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Guest WAR LORD

The reverse shown by Dietrich, is as that employed on the G?ring. Rudels was constructed in like manner although he did not give me a picture of the reverse. I think the Badges as seen for sale are infact those produced from around 1990. The dress copy is indeed silver gilt with white saphires and marked with Rudolf St?biger of Vienna mark together with the Vienna silver mark. For the forgers a steep to far to use these. Comparing photos of the badge in wear, it seems to be like the Hartmann and G?ring badges.

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Hans-Ulrich Rudel wearing his badge. Reflecting on Dave Danner's comment, the badge sold by Niemann for $60k might not be the same as the badge attributed to Erhard Milch by Wolfe-Hardin but one thing is certain: neither of them resembles the known, original A-St?ck badges shown here.

PK

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Here is the most complete list of known recipients to date:

ANGERSTEIN, Karl

D?NITZ, Karl

HIMMLER, Heinrich

DIETRICH, Sepp

HARTMANN, Erich

Von BLOMBERG, Werner

HARLINGHAUSEN, Martin

Von BRAUCHITSCH, Walter

GALLAND, Adolf

BAUMBACH, Werner

G?RING, Hermann

JESCHONNEK, Hans

BODENSCHATZ, Karl

Ritter Von GREIM, Robert

KORTEN, G?nter

BAUR, Hans

GRAFF, Hermann

KELLER, Alfred

Von BELOW, Nicolaus

GOLLOB, Gordon

KESSELRING, Albert

CHRISTIANSEN, Friedrich

Von GABLENS, Carl - August

KAMMHUBER, Josef

KASTNER - KIRDORF, Gustav

PARANI, Albert

STUDENT, Kurt

LOHR, Alexander

PELTZ, Friedrich

TRETTNER, Heinrich

LENT, Helmut

PFLUGBEIL, Johanus

UDET, Ernst

LOERZER, Bruno

ROMMEL, Erwin

RAMCKE, Bernard

WEVER, Walther

M?LDERS, Werner

Von RICHTHOFEN, Wolfram

REITSCH, Hanna

SKORZENY, Otto

MILCH, Erhard

SPERRLE, Hugo

NAVRATIL, Frederick

NOWOTHY, Walter

STUMPFF, Hans-Jurgen

von MANSTEIN, Erich

RUDEL, Hans - Ulrich

SCHNAUFER, Helmut

Foreign recipients:

BORIS, King of Bulgaria

MUSSOLINI, Benito

VUILLEMIN General

MORAGILIA General d Asti? de la V?gerie Colonel

PETITJEAN Colonel de Geffri?r Commandent (Mej?r)

SCHMIDLEIN Capitaine

ANTONESCU, Ion

HORTHY, Niklos

BALBO, Italo

VALLE, Ugo

FRANCO, Francisco

von MANNERHEIM, Carl Gustav Emil, Baron

post-281-1174576154.jpg

That makes sixty-one badges. Charles Lindbergh is said by some to have been given the badge but I haven't found any verifiable references to this. Mind you, he would have been a perfect candidate from G?ring's point of view. General Dessloch isn't listed as having receiving the Combined Pilot-Observer Badge with Diamonds. Yet that really looks like a B-St?ck badge in the photograph. Unless I am mistaken, the swastika even appears to have lost some stones. So, assuming Dessloch was a recipient, that takes it to sixty-two known investitures. There is also a photograph of General Dietl wearing a PO Badge with Diamonds, which takes us to sixty-three known holders.

PK

Edited by PKeating
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Hello

I don't know if this helps this debate, but below is a black and white picture of a combined Pilots and Observers badge in gold with diamonds from page 174 of John R Angolias 'For Fuhrer and Fatherland - Military Awards Of The Third Reich', 3rd edition and some accompanying text.

