SEE BELOW FOR DESCRIPTION
H017373 FIFTY, SPECIAL GRADE OF THE GENERAL ASSAULT BADGE.(Allgemeines Sturmabzeichen mit der Einsatzzahl)
BACKGROUND: The General Assault badge was Introduced on June 1ST 1940, by Generaloberst Walther von Brauchitsch, for award to support personnel who were ineligible for the Infantry or Panzer Assault badges. Criteria for award of the badge was basically the same as the criteria for award of the Infantry and Panzer Assault badges with the main qualification being participation in three separate assaults in a supporting role. On its introduction the badge was only intended for award to combat engineers and was designated, Pionier-Sturmabzeichen, (Engineer’s Assault Badge). Shortly after its introduction bestowal of the badge was extended to other support personnel including artillery and assault gun personnel, anti-tank and anti-aircraft personnel and medical personnel. Of Note: Before the introduction of the Tank Destruction Strip in March 1942, personnel who had single handedly destroyed an enemy tank with Infantry weapons were awarded the General Assault badge. By 1943 it was realized that the General Assault Badge didn’t sufficiently recognize the number of assaults that the support personnel participated in which resulted in the introduction of four numbered Special Grade of the General Assault badges on June 22ND 1943. The Special Grade badges followed the basic design of their predecessor but were larger, two piece construction awards, with the addition of a rectangular numbered plate to the bottom center of the wreath. The Special Grade badges were issued with the numerals, 25, 50, 75 and 100 to represent the ever growing number of assaults participated in.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Large, two piece, highly convexed, die struck zinc alloy construction badge with a burnished blued wash and a nickel/silver plated finish features a vertically oval, embossed, oak-leaf wreath encompassing a separate, high relief Wehrmacht styled eagle with down-swept wings and a canted swastika in its talons, positioned above a crossed bayonet and stick grenade. The eagle is attached to the wreath by four small dome headed rivets which are visible on the reverse. The bottom center of the wreath has a small horizontally, rectangular panel with the separate, inset embossed numerals, "50". The reverse of the badge has a soldered barrel type hinge, a broad, tapering vertical pin and a soldered catch on a circular base plate all intact. The reverse of the badge has a barrel type hinge on a rectangular base plate inset into a rectangular recess with raised securing lips, a broad, tapering vertical pin and a soldered catch on a circular base plate inset into a circular recess with raised securing lips all intact. The bayonet and grenade both have a subtle scooped reverse. The reverse of the wreath is well marked with the stylized, overlapping, embossed manufacturers initials within a circular border, "RK", indicating manufacture by Rudolf A. Karneth & Söhne Gablonz.
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