Manufacturer: G. H. Osang, Dresden
Product Description: This worn Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge by Osang is a one-look original, loaded with character, with an appealing, “field worn” look. It’s a desirable two-piece type, made of zinc with a separately applied eagle. The front of the badge shows very evident use wear. The high points on the wreath have had the original finish worn away, revealing bare zinc, which has turned dull gray with age. The original silver finish is retained in the recesses of the wreath, and has toned rather dark, contrasting with the worn zinc in a striking way. The eagle shows obvious wear to high points, but retains some great fine detail, and has loads of attractive age toning. The clouds and lightning strike retain most of the original dark finish. Near the bottom of the front of the badge, there is a bit of oxidation. The reverse of this worn Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge by Osang also has an old patina, and shows a textbook rivet used to affix the eagle. The hinge has been repaired with a bit of wire, which shows some corrosion and certainly appears to have been there for a very long time. The catch has also been repaired, with a piece of wire and lead solder that was then ground smooth. The patina on the repairs matches the badge and it is very likely that this piece was worn in this configuration. The badge is stamped with the manufacture mark “G. H. Osang Dresden.” This worn Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge by Osang remains an honest, worn example, made by a desirable maker, and is one that very likely saw the war.
Historical Description: In the early days of WWII, the German Air Force had few units intended to serve as infantry. As the war progressed, and especially after the disastrous first winter on the Eastern Front, more and more Luftwaffe personnel were being engaged in ground combat on the front lines. To recognize the combat experience of these soldiers, Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering introduced the Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge on March 31, 1942. The badge had been designed by Sigmund von Weech and featured a Luftwaffe eagle and swastika emblem atop a wreath, within which was a storm cloud striking the earth with a bolt of lightning. Those Luftwaffe soldiers who had previously been awarded German Army ground combat badges such as the Infantry Assault Badge, General Assault Badge or Panzer Assault Badge, were to exchange them for the new Luftwaffe badge. To earn this badge, Luftwaffe soldiers had to survive three ground combat actions on three separate days, be wounded in a ground combat action, or to have earned another decoration in such an action. Luftwaffe soldiers killed in ground combat were to receive the award posthumously. Personnel who could receive this award included paratroopers, members of the Luftwaffe Field Divisions, assault gun crews, and even Flak crews tasked with using their anti-aircraft guns against ground targets. On some of these badges, mostly early versions, the Luftwaffe eagle is a separate piece, riveted on. Later in the war, the eagle was most often integral to the badge.
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