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Thanks for posting that, David. The description of the badge case conjures up the sort of case one would expect although some sources state that there were no cases for these awards and that they were delivered in ordinary jewellers' boxes. I find that hard to believe. John Angolia refers to Generalfeldmarschall Sperrle's badge but the badge shown is Hermann G?ring's example, acquired in London by Eric Campion and now owned by Chris Ailsby.

D-183a.JPG

There was apparently a casette for the document, as this photograph from The Ruptured Duck website shows. Other photos can be viewed by clicking here. Returning to the case described by John Angolia, it may have been a Perchermeier case - if his recollection was reliable - but it does not follow that Hermann G?ring commissioned the A-St?ck badges from the Perchermeier firm. There again, Perchermeier name appears on a couple of lists of pre-1945 medals and orders suppliers. It's not a very common name and there is a Siegfried Perchermeier currently listed as a jeweller in Bad Reichenhall. That is less than twenty miles from Berchtesgaden, where Der Dicke had a house. Might be worth getting in touch with Siegfried Perchermeier and asking him if his family firm made things for G?ring.

PK

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The description of the badge case conjures up the sort of case one would expect although some sources state that there were no cases for these awards and that they were delivered in ordinary jewellers' boxes.

Hartmann's example is resting in a ordinary jeweller's box.

Dietrich

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Just to add a bit more information to the subject I can advise you that some recipients had more that two badges (the presentation badge plus the IMIT badge). I have documentary evidence which states that one recipient had three P/O badges with diamonds as well as numerous other badges in duplicate. This therefore begs the question whether or not some of the badges we are seeing are privately purchased jewellers copies, and if so, there would be no problem in having them engraved with the recipients names.

Stan

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I'm not convinced that any German jeweller who did not have express permission to manufacture this award would take such a liberty, no matter how high-ranking or exalted his client. The award was a highly personal one from G?ring and recipients apparently received B-St?ck badges with their award pieces. Any recipient wanting extra wearing copies could presumably order them from the approved/recommended source. As for some recipients having more than one A-St?ck badge, how sure can we be of that? The A-St?ck badge was extremely costly and remained the property of the Reichsmarschall's office. It is hard to imagine G?ring's office allowing recipients to have more than one A-St?ck badge each.

PK

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I'm not convinced that any German jeweller who did not have express permission to manufacture this award would take such a liberty, no matter how high-ranking or exalted his client. The award was a highly personal one from G?ring and recipients apparently received B-St?ck badges with their award pieces. Any recipient wanting extra wearing copies could presumably order them from the approved/recommended source. As for some recipients having more than one A-St?ck badge, how sure can we be of that? The A-St?ck badge was extremely costly and remained the property of the Reichsmarschall's office. It is hard to imagine G?ring's office allowing recipients to have more than one A-St?ck badge each.

PK

The person in question had at the time of his death amongst other decorations, and I quote:

Drei Goldene Parteiabzeichen ganz aus gold

Drei Pilotenabzeichen, Adler in Brillianten gefasst ganz aus Gold und Platin

This of course means that the above did not include an IMIT piece. Where the recipient obtained the other two pieces is, at this moment in time, pure speculation, but he did have them.

Stan

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Interesting. It rings bells. Remind us: who was the individual in question? Now, do you think the genuine A-St?ck badges were made of gold and platinum or simply of yellow and white 14ct gold? As far as I know, none of the known original A-St?ck badges bears more than the .585 hallmark for 14ct gold. An eagle made of platinum should surely have been marked with an appropriate assay mark like the 950 PT mark seen on A-St?ck RK Brillanten, shouldn't it?

PK

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Guest WAR LORD

It is quite clear that the award was from Goring. It was not possible to have pieces that did not come from his office. Add to this the cost. Not just the intinsik cost of the material but that of constructing the piece. The Goering pieces is wreath 22 carat, the eagle platinum, these have been tested. The diamonds are rose cut fine Rotterdam. The price to construct these would have been conciderable. This was the bench mark of the known originals. Other pieces with rather exotik provinace are not of the known configaration.

We could conclude, many named pieces are of questionable provance. One in particular is Horthy. Plus the others we have also viewed.

