L019189 EM/NCO'S BELT BUCKLE "Droop-tail". (Koppelschloß)

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. Originally the EM/NCO’s buckles were produced with a silver finish until a blue/grey version was introduced, (Circa mid-1940), and a tropical, olive drab version was introduced in late 1940 although the silver finished buckles continued to be utilized. 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: Early, 1935 pattern, two piece, die struck, natural aluminum construction box buckle. The buckle features a pebbled field with a separate face plate attached by four small bent over prongs which are visible to the reverse. The central face plate features an embossed, horizontally oval, laurel leaf wreath encompassing a highly domed, pebbled inner field with an embossed early "drooped-tail" style Luftwaffe eagle to the center. The plain reverse has a central circular depression and a raised, semi-circular, slotted buckle catch, prong bar and prongs all intact. Unmarked. Nice early example.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $238.00

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