German WWII Black Wound Badge-This handsome badge is constructed in bronze and retains approx. 70% of its black paint. The majority of the black paint is missing on the obverse and focused on the edge of the badge as well as the edge of the helmet. There is slight wear to the high points of this badge including the swastika. The pin setup works as intended. Overall, this badge is a nice example and is a staple of anyone’s collection.
History: The wound badge was originally established on March 3rd, 1918 by King Wilhelm II to recognize the sacrifice of those wounded during WWI. The badge was instituted in three classes of black, silver and gold with the class bestowed reflecting the number or severity of the wounds received. On May 22nd, 1939 Adolf Hitler re-instituted a slightly modified version of the wound badge with the addition of a swastika to the WWI pattern badge for award to German volunteers who had been wounded supporting the Spanish Nationalist Falangist Generalissimo Francisco Franco against the communist allied Republican Loyalist party in the Spanish Civil War. (July 1936-March 1939). With the outbreak of WWII, on September 1st, 1939, Hitler once again re-instituted another slightly modified version of the wound badge by altering the WWI pattern helmet on the badge to the newly designed M35 style helmet. The badge was awarded to both military and uniformed non-military personnel and later, (March 1943), to civilian personnel who received wounds as a result of enemy actions. The black wound badge was the lowest of the three classes and was awarded for one or two wounds.