German WWII Black Wound Badge-Handsome early example stamped in tombak. The black finish remains 75% intact. The finish looks to have been deliberately removed from the swastika on the helmet. Sometimes the owners of these medals would remove the finish in order to accentuate the swastika on this medal, and make it stand out.
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.