Original Rare German WWII Heer Army Paratrooper Fallschirmjäger Badge - Parachutist Badge
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an exceptionally rare example of a Paratrooper Fallschrimjäger badge, as issued to the German Heer (Army). The vast majority of parachutist badges made were of the Luftwaffe version, with only a relatively small number made for the Heer Paratroopers before they were transferred over to the Luftwaffe in 1939. This is the first example that we have ever handled, and it is in very good condition, still showing much of the original finish on the zinc alloy.
The basic design of the Heer badge is different from the Luftwaffe badge, with a gilt Oak Leaf wreath, surmounted by the Army closed wing Wehrmachtadler (Armed Forces Eagle. The Luftwaffe example has no eagle at the top, and the wreath is silvered and half Laurel. In the middle of the badge is a silvered "Diving Eagle", which is not clutching a swas as in the Luftwaffe version.The eagle is attached to the wreath with two fully intact rivets. It features a needle style vertical pinback with a barrel hinge, with an intact bent metal pin catch.
Condition is very good, with much of the gold wash retained on the wreath, and the silver wash on the "Diving Eagle" also retained well. There is some wear on the back, and oxidation on the pin, but this is still a fantastic example of this rare badge.
Really a very nice example which would make a very nice addition to any collection!
The Parachutist Badge (Fallschirmschützenabzeichen) was a badge awarded to qualified parachutists of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS of NSDAP Germany. The badge was first established by order of Hermann Göring on 5 November 1936. It was originally awarded to Luftwaffe personnel after completion of the required number of six jumps. After this they were eligible to become a Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper).
The badge depicted a diving eagle with a swas in its claws surrounded by a silver wreath. The original construction was made of "gold-finished bronze" for the eagle and "oxidized silver plate" for the laurel leaves. In 1937, the construction of the badge changed to aluminium. In late 1942, the construction was changed again to a metal alloy. A cloth version of the badge was also authorized in 1937, to be worn on a flight jacket. A recipient had to re-qualify for the badge each year.
An army version (Fallschirmschützen-Abzeichen des Heeres) was later introduced (1 September 1937), with the swas relocated to the top of the wreath and surmounted by a smaller upright eagle. As with the Luftwaffe, a recipient had to re-qualify for the badge each year. In 1936, the army ordered the institution of its own parachute company, which was expanded to a battalion in 1938. When the army parachute units were transferred over to the Luftwaffe in 1939, the former army soldiers continued to wear the army version of the Parachutist badge. The Waffen-SS personnel of the 500, 501 or 502 SS-Parachute Battalions were awarded the Luftwaffe badge after they passed the jump and other test requirements
The term Fallschirmjäger, often written Fallschirmjaeger in English, is from the German Fallschirm "parachute" and Jäger, the light elite infantry of the Prussian army. This term was then applied to all German paratroopers. Fallschirmjäger of Germany in World War II, were the first to be committed in large-scale airborne operations. They came to be known as the "Green Devils" by the Allied forces they fought against and were some of the best trained most lethal troops of the German war machine.
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