Saturday, 31 March 2012

NSFK Badge for Free Balloon Pilots - Second Type

NSFK Badge for Free Balloon Pilots - Second Type                      

Instituted on. 10 March 1938
Numbers awarded were;
Rarity – Extremely Rare
Known Makers. Patent Number, '231240'.

This badge comprises of an oval wreath that measures 58 mm by 45 mm and has seven bunches of two oak leaves on either side of a three string, plain tie at the base.  The outer and inner edges of the wreath take the line of the serrations of the leaves and meet at the apex, where the flying man emblem of the NSFK is positioned.  Above his head is a semi-circle with the incused small capital letters, 'NSFK'.  Into the centre of the badge is placed a hot air balloon with the gondola basket just touching the inner edge of the wreath at the base.

The reverse is plain with a large, round plate which has the hinge attached.  The hook is directly on the reverse of the gondola, again on the small, round plate and the pin is of the needle type.  Across the balloon in incused numerals, is the patent number, '231240'.  The badge is particularly finely produced from a quality metal, that is then silvered and artificially patinated with an old smoked effect.

This award was instituted on the 10th March 1938 by NSFK-Korpsführer General der Flieger Christiansen and was to supersede the DLV form.  It was awarded to licensed hot air balloon pilots and was worn on the left breast pocket of the NSFK or Luftwaffe uniform. 

NSFK Badge for Free Balloon Pilots –  Fake.

NSFK Badge for Free Balloon Pilots –  Obverse - Fake - Souval.

NSFK Badge for Free Balloon Pilots –  Reverse - Fake - Souval.

NSFK Badge for Free Balloon Pilots –  Obverse - Fake.

NSFK Badge for Free Balloon Pilots –  Reverse - Fake.

NSFK Champion Model Fliers Badge

NSFK Champion Model Fliers Badge
Instituted 1939
Rarity – Very rare
Known Makerunmarked

This award was rendered annually for the best model flight. Little is known about this rare award except that the Aero Modellers Badge had existed since the Imperial period of German history but this award did not strictly reward the best flights. The NSFK built on this and the previous qualification badges and saw the benefit of creating an annual champion's award. The competitors wore for the duration of the competition a pressed oval tin badge that had a raised outer edge, which had, at the bottom in indented small Gothic script ‘NS – FLIEGERKORPS’. There was a further inner line that had at the top in impressed normal capitals, ‘NSFK’. The flying man emblem of the NSFK was superimposed across the badge and just below the swastika, a three-line panel. On to this are impressed the details of the competition and examples encountered have had ‘REICHSWETTBEWERB SEGELFLUGMODELLE WASSERKUPE 26. 29.5.1939’, and ‘RHÖN SEGELFLUG WETTBEWERB 23.7 - 6.8 – 1939’.

The first confirmed winner received his badge from the competition at Frankfurt am Maine 1939. As well as the badge, the recipient was also awarded an impressive gold-plated NSFK trophy that took the form of a three dimensional statue of the flying NSFK man. This is illustrated by one recipient who was a Luftwaffe man and former Hitler Youth member, who was awarded it for record-breaking model plane flight that lasted eleven minutes seven seconds.

As the awards varied for each year, I will describe the 1941 example and hope others will be brought my attention. The badge is finely made in nickel silver and measures 45mm by 24mm with a circular top and bottom. It has a fine raised outer line and a similar one indented by 4mm. Into the tramline produced round the upper circle, is the inscription in Gothic letters, ‘WASSERKUPE (RHÖN) JUNI 1941’, and round the lower segment, ‘REICHSWETTBEWERB FÜR SEGELFLUGMODELLE’. The tramline is in filled with royal blue opaque enamel. The recessed field is plain with a circle of finely detailed oak leaves indented by 2mm, which ran tip on stalk in an anti-clockwise direction. A separate piece is then placed across the body of the badge in the form of the flying man emblem of the NSFK. The wings measure 36mm and the height from his feet to the banner that runs circularly above his head, is 28mm. All the metal parts of the badge are silver-plated. The reverse is plain with a horizontal needle pin, hinge and hook. The badge was worn permanently on the left breast pocket of the uniform. The certificate and box, which accompanied the award, are unknown to the author.

 NSFK Champion Model Fliers Badge in wear by Spanish compeditors.

NSFK Badge for Free Balloon Pilots - First Type

NSFK Badge for Free Balloon Pilots - First Type      

Instituted on. 1933
Numbers awarded were;
Rarity – Extremely Rare
Known Makers. Unmarked

A variation together with the normal type.

