Original German WWII Close Combat Clasp in Bronze - Unmarked
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 magnetic backing plate with horizontal pin back, with a barrel hinge and a flat wire catch on the reverse.
There is no marking on the back of this badge, however that is not uncommon for later war manufactured badges. More advanced collectors may be able to identify the maker simply by the features of the badge.
The clasp measures 3.85 inches (97.85 mm) W x 1.04 inches (26.50 mm) H. Offered in overall very good condition. The original bronzing on the front is unfortunately mostly worn away, like many examples we see, however there is some around the edges, and the rear pin is clearly bronze. A very nice example, 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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