L007580 EM/NCO'S BELT BUCKLE WITH WEBBED TAB.

BACKGROUND: Military belts and their corresponding buckles date back centuries and were initially designed for attaching swords and daggers. In 1847 a new innovative box buckle with a quick release catch and corresponding belt were introduced which resulted in a Prussian, Hauptmann Virschow, initiating a new method of carrying personal equipment with the belt and shoulder straps supporting the majority of the weight. This system, with modifications, remains in use in most of the armies in the world to this day. During the Third Reich there was a prescribed form of wear of the belt and buckle with the buckle being positioned on the right side and the corresponding buckle catch on the left side. First introduced on May 20TH 1935, the Luftwaffe EM/NCO’s belt buckle underwent minor modifications in late 1937 or early 1938 with a new pattern eagle and again in 1940 with a slight difference in construction. Of Note: Luftwaffe personnel initially utilized brown leather accoutrements but during the war the leather items were generally blackened. Also Of Note: Originally military buckles produced under government contract had the addition of a leather, (canvas web for tropical buckles), tabs which were designed to help support the ammunition pouches and prevent slippage but regulations in 1942 discontinued the tabs to preserve leather although the directive was not completely adhered to.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 1940 pattern, stamped steel construction, combat box belt buckle, with a matt feldgrau finish. The buckle features a smooth outer field with a central, embossed, horizontally oval, laurel leaf wreath encompassing a slightly domed, pebbled inner field with an embossed, second pattern, Luftwaffe eagle with out-stretched wings, clutching a canted swastika in its talons to the center. The reverse of the buckle is a mirror image of the obverse and is well marked with the faint, embossed, manufacturer’s initials, "GB" indicating manufacture by Gustav Brehmer of Markneukirchen. Complete with original webbed pull tab. Rare.

GRADE ****3/4                             PRICE $

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