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Honor Clasps of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS

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    In fact the gild on my two-piece construction Army clasp does look really old (picture below). Please note that it started flaking (on the back of the swastika and the ribbon end).


      ..and under magnification, the gild on my two-piece construction Army clasp looks just like the gilt that I saw on the (one-piece construction) Kriegsmarine clasp with the same “grainy” surface.

      In the following collage (in the picture below) I combined that Kriegsmarine Honor clasp (in the center of the picture) with my Army Honor clasp (above and under the KM clasp).

      In the schema (below) preceding the picture with the collage, only the Krigsmarine clasp is emphasized in color (made to see things in the collage easier).

      As can be seen in the collage, there is a striking visual similarity between these clasps (two-piece construction Army clasp and one-piece construction KM clasp).


        The wear that my clasp exhibits is just natural (in all respects – scratches, dents, pattern, intensity, etc.) with absolutely nothing artificial in it that I could detect (picture below).


          And again the same marks from a hand-finishing tool(jewelry saw) that are found on many one-piece construction clasps (in the picture in green circles).


            As you might already have noticed, the prongs on back of my Army Honor (two-piece construction) clasp are as well of the same round type found on all Kriegsmarine (one-piece construction) clasps, though, as can be seen in the first picture below, there are small differences between their prongs (for example, the way they sharpened), but as we already seen, there are at least four slightly different “flat-type” of prongs that this maker used for one-piece construction clasps (second picture below), hence IMO the slight variations in the “round"-type of prongs would be acceptable too.

            Last edited by Ноnоr; 07-13-2015, 08:10 PM.


              Lastly, since the “Unknown Maker” Honor clasp of the Army has not been widely accepted as original, its pattern (design) was never much faked (unlike Klein variant), not really many copies of it were made and the quality them is very poor. The picture below shows the only two copies (of the “Unknown Maker” clasp) that I was able to find over the years. As can be seen in the picture, in comparison to the original one-piece construction clasp (on the left-hand side) these clasps are spot-on copies because everything in them (every detail) is wrong (even dimensions).

              Actually (and it is very interesting), the copies shown in the picture above have the two-piece construction, which is the same construction as my clasp has! Klein clasps have the two-piece construction too but these copies apparently have the design of the “Unknown Maker” clasps. It looks like a faker copied the design of the “Unknown Maker” one-piece construction clasp but used the construction of the Klein clasp. And that is exactly what Tom Durante said in regard to this specific issue to me before “Fakers do some weird things..” (post#82 of this thread). At the same time, there is another possible explanation for it - they might copied my two-piece construction Army clasp, which shares the same design as the one-piece construction Army clasp (that these copies obviously imitate).
              Either way, this copy simply pales in comparison to my two-piece construction clasp (please see the picture below). Because the quality of my two-piece construction clasp even exceeds the quality of the (proven original) one-piece construction Army clasp.

              Moreover, I have never seen any copy of any Honor Clasp (of any maker and of any variant, including Army, KM and LW) of such a good-quality as my clasp. As a matter of fact, each and every reproduction of Honor clasps that I saw were just ugly, plain wrong and of the poor quality. (Just like the one in the picture below on the right-hand side).


                I know there are probably some weak points in this analysis, because I am not a scientist or a researcher, but just an ordinary collector.

                Bearing in mind the possible shortcomings of the analysis, all in all, I believe that the both Army Honor clasps reviewed in this thread are original and have been made by the same maker (so-called “Unknown Maker” in this thread)

                and all the clasps shown in the picture below have been made by the same maker:

                1. Honor Clasp of Army : two-piece-construction variant
                2. Honor Clasp of Army : one-piece-construction variant
                3. Honor Clasp of Luftwaffe : one-piece-construction variant
                4. Honor Clasp of Kriegsmarine : one-piece-construction variant


                  Hi Honor,
                  Your presentation is, as usual, so well made that I can only agree with your analysis. Granted I may have a vested interest as i own an unknown maker one piece, but looking through this thread I can only believe that both of the ones you've shown are original. I only wish that an analysis of the hardware or some period catalogs could be found to identify the maker, but that is beyond my capability. Maybe that is something you can one day find since you seem to be very dedicated to the topic.

                  I don't know if you'll get much response to this thread for the same reasons that were cited before, but also because it has been pinned, which somehow seems to get lost in the general ladder of threads. Even so, I and I am sure many others enjoy your efforts in this subject.
                  Thank you,
                  I am searching for medals and badges from Gablonz makers.


