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As people are still buying fakes of these badges in the belief that they are getting amazing bargains for half or two-thirds of the price they might pay for the genuine article, it seems logical to st

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Obverse and reverse views of another type of fake badge. Although nothing like the real thing, a number of these particular fakes have been offered as 1943 pattern badges. Note the angle of the diving eagle, which is the same as the eagle from the 1957-pattern badge shown above. One dealer hooked his victim by suggesting that these were badges "made up locally" for Heer and Waffen-SS paras after the destruction of C E Juncker in an air raid in December 1944. While it is true that there was at least one small parachute training facility still in operation by this stage, two veterans who were trained there in advance of Operation Gryphon recalled receiving the cloth badge with the appropriate document, as was the practice in the parachute training schools from the middle of the war onwards. This would have been the Luftwaffe badge. The Brandenburg Division no longer had an active airborne element and SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 600 was airborne in name only.

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The same type of fake but with the angle of the diving eagle adjusted. This badge was offered by a leading German dealer with various postwar documents, including a 1952 attestation concerning a veteran's wartime service. The list of decorations and medals refers simply to the Fallschirmschützenabzeichen and includes the Narvik Shield. A couple of former Heer paratroopers went to Narvik so this could be a bona fide document and badge group formerly belonging to a Heer/Luftwaffe FJ veteran who acquired and improved one of the better copies of the Heer badge at some point, although he would only have worn this badge at very private reunions. SS-Fallschirmjäger-Btl 500? Unlikely. Brandenburger? Unlikely. Former Gebirgsjäger who jumped at Narvik? Perhaps, but they received the Luftwaffe badge. As a curiosity, the grouping is probably worth including in a 'one-of-everything' collection but the badge is a fake.

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Greetings Pete! Thank you very much for this contribution. I should say that now that we have looked at genuine Army Para Badges, members are cordially invited to share the contents of their 'black museums' here. Coming back to this fake, we see the same 1957 pattern diving eagle but with the black finish as opposed to the silver finish. Below is the same type of fake, featured in Adrian's 1st Edition of Forman's Guide to Third Reich German Awards...And Their Values back in 1988.

So far, we have two types of fake made with these 1957-pattern eagles and sold to the collecting public by various high end dealers - or dealers who consider themselves high end - over the years. I remember the fury amongst some dealers when the first serious article on these badges was published on the web by Eric Queen and myself, with two notable dealers and website sponsor-advertisers who were especially livid because they had to make several reimbursements each.

One British dealer actually refused a customer a full refund on the grounds that the customer had devalued this badge by posting it on the web and asking for opinions, at which point it was identified as the "ghostbuster" fake. Another dealer in Germany gave refunds but imposed gagging orders. So, a French collector to whom I had given the bad news got his refund but I found myself confronted by scans of the very same fake badge some months later, back in 2003, after the dealer in question had once again sold it as an original to an American collector.

Edited by PKeating
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Just to recap: the "ghostbuster" fake side-by-side with an original. The ghostbuster was the most dangerous fake out there for a long time and remains dangerous. I still get several e-mails a year from prospective buyers asking if it is worth buying.

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Several dealers went to remarkable lengths to defend the "ghostbuster" fake, including magazine articles, articles on their websites, attempts to have the article by Eric Queen and myself deleted or edited and inclusion of the "ghostbuster" badge in expensive reference books, from which the attached extract is taken.

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Seven years later, people are still referring to this book and making expensive mistakes in buying the "ghostbuster" fake of the Fallschirmschützenabzeichen (Heer) because they think it must be genuine, because it's in a very expensive reference guide. So, apart from the need to study your chosen subject or topic as closely as if you were trying to achieve a doctorate in it, you need to bear in mind that not everything you see in print is true, especially in the case of some of these reference guides.

In the past, before the internet facilitated easier exchange of information between collectors, some dealers and fakers notoriously used reference guides to pass fakes and fantasy pieces into circulation, particularly in the world of Third Reich edged weapons. Post-internet, they still use print media but have subtly shifted their emphasis, aiming for the 'rehabilitation' of older high end fakes like the "ghostbuster" APB, the Army Balloon Badge, the so-called Otto Schickle Condor Legion Tank Badge and so on, as well as the old trick of passing fakes into circulation, like the infamous "Rounder" Knight's Cross, which was the topic of much debate following articles various websites declaring it to be a Meybauer product and offering various kinds of provenance, later discredited or unsubstantiated but not before a number of people had bought these crosses.

However, as far as a certain kind of collector is concerned, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Apart from the whole painful issue of bent dealers and Honest John dealers who, ahem, make the occasional mistake, many 'important' collectors have a lot of money invested in top end, expensive fakes like Army Balloon Observer Badges, Luftwaffe Panzer Badges, LW Sea Battle Badges, LW Close Combat Clasps, LW numbered Ground Combat Badges and, yes, Army Parachutist Badges. This is why they squeal like pigs in an abbatoir if anyone dares to "upset the apple cart" - thereby rendering significant parts of their important collections effectively valueless - by trying to get at the truth behind the myth. So many 'collectors' at all levels buy into myth rather than history.

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Good morning, Stojan

yes, anything with a maker marking other than C E Juncker should be considered as fake....

Without pictures of this type of maker marked badge, it is difficult to point out other things to look out for but suspect that what you have seen is from a series of fakes that hit the market with a '1957' style hinge and catch system. 

 

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Hi, Stojan

this badge looks to be a badly executed cast copy of a Juncker 1st pattern army paratrooper badge....in other words...a fake.

The overall lack of detail of eagle and wreath + points of poor casting (missing details) of the wreath are the main indicators. 

 

5a56345abae51_fakeapb.thumb.JPG.5b16873a04d6439306c8117f7a1271d2.JPG

 

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  • 2 years later...

I have a question.  You are saying that the Parachutist badge was made only by Junker.  But I found another manufacturer, Friedrich Linden.  What is known about him?  Next, see the photo.  The wreath fastening tape has 4 rings.  I think the badge review is not complete.  What can you say ?

The first  photo 4 rings

The second photo - this is Silver  badge

The third  photo - this is Friedrich Linden

20200221_133458.jpg

20200221_133237.jpg

20200221_132850.jpg

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