BACKGROUND: The German army had a tradition, dating from the 1700's, of maintaining a separate branch of Administrative Officials attached to the army to oversee all administrative functions, thus freeing up active army Officers and allowing them to concentrate on actual military matters. The Officials were responsible for a wide variety of administrative tasks from Court Martial, Librarian, Supply, Technical and Meteorological Services, to School, Barracks, and Hospital administration. Most officials careers consisted of four varying grades, of high, elevated, medium and low grade with slightly differing identifying insignia for each grade. The grade of the career was determined by the education and/or experience of the individual. During the Weimar era, (circa 1919-1933), the Reichswehr, (National Defence {Force}), officials were divided into military and civilian personnel until December 22ND 1934 when the German High Command did away with the differentiation and consolidate all the officials into the newly formed Wehrmachtbeamte-Heer, (Armed Forces Officials-Army). Regulations of March 12TH 1937 reorganized the Officials and instituted the new Beamte auf Kriegsdauer a.K., (Wartime Official’s for the duration of the war), to be activated in times of mobilization. In May 1940 with the German invasion of the low countries, the aged, Marshal of France, Philippe Petain, (the WWI "Victor of Verdun"), was called by the French government to serve as Vice-Premier in the French cabinet. Petain, favored capitulating to the Germans to save France from total collapse, with the hope that the French might obtain more favorable treatment by doing so. On June 16TH 1940, two days after the Germans occupied Paris, the French Premier Reynaud resigned and Petain assumed his position and sent an armistice proposal to the Germans. The proposal was accepted and the armistice was signed at Compiegne on June 22ND 1940. This, in effect, divided France into a northern occupied zone and a southern, unoccupied zone. The northern, occupied zone of France fell under command of the German military administration while the southern zone came under nominal control of the Vichy French government. In order to maintain the independent facade the Vichy government was forced to collaborate more and more with the Germans as the war dragged on. It is unknown when this particular badge was instituted or exactly who it was issued to, but it is known that similar badges were also utilized in occupied Norway and Belgium and that they came in two different sizes. This example is the smaller of the two.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, two piece, die struck alloy construction badge with black, white and red enamel and a nickel/silver plated finish. The roughly, 30mm tall, 50mm wide, badge features a horizontally oval, base with three, evenly wide, enameled rings with a black outer ring a white central ring and a red inner ring with a cut-out center. Stylized script with, "Militar Verwaltung Belgein und N Frankreich". The badge has a separate national eagle with outstretched wings, clutching a wreathed, canted swastika in its talons, superimposed on the horizontally oval base and riveted in place. Serial number 539. Complete with original pinback device.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $828.00

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