H064763 SEVENTY-FIVE, 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, multi-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, multi-piece, solid backed, die struck alloy construction badge with burnished blued and fire gilted finishes 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 eagle, bayonet and grenade natural grey of the base metal and the wreath retains about 95% of its original fire gilted finish. The bottom center of the wreath has a small horizontally, rectangular panel with a separate, inset panel with a black background field with the embossed, gilt numerals, "75" and a raised outer edge. The black finish to the background field is retained about 98% while the gilt finish to the numerals and outer edge are retained about 99%. The reverse of the badge has a barrel hinge inset into a rectangular recess with raised, crimped, retaining lips, a broad, tapering vertical pin and a soldered catch on a circular base plate inset into a circular recess with raised, crimped retaining lips all intact. The bayonet and grenade both have a subtle scooped reverse. The reverse of the wreath is well marked with the embossed, stylized, manufacturer's initials within a rectangular border circular border, "JFS", indicating manufacture by Josef Feix & Söhne of Gablonz. Comes complete with its original wrapping tissue paper. This particular example came back with a U.S. vet in 1945 along with numerous other badges. 

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE 

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