This award consists of an oval blue-grey Melton patch that measures 70 mm by 56 mm and on to which is embroidered, in dull silver bullion wire, an oak leaf wreath that has two single leaves with a tie at the base and six bunches of two leaves on either side that meet at the apex with a small gap.  This wreath measures 10 mm.  At the centre of the wreath is a hot air balloon with a gondola basket that just touches the inside of the wreath at the base.  Across the balloon and breaking the outer line of the wreath, are the DLV pilot’s wings. These consist of three lines of fetching, at the centre of which they have a circle which has a black embroidered swastika on a white background. Each line of fetching has embroidered stitching that runs at a 45% angle. On the upper line, to the viewers left, in a left hand direction. The middle row is to the right and the lower is to the left. The right hand side is embroidered in the opposite configuration.  

This award was introduced in 1933 as the DLV badge for free balloon pilots.  On 5 March 1935 Hitler issued a decree, which officially established the new Luftwaffe.  He also authorised the founding of an organisation that would foster an air minded generation of Germans and encourage aviation sport.  This decree resulted in the transformation of the Deutscher Luftsport-Verband (DLV), into the politically regimented NSFK on 7 April 1937.  Thus, this award was used as the NSFK Badge for Free Balloon Pilots by NSFK-Korpsführer General der Flieger Christiansen and was awarded to licensed hot air balloon pilots until 10 March 1938 when it was superseded.  It was worn in both guises, sewn on to the left breast pocket of the relevant uniform. 

NSFK Badge for Free Balloon Pilots - First Type - Fake.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Nürnberg Party Day Badge of 1933

Nürnberg Party Day Badge of 1933.
Instituted on 31st August 1933.
Rarity – Scarce.
Known Makers – F. Hoffstatter, Bonn, O Fechler, Bernsbach, Deschler & Sohn, Munchen, C. Balmberger, Nurnberg, Unmarked type.

This badge is finely struck in bronze that is artificially patinated.  It is 52 mm high by 34 mm wide and the design comprises of a closed winged eagle holding a wreath of continuous small bunches of oak leaves.  There are three oak leaves in each bunch and ten bunches running visibly between the eagles talons.  These bunches measure 1 mm across.  The central field has a raised swastika.  The eagle and swastika surmount a view of the city of Nürnberg and its castle.  This design is placed just above a raised panel that has diagonal cuts at the bottom, which is squared off.  The panel has a three line inscription in raised capital letters of varying size, 'N.S.D.A.P, REICHSPARTEITAG, NÜRNBERG 1933.'

The reverse of the badge is flat with a vertical groove, into which a pin is inserted and then soldered in.

Nürnberg Party Day Badge of 1933 and Gau Munich Commemorative Badge of 9th November 1923 – 1933 in wear.

There is a badge that is produced from bronze and silver finished. Badges have been encountered that are produced in silver, with varying content from .900 to .1000. The originality of these is in some doubt. The purpose of the silver badge is unknown, possibly given to VIPs.

The 1929 Nürnberg rally was the last party day rally held until 1933.  This rally was held with the euphoria of the Nazis coming to power on 30th January 1933.  It was held on 31st August to 3rd September 1933 and was known as Parteitag des Sieger, or Victory Party Rally of the NSDAP in Nürnberg.  At this rally, Hitler formally recognised the Adolf Hitler SS Standart and the dedication of the SS Standarten took place.  This was formed from SS-Sonderkommando Zossen and SS Sonderkommando Jüterbog.  785 men of these two units were present and on the last day, a salutary round was fired by a Reichswehr battery.  Gruppenführer Sepp Dietrich received the banner with the name 'Adolf Hitler' on the box.  The two Sonderkommandos were granted the right to wear the name Adolf Hitler on an arm band on the left arm.  From this day forward the unit bore the designation, 'Adolf Hitler Standart'.  Hitler, at this time, was reviewing the necessity of the rowdy SA and its bombastic leader, Ernst Röhm.  The formation of this protection squad was a very important deviation from the normal growth and importance of the SA.

An SS officer accompanying Hitler, wearing the badge, and Goebbels at the festivities.

All in all, this rally was a very important event in the Nazi party history but up until now, nobody has recognised this Day Badge for the award it is, or certainly was.  For it was given official recognition as a decoration of the party under regulations governing the awards of the party and its form of dress, on 16th March 1935.  This order deals with the implementation of the laws as regards to the insidious attacks on the state and the party and with the protection of the party uniforms,

(Ref. RGB1, 1.S 387).  It continues, 'find enclosed all the articles listed under this order which belong to the party officially, flags and badges of the German National Socialist Workers Party and its affiliated associations', and lists these awards particularly, 'SA - Sportsabzeichen, Coburger Abzeichen, Abzeichen der Parteitag 1929 und 1933, Abzeichen des SA - Treffens Braunschweig'.  These are then followed by a second list of civil permitted badges of the party and its associates. This order reinforces that of 20th December 1934.