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OK, so where does that leave us with the Hartmann badge, which reportedly bears just the 585 gold hallmark on the wreath? The Hartmann and G?ring badges, as shown in this topic, appear to be the same. I cannot remember any mark at all on the reverse of the Rudel badge but I handled it briefly as a callow youth almost thirty years ago, before one paid much attention to such details.

PK

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I have personally studied three P/O badges with diamonds of excellent provinence, all of which were hallmarked "585" below the hinge. Whether the eagles were made from white gold or platinum is not known by me as none bore a hallmark on the eagle.

Whether or not duplicates were allowed to be ordered by the recipient is something that we do not as yet know, but if it was possible to re-order other top awards (Oakleaves Swords and Diamonds springs to mind), why not the P/O badge?

Stan

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Guest WAR LORD

The difference in the case of the Pilot Observer badge with diamonds, was it did not belong to the recipient. It had to be returned on death or if asked. The Oakleaves Swords and Diamonds were given to the recipient and did not have to be returned. Copies could be purchased on presentation of the citation.

The dress copy was one that could be retained.

Another case of the need for return was the Membership Badge of the German Academy for Aeronautical Research.

In responce, "OK, so where does that leave us with the Hartmann badge, which reportedly bears just the 585 gold hallmark on the wreath? The Hartmann and G?ring badges, as shown in this topic, appear to be the same". It is possible that if the mark 585 is on some badges, that they are after the first three that were made. It would not be past the relms of possibility that Herman had his in the higher grade materials. Stubigers son said initially 3 pieces were constructed, these were for Hermann, Weaver and Milch.

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That's a perfectly reasonable question, Stan. The ELSuB was a state award and requests for duplicates were made in the same way that any Ritterkreuz-related request was made after the rules regarding supply of the RK and its various "add-ons" were tightened in 1941.

The Combined Pilot-Observer Badge with Diamonds was, however, a personal award instituted by Hermann G?ring and the A-St?ck award badges remained the property of G?ring's office, the rules requiring return of the badge when a recipient died. I think the families would have been allowed to keep the silver-gilt B-St?ck badge.

At a stretch, one can envisage certain recipients, such as foreign royalty, nobility and heads-of-state commissioning copies of the badge from local jewellers but why would they bother? They did not as a general rule, as far as I am aware, commission copies of other orders and decorations. Furthermore, G?ring anticipated the need to take good care of the A-St?ck badges by giving recipients the silver-gilt dress copies. If Italian, French or Bulgarian recipients had done so, I am sure there would be a general awareness of variant badges bearing the appropriate hallmarks of the countries in question.

Were a badge lost, I daresay that a recipient could request a replacement but, as you say, there does not seem to be any documentary evidence available in relation to this. Making such a request would have been rather embarrassing and might even have resulted in a hefty invoice. You contend that one recipient had three A-St?ck badges in his possession. If this individual managed to get three such badges out of G?ring's office, he must have been important enough to get away with two reports of losing the highly valuable insignia with which he had been trusted! So, who was he?

A German recipient unfortunate or careless enough to lose his A-Stuck badge might have been tempted to have a replacement made but this brings us back to the question of whether any jeweller in the Reich or its territories would want to involve himself in replicating an award in the personal gift of the Reichsmarschall. Unofficial or semi-official though the award was, it was still G?ring's 'territory', so to speak. Moreover, G?ring was known to take a keen interest in the quality of awards, as the anecdote about the ELSuB in Adolf Galland's memoirs, for instance, tell us. In fact, it is surprising that G?ring countenanced the setting of the B-St?ck badges with rhinestones. I have handled a couple of A-St?ck badges but never handled a genuine B-St?ck badge so cannot comment on the quality of the stones therein.