                    G'day Honor

                    I for one must congratulate you on your most wonderful in- depth study of these small but oh so significant award badges. As the owner of one of the examples shown in your study, I have followed this thread with keen interest.
                    Pity there hasn't been more feedback but what can one say, you seem to have every possible angle.

                    Regards & many thanks from an appreciative follower



                      Thank you guys

                      Natural question that arises is what was the reason for the maker to make two different variants of the same award within a relatively short period of time (January 1944 - May 1945)? IMO answer could be for the sake of simplicity and efficiency.

                      As we know, there were government organizations in the awards industry in Germany (Orders Chancery, LDO) that controlled the production of all official awards (including authorization, technical specifications, quality control, etc). And considering the fact that (for example) German Crosses have been manufactured by many different companies but all have essentially the same design, dimensions, construction, etc, it is clear that prior to manufacturing the award, every authorized maker was initially provided with some kind of documentation with technical specifications of the award. I am sure this procedure had been applied to every award made in Germany before May1945.

                      So my guess is that at the beginning of 1944, when the Honor Clasp of the Army was introduced as a visual recognition (in a form of clasp), namely on January 1, 1944, the two authorized manufacturers, Klein and the so-called “Unknown Maker”, have received the same technical specs (perhaps a “blue-print” like the one pictured below) and began production of their Honor Roll clasps which both had the identical two-piece construction as stipulated in the provided documents. Please note that at that time (and until May 1944), the Krigsmarine and Luftwaffe Honor clasps did not exist yet in a physical form/clasp (as a visual recognition).

                      This is only one of the many possible reasons. For example, the factory could have simply been bombed out, the dies were destroyed or damaged and they quickly made a new die to keep the production running. That was the end of the war, each day was counted.


                        About five months after the introduction of the Honor Roll clasp of the Army, the Honor Clasp of the Krigsmarine was introduced as a visual recognition (namely, on the 13th May 1944). Another two months later (July, 5 1944) the Honor Clasp of the Luftwaffe was introduced in a form of physical award (to be worn).

                        Since the very similar award, the Honor Clasp of the Army was already being manufactured (during that time), the order to manufacture new Honor clasps for Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe was given to one of the makers of the Army Honor Clasp, which is the “Unknown Maker”.

                        From the very beginning, both new clasps (Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe) were only made of one piece (one-piece construction) from one single die-strike. I would guess the “Unknown” maker has found this method much more efficient than the method (with two die-strikes) which he was employing for making his two-piece construction Army Honor clasps. So he eventually switched to this new method, created a new die and started to make his new one-piece-construction Army clasps with just a single strike. The diagram/picture below illustrates possible time frames of the production of these clasps.


                          Someone in this thread wanted to see the Honor Roll Clasp Document (below)


                            Below is a grouping to the Honor Roll Claps holder lieutenant of Wehrmacht Hart Werner (recently encountered on a well-known German dealer site). The grouping contains:
                            1. the Honor Roll clasp of the Army, which is the one-piece construction clasp by the “Unknown Maker” (the “full-design” version)
                            2. the Honor Roll Clasp Document
                            3. the Honor Roll of the German Army
                            4. an article from a newspaper about the Honor Roll Claps winner lieutenant Hart Werner.

                            By the way, the fact that it is the one-piece construction clasp by the “Unknown Maker” in this grouping did not surprise me at all as at that moment I already was 100% confident that this variant of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Army is original.


                              The Honor Roll Clasp groupings are very rare. So I will include one more (similar) grouping to lieutenant of the Wehrmacht Herbert Tilebein (from an European collection).


                                Originally posted by Stepdale View Post
                                Hi Honor,

                                I only wish that an analysis of the hardware or some period catalogs could be found to identify the maker, but that is beyond my capability. Maybe that is something you can one day find since you seem to be very dedicated to the topic.

                                Thank you,
                                Dale, I completely agree with you. The marks on their prongs (dents from a tool) are a very distinctive future and if we could find some award with the same marks (of known maker), the maker of the Honor clasps can be identified pretty easily. Great idea! Because while there are millions of prongs on all kinds of metal items (from shoulder board devices to cap metal insignia), there are hardly ever any marks on them, let alone the same (or just similar) dents from a tool (as on the Honor clasps). I will most definitely use your advice. Thank you!

                                By the way, I have come across this interesting piece on the Internet (from a private collection), which if original can identify the maker. This carton looks OK to me but outer cartons are not my area and I would need your help guys to authenticate it.


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