Store: German Items: German Wound Badge Black Steel Hollow

German Wound Badge Black Steel Hollow : A very original and used black wound badge. The swastica has attempted to be ground & stamped off but it is still clearly visible. It is made of stamped steel and there is light rusting in places. This badge came from a auction collection from a German auction house which has unfortunately since been split up.

(Das Verwundetenabzeichen) is a German military award for wounded or frost-bitten soldiers of Wehrmacht, SS and the auxiliary service organizations (after March 1943 due to the increasing number of allied bombings — also for civilians).

First instituted during the first world war it existed in three versions: black for one or two times wounded by hostile action or air raid, or frost-bite in the line of duty, silver for three or four times wounded, loss of a hand, foot or eye via hostile action (also partial loss of hearing), facial disfigurement or brain damage via hostile action and gold (can be awarded posthumously) for five or more times wounded, total blindness or severe brain damage via hostile action.

They exist in pressed steel, brass and zinc as well as pure base metal privately commissioned versions. Those of the first world war were also produced in a cutout pattern.

All versions of the Wound Badge were worn on the lower left breast of the uniform or tunic. The Badge was worn below all other awards worn on the left breast, if any were present. It's assumed that upwards of 5 million were likely awarded during World War II. In 1957 the Wound Badge was again authorised for wear, however, the swastika needed to be removed (for example by grinding).

The rarest wound badge by far is the final version known simply as the 20th of July. This was awarded to the 24 officers and aides present when Hitler survived a bomb attempt on his life at the Wolf's Lair in July 1944. This design incorporates the date '20 Juli 1944' and a facsimile of the Fuhrer's signature. Hitler did not award this badge to himself (nor other badges other than the pary badge). This badge is virtually priceless and of course if you are offered one be very sceptical about its authenticity!

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