Building on a solid foundation set forth in the 1st Edition of this book, the 2nd Edition delves deeper into each wartime Close Combat Clasp maker and methodically presents each and every variant of clasp collectors will encounter on the market today. No unique die characteristic or reverse hardware set up change was too small; each has been categorised and examined in detail along with an explanation of what sets that variant apart from other clasps. Several “Quick Reference Charts” have also been added to allow for a quick and easy identification of the many unmarked clasps that are encountered, as well as to help collectors sort out the seemingly endless variations of the AGMuK clasps.
Separate chapters have been included for award documents, cases, cartons, packets, and miniatures along with a large chapter on the most current and dangerous fakes. Over 460 pages and 1350 high quality, colour images in 7”x9.5” format, this volume is a must have for both novice and experienced collectors alike.
GERMAN CLOSE COMBAT CLASP OF WORLD WAR II
The final word on this sought after Third Reich award, the Close Combat Clasp was instituted on 25 November 1942 for achievement in hand-to-hand fighting in close quarters. It was worn above the upper left uniform pocket. The clasp was die-cast and made of either tombac or later zinc, with a slightly curved centerpiece consisting of the national emblem surmounting a crossed bayonet and hand grenade. The award was bestowed in three classes:Bronze for 15 close combat battles::Silver for 25 battles and Gold for 50+ battles
The Gold Close Combat Clasp was often regarded in higher esteem than the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross by the German infantry. Of the roughly 18–20 million soldiers of the German Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS, 36,400 received the Bronze Class, 9,500 the Silver Class and 631 the Gold Class.