The Elusive Balloon Observers Badge

German uniforms, clothing, and awards 1919-1945.

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The Elusive Balloon Observers Badge

Postby Marktanks1959 » Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:59 pm

Dear All,
This is my first visit to this site and would welcome your comments on this subject.That is I have an example which is different to those seen on sale for 6 reasons;
1-Mine is solid,appears silver and not hollow bronze,
2-The top hinge appears cast as part of the badge,and is heavy rounded type.The base plate is small,round,and does not come over the edge of the bottom wreath.The pin is thick,but pointed.
3-There is a clear space between the bottom right eagle edge and the top left balloon edge,unlike the join seen on bronze examples
4-the Eagle does not appear as "hunched" as usually appears,
5-There is a oblong casting on the back-almost an integral casting with makers mark "FEC ADOLF BOCK AUSF SCHWERIN BERLIN"
6-it will not bend with light pressure. Any thoughts or comment.Thanks
Mark
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Postby PaulR » Sun Aug 12, 2007 3:04 pm

Yes,

There is no such thing as a legitimate WW2 German Balloon Observers badge. It is a fantasy item.

Kind regards
Paul
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Postby Grzesio » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:37 am

Well, it's not a pure fantasy, as such a badge was actually instituted on 8 July 1944, but it wasn't made any more (save for a prototype). And so, as Paul said, there are no original Ballonbeobachterabzeichens on the market.

Regards

Grzesio
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Postby PaulR » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:58 pm

You are right... it was established in paper form. But no known examples to exist.
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Balloon badge

Postby Marktanks1959 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:57 pm

Friends/Colleagues,

Thanks very much.Any offers as to where the item I have may have originated????
Mark
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Postby PaulR » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:12 pm

Photos would be very helpful.

You could use an image hosting website, like http://www.imageshack.us

accounts are free and it is easy to use.

Paul
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Postby Simon Orchard » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:21 am

Mark

the best place to discuss it would be over on Wehrmacht Awards

http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/

It's possible it may be recognisable as a fake from a particular source but a good place to start would be to know where you bought it?
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Postby Paddy Keating » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:30 pm

No such badge was ever made or awarded. The photograph in early editions of Dr Klietmann's seminal reference book is said to show the prototypical pattern produced for OKH approval and Dr Klietmann stated that he had visited the pattern maker who still had the pattern in question after the war.

The badge was approved but not instituted as such and was never awarded. There are no award documents nor soldbuch entries that can be accepted as unquestionable. Having spoken personally with three veterans of Heer balloon units, they made it clear that the lack of badge of their own was a source of resentment and that such a badge would have been as valued as a Parachute Jump Badge.

After all, many balloonists had made parachute descents from balloons and, speaking as someone who has done this myself, it involves even more fear than jumping from an aeroplane! Had anyone been awarded this badge, it would be a matter of record or, at least, would be remembered by members of the small number of units in question, even if it were nothing more than a preliminary document award with a soldbuch entry.

You could also ask about it on GMIC: [url]http.gmic.co.uk[/url]. You have to pay to upload images on the WAF and the site is sponsored by crooked dealers, some of whom have been known to sell fake Army Balloon Observer Badges. The late William C Stump wrote quite a good article about this badge, a version of which is, I think, to be found on the AHF site. However, don't place too much faith in the articles on the AHF website as some of them have proved unreliable in the past, as this link shows: http://www.feldpost.tv/forum/viewtopic.php?p=11318#11318.

PK
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