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Early 57 Luftwaffe Ground Combat Badge for 75 Engagements


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Hello

I have just received this early 57 version of the Luftwaffe Ground Combat badge, for 75 engagements. It is of three piece construction, (the eagle and the '75' plate being riveted to the wreath and cloud ligthning strike), and has the needle type pin to the rear, and still retains virtually all it's original frosting. This is one of the nicest ones of these I have seen, and hopefully you will agree.

As usual, any comments or observations welcomed.

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well the numbered GABs were nevered issued war time so this is just like the ballon observers badges! also as they were never issued there would be no reason for a 57 version of it!just me 2 euros cents!

Hello

The numbered Luftwaffe Ground Assualt awards were instituted and authorised for award very late in WW2. Examples of them are apparently very rare, but, according to all my reference books, wartime manufactered numbered versions none the less do exist. Whether any were actually made it to intended recipenents is another matter, but because they were instituted, (something which I believe wouldn't have occured unless there were people who would be eligible for the award), this is why the numbered ones appear on the original 1957 list of 'new form' awards issued by the then West German government. As such they are a legitimate 57 new form badge of an authorised WW2 award. There is a theory (unproven, but which seems logical and reasonable), that these appear on the offical listings of 'new form' awards to allow those who should have recieved a numbered award in WW2, but didn't, to finally have the badge that they had legitimately earned during the war.

I'll need to look into the balloon badge that you mention, but I believe I'm correct in saying that for a long time it was thought that they never existed in WW2 but that contemporary WW2 photos have been found showing army personnel wearing the balloon badge, hence why they appear on the original official list of new form badges.

Edited by DavidM
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fair enough! i guess its like the lufty close combat clasps and the navy air sea rescue badge! probably never issued but they (well the lufty close combat clasp at least!) were seen in the solbuchs etc though id love to see pics of the balloon observer badge in wear as that would clear up alot of debate on weather it actully excistes or not!! still i do like this badge as it looks pretty cool!! :cheers:

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Hello

It looks like the balloon badges fall into the same category as the Luftwaffe Ground Assault badges, in that there are genuine wartime entries in soldbuchs, and a couple of award certificates known, but it is hotly debated whether the badges themselves ever reached the intended recipents. So again, we have an authorised WW2 award, (it seems most agree that a very small number were made in the dying stages of WW2, but whether prototypes or not is still debated), which probably never made it to the awardees. Again, it seems that the unproven, but logical theory applies to the balloon badge as well, in that these appear on the offical listings of 'new form' awards to allow those who should have recieved award in WW2, but didn't, could, via the 1957 'new form badges, finally have the badge that they had legitimately earned during the war.

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  • 1 month later...

I have yet to see credible soldbuch entries for the Army Balloon Observer Badge. As for the badge itself, it is generally accepted that nothing other than a studio pattern was ever made before May 1945. There are no accredited photographs of this badge being worn during WW2. There are a few doctored images. Regarding numbered LW=EKA, this has been debated a number of times and one of the better-known examples featuring in a book was exposed as comprising a questionable badge with a faked-up document based on a normal EKA certificate. Not a single one of the German FJ veterans I have known over the years ever recalled seeing such badges or any of their comrades having a numbered EKA entered in their paybooks. And that's the sort of thing that would have been a talking point amongst soldiers, believe me. Just like the Balloon Badge: such a badge would have been considered extremely prestigious, almost on a par with a Parachutist Badge. Yet no veteran who ever served with the observer units flying balloons is on record as confirming any awards, even on paper. There have been a few "provisional" or "field-made" award documents bandied about over the years but nothing accepted as genuine. It's rather like the LW-Panzerkampfabzeichen and all the other badges instituted by G?ring late in 1944. However, these badges were available in 1957 form because they were approved and instituted. A couple of veterans serving in the BW are reported to have worn the Badge for the Destruction of an Low-Flying Aircraft on their ribbon bars, the justification being a citation for this act, which was rewarded with the General Assault Badge. But they never received the aircraft-killer badge during the war because none were awarded.

PK

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The badge that started the thread is a beauty. Interesting that the badge design does not include the 'wing tip extensions' for the applied eagle like the original multi-piece WWII badge did.

Scott

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