silver grade. The banjo pin and block hinge are still functional; the sheet metal catch appears to have been intentionally flattened a bit, perhaps by the original owner, to hold the pin more securely, and it still works as intended. This Six Dot Close Combat Clasp in Silver has a great look, and is in excellent condition.
Historical Description: The Close Combat Clasp (Nahkampfspange) was instituted on November 25, 1942, to recognize the feats of German soldiers in close quarters combat. Units with soldiers who survived hand-to-hand fights with the enemy and other extremely close-range combat actions would keep track of the dates and places of each of these battles, and soldiers who managed to make it through many of these fights became eligible for this award. Because only front-line troops with direct combat experience could earn this clasp, it was a regarded by the soldiers as a very prestigious award. The Close Combat Clasp was awarded in three grades: Bronze, for 15 close combat days; Silver, for 25 close combat days, and Gold, for 50 or more days of close combat. Hitler reserved the right to personally award the Gold Close Combat Clasp, which was widely regarded as more prestigious than even the Knight’s Cross. The total amount of these clasps awarded, in all grades, was fewer than 50,000.
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