I suppose the point I have been leading up to is that private jewellers' copies of Third Reich awards tend to be postwar rather than wartime confections. There are exceptions, of course, like the EL commissioned from a Milan firm by General der Fallschirmtruppe Richard Heidrich but even then, Heidrich seems to have ensured that he had, at least, tacit approval from HQ for this. Japanese-made Iron Crosses are another example of legitimate wartime "jewellers' copies" but they were commissioned by the German authorities in Japan, presumably with the necessary permission to do so. I don't think one can explain away all these different-looking diamond-studded gold and platinum PO Badges to people like Milch, Sperrle, Skorzeny, Horthy and anyone else the fakers think of by saying that they could be wartime jewellers' copies. No Luftwaffe General would have dared to wear an unapproved replica of an award from their sharp-eyed boss!

PK

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That is logical. Wever and Milch died prematurely and their badges were probably returned to the Reichsmarschall's office. If these first three badges were made of superior metals - 916 gold - to later badges in 585 gold, it would be unsurprising that the pathologically acquisitive Hermann G?ring kept the Wever and Milch badges for himself, awarded slightly cheaper but just as beautiful A-St?ck badges in 585 gold instead, perhaps with white gold eagles.

Regarding the question of platinum eagles, it should be borne in mind that platinum was indeed a precious metal but before the vast majority of stocks were reserved by the Space industry, it was seen as on a par with silver. It was popular for setting diamonds and other stones because of its relatively hard-wearing nature and resistance to oxidisation. Indeed, Tsarist Russia was using platinum for coinage well into the 20th century. Platinum as an exotic material is a comparitively recent phenomenon. It is 'rare' for the reason that diamonds are 'rare', because supply is highly controlled.

If none of the eagles of known originals bear platinum hallmarks, I would suggest that this is because they were actually made from white gold and the view was taken that a single hallmark would suffice. In support of this, I would refer to two-piece badges struck in silver for private purchase by C E Juncker, like the Pilots Badge and the Army Parachutist Badge. These bear just one silver mark. I expect that if examined, the A-St?ck badges were made of yellow and white gold to achieve the two-colour effect.

PK

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Guest WAR LORD

The G?ring piece has been tested and the wreath is 22 ct and the eagle is platinum. All you have said PK, about platinum is correct. It was the jewlers preference for colour and setting. As an aside aliminum was the in metal in the 30's new and expensive, more than silver. Thus the use in the up market Luftwaffe range of badges.

Also there were Pilot observer badges produced in Gold and platinum. One was in the inventry of items in G?rings possetions. The document shown for Skorzeny states Pilot observer, no mention of Diamonds.

The silver-gilt B-St?ck badge IS SET WITH WHITE SAPHIRES.

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post-165-1173428980.jpg

Well-spotted, Chris. Must be all those aluminium messtins I ate from promoting premature senility! I've never seen a document for the Diamonds badge but yes, this document is for an honorary award of the Combined Pilot-Observer Badge and would tie in with Skorzeny's own recollection, when interviewed in the 1950s by Charles Foley, of receiving an honor award from G?ring at Rastenburg just after Gran Sasso.

post-281-1174488995.jpg

If the entry in Skorzeny's personnel file for the award of the "Fliegerabzeichen in Gold" on 1.12.1944 relates to the Combined Pilot-Observer Badge with Diamonds, then Hermann G?ring must have awarded it to Skorzeny for the coup d'?tat in Budapest, codenamed Unternehmen Panzerfaust. If so, it is ironic that the man Skorzeny toppled, and whose son he kidnapped, was a recipient of the PO Badge with Diamonds. Maybe Fat Hermann told Skorzeny he could have Admiral Horthy's badge...

There again, why is the September 1943 honorary award of the PO Badge not included in his personnel file? Of course, many personnel files are remarkably incomplete when it comes to details like awards but Skorzeny's file doesn't appear to fall into this category. It is quite detailed. Is the award date an error? Was the badge to which the file refers just an honorary PO Badge? Did some smart alec decide to interpret this SS file entry as meaning that Otto Skorzeny was awarded the PO Badge with Diamonds, in order to pass a well-made fake onto the market?

