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S005075 WASSERSCHUTZPOLIZEI NCO'S BELT BUCKLE WITH LEATHER TAB. (Koppelschloß mit Lederwilerhalt)

BACKGROUND: On June 17TH 1936, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler was appointed to the newly created position of Chef der Deutschen Polizei im Reichsministerium des Innern, (Chief of the German Police in the National Ministry of the Interior), effectively giving him full control of all police agencies within Germany. As a result of this appointment and the restructuring of all the separate German state police into a single national police force new regulations were instituted to bring about uniformity in dress for all police through-out the country. One of the new uniform regulations, was the introduction of two, new styles, of belt buckles on June 25TH 1936 with a round buckle for Officer’s ranks of Polizei Obermeister up to and including, Generaloberst der Polizei and a box buckle for NCO ranks of Polizei Unterwachtmeister up to and including Polizei Meister. Both the Company and Field grade officers and NCO’s buckles were produced with a silver finish while Generals ranks of Generalmajor up to and including, Generaloberst der Polizei utilized gilt finished belt buckles. The Police were divided into eight assorted branches of service including the Wasserschutzpolizei, (Water Protection Police), and in an exception to the rule, all ranks of the Wasserschutzpolizei utilized gilt buckles. Of Note: Besides the standard silver and gilt belt buckles a field-grey finished belt buckle was also produced which in likelihood was intended for combat Polizei personnel. Originally buckles produced under government contract, for service wear, 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. The different branches of police service utilized different colored leather belts with brown leather for Gendarmerie, (Rural Police), Wasserschutzpolizei, (Water Protection Police), and Polizeibeamten, (Police Officials), personnel and black leather for the Ordnungspolizei (Order Police), the Schutzpolizei, (Protection Police), and the Gemeindepolizei, (Local Municipal Police), personnel. Of Note: The Ordnungspolizei, Schutzpolizei, and Gemeindepolizei, also utilized white leather accoutrements for special occasions. Of Note: The Wasserschutzpolizei were tasked with policing the coasts, inland waterways and harbor security, and maintaining order and other general policing duties within greater Germany. Of Note: The German Police had no enlisted ranks with the lowest rank being an Unterwachtmeister which was equivalent to the German army rank of Unteroffizier.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The standardized, 1936 pattern, gilt washed, injection molded, aluminum construction, police NCO’s, box belt buckle features a pebbled base field with a central, circular, embossed, motif. The high relief, central, circular motif features a slightly textured background field with an embossed, smooth finished, canted, swastika, encompassed by a slightly textured, circular field with an embossed, open topped, oak-leaf wreath to the bottom and the embossed, Gothic script motto to the top, "Gott mit uns", (God with us). The buckle retains about 95% of it’s original, age dulled, gilt wash with small spots of wear to the base aluminum. The reverse of the buckle is a mirror image of the obverse, excluding the outer pebbled field, and has the raised, drill slotted, buckle catch, prong bar and prongs all intact. The reverse of the buckle is well marked with the embossed stylized, manufacturer’s logo/initials, "oLc", within a diamond shaped border indicating manufacture by Overhoff & Cie. of Lüdenscheid. The prong bar has a brown leather tab machine stitched in place. The leather tab has no visible manufacturer’s markings. The leather tab appears to have it’s original stitching. Nice!

GRADE ****                             PRICE $399.00 (Or Best Offer)

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