Original German WWII Close Combat Clasp in Bronze by Funcke & Brüninghaus
Original Item: Only One Available. Known in German as a Nahrkampfspange in Bronze this fine award is constructed of bronzed slightly vaulted zink. The obverse with a national eagle and a bayonet and hand grenade in the centerpiece, with sun rays emanating from the center of the left and right sides, and with four oak leaves and two acorns on each side, the reverse plain, with a square non-magnetic backing plate horizontal pin back with a barrel hinge and a flat wire catch on the reverse, marked F & BL for Funcke & Brüninghaus, Lüdenscheid on the reverse, and depicting die-flaws specific to this maker, such as the die flaw to the right upper quadrant of the rays, and on the reverse of the clasp by the maker mark. The maker mark is alos upside down which is correct for this maker. Measures 3.85 inches (97.85 mm) W x 1.04 inches (26.50 mm) H. Offered in overall near very fine condition.
The Close Combat Clasp (German: Nahkampfspange) is a German military award instituted on 25 November 1942 for achievement in hand-to-hand fighting in close quarters. The Close Combat Clasp was worn above the upper left uniform pocket. The clasp was die-cast and made of either tombac or later zinc, with a slightly curved centerpiece consisting of the national emblem surmounting a crossed bayonet and hand grenade.
The award was bestowed in three classes: Bronze for 15 close combat battles; Silver for 25 battles; and Gold for 50+ battles. The Gold Close Combat Clasp was often regarded in higher esteem than the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross by the German infantry. Of the roughly 18–20 million soldiers of the German Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS, 36,400 received the Bronze Class, 9,500 the Silver Class and 631 the Gold Class.
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