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GERMAN WWII BRONZE SPORTS / DEFENSE BADGE -

This is a German WWII Bronze Sports badge. It later became known as the "SA Defense Badge". This badge was first introduced by Ernst Rohm on November 28th 1933. Initially issued to SA and SS personnel. On february 15th 1935 Hitler introduce two other levels of the award and expanded its eligibility to cover all nationals.

The Sport badge was produced in three different grades: Bronze, Silver and gold. The sample shown here is the Bronze grade.

The badge consisted of a sword pointing up placed on top of a wreath. It was awarded after successfullt passing a test. The award was retained by maintaining a clean record in National Socialism. The physical test consisted of three components: Gymnastics, self defense and agricultural field service.





CRITERIA FOR AWARD
Germany had an affinity for sports like gymnastics. Some of the exercises that had to be performed in order to gain the badge were performed in full military combat attire. This included wearing a backpack, canteen, bayonet and event the helmet.

The criteria required for earning the award is as follows:


CLASS CRITERIA
BRONZE Successfully passed an educational and physical program.
SILVER Awarded to those holding the Bronze badge for five years and participated and passed the annual requirements. The individual would have to be 35 years of age or older.
GOLD Individuals holding the Silver badge for Six years and successfully participated in the annual requirements. Recipient had to be over the age of 40.
Ernst Julius Röhm, (November 28, 1887 – July 2, 1934) was a German officer in the Bavarian Army and later an early Nazi leader. He was a co-founder of the Sturmabteilung ("Storm Battalion"; SA), the Nazi Party militia and later was the SA commander. In 1934, as part of the Night of the Long Knives, he was executed on Hitler's orders as a potential rival.

Rohm was the person who authorized the creation of the Sports badge.

The Sports badge was issued with an award document. These items were not standardize. Not all of them looked identical. Every district had discretion to design the award as they saw fit. The following photo shows an example of a Bronze Sports badge award document.





BADGE ARCHITECTURE
The design of the badge consists of an oval shaped wreath with a sword going from the bottom to the top. The handle is located in the lower part of the wreath. Both, the tip and the handle protrude beyond the boundries of the wreath. The handle of the sword is ribbed.

A swastika is placed in the center of the wreath and it is partially covered by the sword.

A vertical bronze pin was provided as a means to attach the badge to the tunic. The pin would be passed through loops (Two or more) that were sewn to the chest area of the jacket. Several markings were placed stamped on the back of the badge. Most of them were done with raised letters. A serial number is found on one side of the wreath.





This page is a recognition and identification guide for WWII German badges and awards. Multiple detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined points that should be noted.

One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my WWII German badge worth?". A price guide is included here to address this question. The value of the badges and awards is reviewed over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth of the German badges in the collector's market is illustrated.

This service is provided free of charge to the visitor/enthusiast courtesy of MilitaryItems.com, a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality military antiques and collectibles to museums, institutions and the general public.

WANT TO LEARN MORE?
  1. FAQ's
  2. Sports Badge Anatomy
  3. Identifying fakes and reproductions
  4. RZM manufacturing codes
  5. LDO manufacturing codes
  6. Construction materials
  7. Pins, hinges and other
  8. Perspective view
  9. Purchasing a WWII German badge




BY THE NUMBERS
It is hard to determine the exact number of Anti Partisan badges that were produced. However, thanks to the record keeping maintained by the Wehrmacht, it is possible to estimate how many badges were actually issued. The number stands above well above 4 million.



The SA sport badges were initially issued to all members of the SA and SS.

After the badge gained national status by Hitler on February 15th 1935. All German nationals could try out to earn it.

The actual number of Sport badges produced is greater than the number that was issue. It must be accounted that the distributors would have a stock in hand so it could replace lost ones and issue new awards. In addition the factories were likely to have warehouses with inventory at hand. The Sport badges were sone of the awards most widely distributed during WWII.

The population of Germany in 1939 was approximately 64,000,000. The SA boated 3,000,000 members by 1934.



COLLECTING SPORT BADGES
Collecting Third Reich memorabilia is a field that has been growing since the days the GI's rummaged around Europe bringing back military souvenirs. German soldiers wore many of their awards on their uniforms when they went to battle. Once the soldier was killed or captured, the American soldiers would take the awards as war trophies. Eventually all these pieces came back to the United States where military history enthusiasts began to collect them.

"I am trying to figure out if I should get into collecting Sport badges."


Determining which badges to collect can be a challenging decision. The combination of availabiilty and cost will often set the pace of what can be collected.

The adjacent table outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages of collecting the Sports badge.



WWII GERMAN SPORTS BADGE VARIATIONS

There were several companies that produced the German Sports badge during WWII. Even though the badges may all seem identical there are usually differences among them depending on the manufacturer. In some cases variations are found among the same factory depending on when the badges were produced. This section of the site provides different examples of the badge.




WWII German Sports badge - 1
This is a Bronze class sports badge. The back shows manufacturing markings.


WWII German Sports badge - 2
This is a Bronze class sports badge. The back shows manufacturing markings.



This award is currently being reproduced. It is becoming more difficult to be able to tell the fake ones from the real ones because the quality of the reproductions is improving. The collector must become familiarized with the construction style and materials employed in the manufacturing of this badge. Attention to the details is critical in order to be able to determine the authenticity of the badge.



If you have an interest is seeing other badges and awards of the Third Reich, you can do so by going to our WWII German Badges and Awards identification guide. Where we cover Heer (Army), Navy (Kriegsmarine) and Air Force (Luftwaffe) items.







PRICING GUIDE INFORMATION

The value for WWII German Combat badges and other military antiques and collectibles is provided as a means to educate the collector community and individuals who have a general interest on the field. The following is an estimated value. Prices may vary in every state and every country. This service is provided courtesy of MilitaryItems.com. The source for military antiques and collectibles in the web.

Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Value $60.00 $70.00 $70.00 $80.00 $80.00 $90.00 $90.00 $100.00 $100.00 $110.00 $110.00 $120.00
Availability Common Common Common Common Common Common Common Common Common Common Common Common
Invest Grade B B B B B B B B B B B B


While the item featured here is not for sale, similar items like it are available for purchase in our website MilitaryItems.com


  MARKET ANALYSIS
Jan 1st, 2017
The design of this badge is very interesting. The example shown here has some damage to the paint in the front. Back is nicely stamped. The value will go up very gradually over time.


 
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