H000391 EM/NCO'S BELT BUCKLE "RODO". (Koppelschloß für Mannschaften und Unteroffizier)

BACKGROUND: Military belts and their corresponding buckles date back centuries and were initially designed for attaching swords and daggers. In 1847 Prussian Hauptmann Virschow introduced a new, innovative, box buckle with a quick release catch and corresponding belt for EM/NCO’s ranks and initiated 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. On January 24TH 1936 a new pattern EM/NCO’s belt buckle was officially introduced to replace the previously worn Weimar Reichswehr era, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), belt buckle. The basic design of the Reichswehr buckle was retained with the addition of the new Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces), style national eagle. This pattern buckle was worn through-out the Third Reich period with minor manufacturing variations and different colored finishes. The manufacturing variations included both one and two piece, stamped alloy versions, (Circa 1936-), injection molded alloy version, (Circa 1936-) and stamped steel versions, (Circa 1940-). Another manufacturing variation were buckles with pebbled, or smooth background fields. The colored finish was determined by regulations depending on what form of uniform it was to be worn with, with silver for dress wear, field-grey for field wear and olive drab for tropical wear. Of Note: The standard issue belt buckles were roughly, 4.5cm-4.7cm, (roughly 1 3/4"-1 7/8"), tall, while private purchase belt buckles were generally a little smaller ranging from 3.5cm-4cm, (1 3/8"-1 5/8"), tall.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 1940 pattern, field-grey painted, die stamped steel construction, combat box buckle features a smooth outer field with a high relief, embossed Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces), style eagle with down swept wings, clutching a canted swastika in it’s talons, to the slightly domed center, encompassed by an oak-leaf cluster to the bottom and script, "Gott Mit Uns", (God With Us), to the top. The oak-leaf cluster and script are on a ribbed background and are encircled by both an inner and outer simulated twisted rope border. The reverse of the buckle is a mirror image of the obverse and the brazed, buckle catch, prong bar and prongs are all intact. The reverse of the buckle is well marked with the impressed manufacturer’s logo/initials, "RODO", indicating manufacture by Robert C. Dold of Offenberg. One of the harder makers to find and in nice condition!

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $269.00

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