Product Description: This W.R.42 Infantry Assault Badge in Silver is a desirable piece, by an uncommon maker to find. It is made of zinc, and as is typical for zinc badges, most of the original finish has faded. The front of the badge has nice smooth surfaces, with dark age toning to the recesses, and light gray highlights to the high points that add nice visual contrast. There is some evident wear, but loads of nice detail remains. The reverse of this badge is marked on the reverse with the lettering “W.R.42” in relief under the hinge, which indicates manufacture in 1942 by the firm of Werner Redo, making this a very scarce badge. The hardware retains the original silver finish, and some traces of finish are present on the back of the badge. The hardware is intact and unrepaired, and textbook for this maker, with a round wire pin, and sheet metal hinge and catch. This hard to find W.R.42 Infantry Assault Badge in Silver is a great representative example, and is in excellent 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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