There is a further order on 14th November 1935 which does not specifically include the 1933 badge, but relates to 'Traditionsabzeichen' and the other awards of the party. 

On 6th November 1936 Hitler introduced a further order that formalised the awards of the party and forbade the wearing on party uniforms badges that had, by tradition, become considered genuine party commemorative or honorary awards.

Party Awards 1934 full page.

'They may be worn on the civilian overcoat or jacket by all party members on the left lapel.  All party members who were permitted to wear their party badge or the national emblem badges which were issued at the party gatherings may now not be worn at all, except that issued in the year 1929 but the ones which will be issued in future at such gatherings may only be worn for the duration of the gathering.  The wearing of club medals on duty or party uniform is herewith forbidden or any of the party's associated branches.'

The badge is seen being worn with other awards on period photographs from 1933 through to at least 1942.  This poses the problem of why is the 1933 party badge so worn?  Also in the Organisationsbuch der NSDAP, 1943 edition, there are three black and white illustrations of The Golden Party Badge, set centrally on a single page, The 1933 Party Day Badge, also set centrally on a single page and the Nürnberg 1929 Party Day Badge, with just a short paragraph above it, being used as the end of the introduction.  This could be purely and simply because it represents ten years of Naziism, which I feel is unlikely or that the badge had a greater signification in Nazi history.  The order of 6th November 1936 clearly states that, 'Ehrenzeichen der Partei' were permitted and this badge could have acquired the status of a 'Traditionsabzeichen'.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Rune Star

The Rune Star

Instituted on

Rarity – Extremely Rare.

Known Makers – Unmarked.

This award comprises of a six pointed star that measures 82 mm in height. At the centre is a large Golden Party badge. Each of the six rays slightly widen from this to the edge were they are finished in a 45 degree point. Each is mirror polished with a raised central spine. Between each of these are a further ten rays again with raised a raised central spine. These reduce in length to the centre. The star is gilded.

The reverse is plain and slightly dished with at the centre a round recessed dish, this is thus to raise the Golden Party Badge on the obverse. It has a small hinge slim tapered pin and C form hook.

This award was introduced with the reorganising of the Party Awards. It was to follow the Golden Party Bade and Silver Party Badge. There has been no recorded instance of this being awarded.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Schalburg Cross

The Schalburg Cross.

Officers Cross, NCOs and men's badge.
Known Makers - Always Unmarked

Rarity - Extremely Rare, Extremely Rare.

The Officers Cross.
The Officers Cross - reverse. 

The NCOs and men's badge.
The NCOs and men's badge - Reverse.

There were two types of Schalburg Cross produced, the NCOs and men's badge, and the officers.  Both types of cross measure 50 mm by 50 mm, with the boss measuring 25mm and the inner line of the tramline indented by 4mm.  The men's cross was produced from zinc that was gilded.   The outer edge of the arms of the cross has a raised line, as does the circle producing the central boss.  The central boss has an inner line that produces a tramline effect.  In a semi-circle around the upper portion of the tramline is the inscription, in raised capital letters, 'TROSKAB. VOR. AERE', which translates to, Loyalty our Honour.  In the lower portion are two sprigs of green enamelled oak leaves, which meet at the base with a cross tie.  The central portion of the boss has a mobile swastika with raised outer edge line.  The fields of the swastika, tram line and arms of the cross are infilled with off-white paint, while the field surrounding the swastika is finished in a similar opaque red paint.

The officers cross are also gilded. The fields of the swastika, tram line and arms of the cross are, in this case, executed in an opaque white enamel, while the field surrounding the swastika is finished in opaque light red enamel.  The officers cross has, as well as the aforementioned differences in enamel, gold oak leaves instead of green ones, with had all the rest of the exposed metal being finished with a gold plated surface.

The reverse of the men's is just a normal gilded back and the reverse of the officers a gold plated one.  Both forms have a similar pin construction for attachment to the uniform.  This type of pin, in my experience, is unique to these two crosses.

The criteria for the bestowal of the cross is unknown but it is presumed that it was in recognition of service in the Corps against partisan activity and therefore an analogy can be drawn to the anti-partisan badge of the Nazi forces.  It has been reported that one of the crosses was awarded posthumously to a member of the Corps who had been assassinated by the Danish Resistance.  It is unsure which badge was awarded and therefore the style is unknown.

The crosses were supposedly to be worn on the left breast of the uniform jacket.  The box accompanying the award, if one ever existed, is unknown to the author.

The Schalburg Corps was set up after Himmler's insistence that a Danish branch of the Germanic SS should be formed and Knud Borge Martinsen was given that task after the disbandment of the Freikorps in April 1943. Later though, Martinsen was to be dismissed by Himmler for criticising the Germans too much.

Martinsen Knud Borge - Legions-Obersturmbannführer.

