Original German WWII Close Combat Clasp in Bronze by W.E. Peekhaus of Berlin

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Known in German as a Nahrkampfspange (Melee Clasp) in Bronze, this fine award is constructed of bronzed slightly vaulted zinc. The front side has a Reichsadler (national eagle) over a crossed bayonet and hand grenade in the centerpiece. There are sun rays emanating from the center of the left and right sides, with with four oak leaves and two acorns on each side. The reverse is plain, with a square non-magnetic backing plate with horizontal pin back, with a barrel hinge and a flat wire catch on the reverse.

The back is marked with maker FEC. W. E. / PEEKHAUS / BERLIN on the left and designer AUSF. / C.F. JUNCKER / BERLIN on the reverse. "Ausf." is short for Ausführung, meaning model or version, so this is the version designed by C.F. Juncker. Measures 3.85 inches (97.85 mm) W x 1.04 inches (26.50 mm) H. Offered in overall very fine condition. There is still visible bronzing in areas on the front and back. Ready to display!

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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