Product Description: This is a nice maker-marked Wurster General Assault Badge, with an outstanding finish. It’s a solid type, struck from fine zinc. The original silver finish is approximately 95 percent intact. There is some minor wear to the high points on the front, that exposes the base metal, adding contrast. The finish on the reverse shows some minor, typical age bubbling. The badge is very clean overall, with a light, even patina. The reverse is marked with a raised letter “W” next to the hinge, indicating manufacture by the firm of Karl Wurster. This Wurster General Assault Badge variant is known to collectors as the “small W” type. The hardware setup on this badge features a round wire pin and catch. The catch is likely repaired, and slightly loose. It’s crimped around the pin. This badge has great visual appeal, and is in excellent condition.
Historical Description: The German General Assault Badge was instituted on June 1, 1940. When the first Heer (Army) combat badges were instituted they only recognized those in the Infantry and Panzer (Tank) units. This left the supporting elements of the German Army without an award to recognize their combat achievements. Initially the General Assault Badge was intended for Combat Engineer units, but later this was expanded to include other units such as Panzerjäger’s (Tank Hunters), Cavalry Units, down to Medical Personnel who assisted the Infantry or Panzers during combat engagements. Eligibility also continued to grow to include members of the Luftwaffe (Air Force), Kreigsmarine (Navy), Waffen-SS, and Combat Police units.
The requirements for the General Assault Badge were the same as that of the Infantry Assault Badge and the Panzer Assault Badge. The soldier must have taken part in three combat assaults on three separate days. Three assaults in one day would only count as one assault. Before the institution of the Tank Destruction Strip, awarded to soldiers who destroyed a tank by means of explosives or mine, the single-handed destruction of an enemy tank would also earn the soldier the General Assault Badge.
The Standard General Assault Badge consists of an Oakleaves wreath surrounding a large National Eagle grasping the swastika with crossed bayonet and stick grenade underneath. The General Assault Badge can be found in several different base metals such as Brass, Copper Coated Aluminum, Copper Coated Zinc, and Zinc. The use of the different types of base metal was directly impacted by the war as it progressed. Shortages forced manufacturers to switch from quality base metals like brass to lower quality base metals like zinc.
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