I am bringing this thread up again as I have some more relevant information to add and have to correct my initial listing of the types of Sports Badges.
I had described the "DRL"-without-Swastika type of Sports Badge as the second version, issued after the first-model "DRA" and before the final "DRL"-with-Swastika type.
This is how it is usually identified in the standard references (Forman, Littlejohn/Dodkins etc.) as well as on many dealers' websites.
Reading up on the subject, I have come across information - I have to admit that I cannot call it new information, as it has been out for several years - to the effect that the "DRL"-without-Swastika type had not existed as a transitional early-Third-Reich badge and was in fact an early post-war badge.
The argument is presented in detail here...:
57er Sportabzeichen/Sportabzeichen DRL ohne Hakenkreuz - Militaria Archiv (German language)
Sportsbadge confusion - Wehrmacht-Awards.com Militaria Forums
Detlev's DRL Badges - Page 2 - Wehrmacht-Awards.com Militaria Forums
...All of which is perfectly logical and plausible and has fully convinced me. I don't want to repeat/copy the information there, but the most important arguments for it being a post-war version are:
- The most common version of "DRL"-without-Swastika badge has a "peak" behind the bow that has no reason of being there other than it being the remnant of a Swastika, resulting from these badges being manufactured by the use of modified original dies. (Example: http://www.militaria-archiv.com/atta...9&d=1171121825 )
- All other versions are either of obvious post-war manufacture with clear differences to the badges issued up to 1945 or can be identified as older examples that have had the Swastika removed and the bow re-worked (either industrially or by individual craftsmen and with varying degrees of neatness from nicely detailed to extremely crude).
- No period evidence exists for its pre-1945 existence , neither illustrations on qualification booklets/award documents nor period photographs showing this type in wear.
- The alleged 1937 introduction date for the "DRL"-with-Swastika model cited in various references has to be incorrect as illustrations of it are already seen in documents from 1935, while the "DRA"-badge was certainly issued up to at least the autumn of 1934, hardly leaving any space for a transitional version.
Still, I found the subject of the various types of post-war "DRL"-without-Swastika badges (modified, re-tooled, all-new) quite interesting and decided to add a few examples to my collection. (I can be a bit of an impulsive buyer at times.)
Here is an example of the bronze grade. No pretense was made by the dealer of it being of Third-Reich-manufacture; it was expressly offered under the category of "1957" awards. (Although this is technically not correct.) Note the "solid" center, the "coke bottle" pin and the lack of any manufacturers' or design registration marks:
The equivalent in gold:
A de-nazified version of the silver grade with removed Swastika:
I think I will get myself one of the examples with the "peak" as well. Pictures to follow then...
Gents, the DSB sports badge (official version 1950s - 2006) could and was, often worn on a medal bar, here is a single DSB bar on a Bundeswehr tunic. I also show a couple of other examples. Prost ! Steve.
Last edited by oradour; 04-26-2011 at 06:21 PM.
"The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)
Fascinating stuff, nice work!
Bringing this back to the top with a little update to include some badges I have purchased since my last post in March. (These groups also include the previously posted badges.)
First, all three grades of the first model "DRA" Sports Badge, all from the manufacturer Wernstein in Jena:
Here are the equivalents in the post-war "DRL"-Without-Swastika model, both in the version with the "peak" behind the ribbon bow and the one without the peak and the "full" center cypher (of which the Silver grade is unfortunately not in great condition):
Finally, an additional image of the above "peaked" versions (just because I kind of like how the photo came out):