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Belts & Buckles -
WWII Nazi German Wehrmacht Officer's Tropical Belt Buckle Koppelschloß
Item #: VF4515
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Two piece, die stamped, alloy construction, Officer’s tropical belt buckle with an olive drab painted finish. The buckle features a highly embossed, oak-leaf wreath encompassing a central, Wehrmacht style eagle with down-swept wings, clutching a canted swastika in it’s talons, on a slightly domed, pebbled, field. The reverse of the buckle is a mirror image of the obverse and has an inset, opened center, circular plate. The buckle has no visible manufacturer’s marks.
Military belts and their corresponding buckles date back centuries and were initially designed for attaching swords and daggers. In 1847 a new innovative box buckle with a quick release catch and corresponding belt were introduced which resulted in a Prussian, Hauptmann Virschow, initiating a new method of carrying personal equipment with the belt and shoulder straps supporting the majority of the weight. This system, with modifications, remains in use in most of the armies in the world to this day. During the Third Reich there was a prescribed form of wear of the belt and buckle with the buckle being positioned on the right side and the corresponding buckle catch on the left side. The Officers circular belt buckle was originally introduced on July 9TH 1937, along with the brocade belt for wear by army Officers when in parade dress, formal dress, informal reporting dress and service dress when full decorations were ordered. Wear of the brocade belt and circular belt buckle was extended to army Music Superintendents and Band Leaders on April 12TH 1938 and to army Officials with the equivalent of Officer’s ranks/position on January 2ND 1939. The belt buckle for Officers holding the ranks of Leutnant up to and including Oberst was in matte silver while Officers holding the ranks of Generalmajor up to and including Generalfeldmarschall utilized a matte gold belt buckle. Generally the standard field service belt buckle was the dual pronged, open claw buckle but in late 1940 with the impending German entrance into the North African campaign, tropical uniforms and equipment were quickly developed and issued in time for DAK, Deutsches Afrika Korps, (German Africa Corps), personnel’s arrival in Tripoli in February 1941. Generally the standard field service belt buckle was the dual pronged, open claw buckle but for tropical wear the Officers circular belt buckle was given an olive drab finish and was worn on a web belt for use in the field. Due to the extreme climate in North Africa the OKW, Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), decided to replace the standard continental leather equipment items with canvas web construction equipment items in the belief that they would be better able to withstand the climate. Of Note: Eventually, due to leather shortages, many of the tropical uniform and equipment items would be issued to personnel serving in southern areas of continental Europe and other theatres of battle.
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $350.00 USD