None of this is new. In a letter to a militaria magazine in 1981, as Chris relates in one of his books, Andrew Mollo expressed his belief that there was a third - solid gold - grade of the honorary PO Badge awarded to Heinrich Himmler. The above file was prepared by the staff of the RF-SS so perhaps they were in the habit of referring to the PO Badge, with or without the diamonds, as the "Fliegerabzeichen in Gold", because of the colour of the wreath. And perhaps this led to Mollo's theory that there could have been a third class of the badge.

As for the Skorzeny award document, I would, as I said, have expected to see G?ring's embossed seal on a document of this kind rather than the ink stamp. I am not even sure that Skorzeny managed to hang onto any of his awards or paperwork. How much of the stuff on it was even original? Leaving aside his incarceration as a suspected war criminal, US and British security services turned his homes over several times in their frantic search for evidence to make the war crimes charges stick. Otto Skorzeny was considered the most dangerous man in Europe, especially in that delicate period after the war. When Skorzeny was sprung from prison, it is highly unlikely that he took anything incriminating with him on his escape to Spain.

PK

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Guest WAR LORD

ANOTHER POINT OF INTEREST IS THE NUMBER UNDER THE STAMP AND THE DATE.This would indicate ? PK GET THE LITTLE GREY CELLS WORKING.

I believe there was indeed the special Pilot observer badge in gold. This links with the Mussolinei document. As an aside, Forman had one of these badges in 2001.

The funneral pilow of Skorzeny

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106 honorific awards of the PO Badge in the nine months of 1943 up to September... Hmmmmmm. Regarding the question of a special solid gold PO Badge, one cannot discount it, given G?ring's penchant for expensive gewgaws. So far, we know that Otto Skorzeny received some form of flight badge because his SS personnel file confirms it and it is supported by anecdotal evidence. It is obvious that this must have been an honorary award of the Pilot-Observer Badge because, as far as I know, Skorzeny did not hold any form of pilot's licence. It is interesting that the awards on his funeral cushion include a rather normal-looking PO Badge. Had Skorzeny been a holder of the PO Diamonds Badge, this would surely have been included with the awards displayed, even if the original was lost, because replicas were available when Skorzeny died. The cuff title is a fantasy piece. I haven't found any evidence of an award of the Ehrenblattspange but that does not, of course, mean that he did not receive it. Skorzeny also held the SS Old Fighters' Chevron and the Reich Sports Badge in Silver.

PK

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Guest WAR LORD

Dear PK, THE LITTLE GREY CELLS ARE WORKING. "It is interesting that the awards on his funeral cushion include a rather normal-looking PO Badge. Had Skorzeny been a holder of the PO Diamonds Badge, this would surely have been included with the awards displayed, even if the original was lost, because replicas were available when Skorzeny died. "

COULD WE COME TO A THOUGHT THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT VERY GOOD COPIES, FROM THE 1990'S. Our Friend AF was desperate not to use a certain award. The presence of a new example could have been compeling.

YOU ARE SO RIGHT, "106 honorific awards of the PO Badge in the nine months of 1943 up to September... Hmmmmmm. "

Dose this seem a bit greater than the known numbers of the Pilot observer with diamonds?

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  • 4 years later...

6188205_2_l.jpg

Since this topic began and ended, the Otto Skorzeny Combined Pilot-Observer Badge in Gold with Diamonds ensemble has come up for sale two more times. The group has gained a leather mappe or folder in the interim, as well as a handsigned letter from Hermann Göring to Otto Skorzeny informing the latter that he will receive the badge, and the asking price is now €90,000 or $120,000. The Hugo Sperrle badge that prompted this thread back in 2007, or another fake looking just like it, has also resurfaced on a dealer's website. Having failed to sell at auction, it was reportedly sold afterwards to an undisclosed buyer for an undisclosed sum.

http://wcstumpmilita...rver-badge.html

http://wcstumpmilita...r-badge_09.html

Edited by PKeating
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