Last edited by Adrian; 06-01-2012 at 08:26 AM. Reason: Title changed to use German terminology.
Hi Mark and welcome.
I believe your badge stands a good chance of being an original but there are some members here with greater knowledge of Luftwaffe badges than I so hopefully they can confirm or deny my thoughts.
It looks like a late war Assmann badge with the cast in hinge, it should also have a cast catch too so the one on your badge might be a replacement. The rivets are damaged but this might be because they worked loose and were hammered to tighten them up again. There are marks to the reverse of the eagle where it joins the wreath so it might have sustained damage during the re-tightening, has it been soldered in this area?
The finish has all but disappeard which is quite normal for zinc badges as the base material tends to absorb the finish, especially if the zinc was of poor quality.
Looking for LDO marked EK2s and items relating to U-406.....
Looks to be a late war injection molded low grade zinc Assman badge. From the damage, I imagine that the rivets loosened and they cracked the wreath trying to tap tighten them back down-along with scarring the hell out of the back of the eagle. I don't particularly care for the slight smirk on the eagle's face, though-I can't remember seeing another one that didn't have a blank look on it. And, as has been said too, the silvering and the wreath finish are totally gone now, leaving an unattractive grey appearance to it. With the damage and the loss of finish, it would not be for my collection, but it is still, I believe, a genuine badge nonetheless and for some, it would be collectable.
"Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
It should be a original badge,but with lots of repairs.Adrian said all.....repaired catch (not a integral catch).....new rivets with a crack at the wreath.It is a very late war badge from Assman made from zinc.
Many thanks for your valuable information, Adrian, Wagriff and Joachim, she certainly isn't a pretty badge and you have given it a great forensic coverage explaining all its aspects. To my inexperienced eyes I thought , plain dull lead ( oxidised zinc) colour, and suspect scratches and bits of rivet missing thus not good.
Mark down under