Product Description: This steel Luftwaffe buckle with tab is a beautiful piece. It’s made of steel, the material used for all enlisted issue buckles from around 1940 until the end of WWII. The obverse of the buckle has a lovely, “field” look, with moderate wear that has left about 50 percent of the original earlier type factory applied thin blue paint intact. The bare steel has taken on a very light, pleasant patina, and there is still even a bit of old dirt in the recesses around the eagle. The protected reverse of the buckle body retains nearly all of the original paint. The catch for the belt hook is spot welded in place with no repairs, and shows wear from having been worn on a belt. This buckle is complete with its original brown leather tab. The tab shows typical age toning, and is complete, still held in place with all of the original stitching. The tab is maker marked by “Franke & Sohn” and dated “1942.” The steel roller bar and prongs assembly for affixing this to a belt is complete and functional. Overall, the condition of this steel Luftwaffe buckle with tab rates as very good, with nice “been there” appeal.
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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