Product Description: This is a great example of a Tropical Heer EM Buckle. The lighter, olive green paint shade on this German Army belt buckle is typically associated by collectors with tropical use, by the Afrikakorps and other units serving on the Southern Front. It is a wartime type, made of steel. The front of this Tropical Heer EM Buckle retains about 98 percent of the original green paint, with only extremely minor wear to the high points of the eagle’s chest and “Gott mit Uns” lettering. The buckle is nicely struck, with great detail. The reverse of the buckle has almost all of the original paint, with very light wear to edges, and extremely slight age toning. It’s complete, as issued, with a functional and intact roller bar and prongs assembly, and a spot welded catch for the hook on the belt. The edge of the reverse is neatly stamped “R. S. & S.” indicating manufacture by the firm of R. Sieper & Söhne in Ludenscheid. This is a desirable buckle type, and is in excellent condition.
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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