The Schalburg Corps was originally called a Germanic Corps and changed to Schalburg in memory of the most popular commander of the Freikorps, Count Christian Frederik von Schalburg, of Baltic German origin, and one time leader of the DNSAP youth, who went on to become an SS Sturmbannführer with the Wiking Division.

SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Frederik von Schalburg, his son Alex, and Leg. Untererscharführer Søren Kamm, who was later to become a holder of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

In some sources he is referred to as Frederik-Christian von Schalburg, the second out of seven commanders of the Freikorps Danmark, who was killed in action on June 2 1942 at Demjansk and was given a state funeral by the Nazi authorities in Denmark.

 SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Frederik von Schalburg, with his wife.

 Order of the day mourning the death of SS Sturmbannführer Christian Frederik von Schalburg, who was killed in action on 2nd June 1942 before Leningrad as the Commander of the Volunteer Corps "Danmark".

 SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Frederik von Schalburg, on his way to the internment.

 The grave of SS-Sturmbannführer Christian Frederik von Schalburg.

It is interesting to note that the only two commanders who were not killed in action were dismissed.  Himmler dismissed Lt Col PC Kryssing on 8 June 1942 because the Germans distrusted him.

Kryssing Christian Peder - Legions-Obersturmbannführer.

Also Martinsen was dismissed, as explained earlier.  The rest of Freikorps Danmark who had been killed were laid to rest at the runway near Biakovo. The attitude towards the Danish soldiers was one of great respect and this shows in the 2nd Commander Lettow-von-Vorbeck's last words, "Give my greetings to all brave Danes!"

SS-Sturmbannführer Hans Albert Lettow-von-Vorbeck Commander "Freikorps Danmark" who was killed in action on 11th June 1942. 

Memorial service for members of the Danish Free Corps killed in Russia, in Copenhagen on the 17th October 1943. From left to right SS-Obersturmbann
führer K. B. Martinsen, SS-Sturmbannführer Boysen, Schalburg's son Alex and widow, and Dr. Wernerer Best.
Several of the ex Freikorps soldiers formed themselves into the new cadre of the Schalburg Corps, which was divided into two groups.  The first group was made up of regular soldiers and the second group, which came to be known as the Dansk Folke-Vaern, the Danish People's Defence, was made up of civilians, some of whom were expected to give financial backing.  Many of Clausen's former supporters were drawn away by the Dansk Folke-Vaern.  For example, Max Arildskov's Nye Danmark, New Denmark, which had been formed after Clausen's bad results in the March election, broke away from the DNSAP and started its own SA, who were known as Landstormen, consisting of about two hundred men with a further five hundred civilian back up.  In December, Arildskov put his men at the disposal of the Schalburg Corps but only around fifty were accepted into the Corps, the others remaining as a form of reserve group, still keeping the Landstormen title.

Schalburg Corps man, showing the right collar patch. Although this is similar to the mobile swastika worn by the Nordland Division, it is larger and not tilted to the left.

While in trainging, the Schalburg Korp members wore the Danish Army khaki uniform with the black collar patches and special arm shield.
The Schalburg Corps adopted the same techniques as the partisan group and countenanced the policy of an eye for an eye.  For every member assassinated by the Resistance, the Corps perpetrated a similar act of assassination against the group.  It has also been reported that every act of sabotage invoked a response of a 'Schalburgtage'.  Following the general strike in Denmark in June/July 1944 the Schalburg Corps was withdrawn from Copenhagen and brought to Ringstad outside the city, where it was incorporated into the SS as Ausbildungs-Btl. Schalburg, SS Training Battalion Schalburg.  Six months later, it was renamed the SS Vagt-Btl. Sjaelland, SS Guard Battalion Zealand.  Martinsen was relieved of his command in October 1944 and replaced by Tipo Madsen.  The Schalburg Corps was officially disbanded on the 28 February 1945.

Schalburg Corps Flag outside the Headquarters at the Freemasons' Lodge in Copenhagen.

After the war Martinsen, founder of the Schalburg Corps, was executed by the Danes and the memorial to the leaders in Denmark near Hoevelte was demolished by Danish members of the resistance in 1945.

The "Freikorps Danmark" war memorial at Hovelte, with Gaurd of Honour.
The "Freikorps Danmark" war memorial at Hovelte, which was blown up by the Danish Resistance in May 1945.

Close up of the role of Honour of the fallen members of the "Freikorps",which includes the name of one of the "White Russians", who served in the "Freikorps".

The Schalburg Cross. Officers Cross, - Fake.

The Schalburg Cross. Officers Cross, - Fake. Reverse.


A total fantersy pieces that has been encountered.
Schalburg Cross - 2nd Class -  Fake.

The diameter is 45mm and the weight is 9.6gm. This piece did not exist during the time of the Second World War.