today I like to show you a close combat clasp. Ok, now you think you have seen a lot of them in different conditions and from different markers. But mostly we found on the market the bronze type close combat clasp or the silver type close combat clasp.
In this case we have a gold clasp in a really nice condition. As you can see on the pictures that this one was made by the company Friedrich Linden Lüdenscheid (marked FLL on the backside). Magnetic backing plate behind an eagle, a bayonet and a grenade motif.
Back plate is held in place by crimped sides at reverse. Also on the backside a broad, tapering horizontal pin, solid soldered hinge and a flat wire catch. Reverse well marked with embossed designer’s name and address, „Fec. W.E. Peekhaus Berlin“.
What really flashes me is the box. Just a card board box, at the edges put together by iron claws. On the top you can read “Nahkampfspange vergoldet ” – That means “Close Combat Clasp gilded” .
The clasp was in a sort of protective paper in red color. I know some medals which are wrapped in brown or nearly white protective paper, but red in not very often found.
As far as we know, only the company Friedrich Linden Lüdenscheid made these boxes for their clasps. There a know card board boxes with „Nahkampfspange bronze“ / „Nahkampfspangen bronze“ / „Nahkampfspange versilbert“ on it.
For me a stunning set which is not very often for sale or even to see in the collector’s scene.
To the history of close combat clasps:
The close combat clasp was introduced on November 25th, 1942 for award to personnel who fought in hand-to-hand combat situations unsupported by armor.
The clasp was issued in three grades, bronze, silver and gold, with each successive grade signifying more days spent in hand-to-hand or close combat. Criteria for award of the clasps consisted of fifteen days of hand-to hand combat for bestowal of the bronze clasp, thirty days of hand-to-hand combat for bestowal of the silver clasp and fifty days of hand-to-hand combat for bestowal of the gold clasp.
There was also a prescribed, combat to time served ratio, enabling long serving personnel to be eligible for award of a clasp.
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