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KVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen

Article about: I've had some very interesting finds on eBay de in recent weeks, and the first lot was a group of Urkunde to 'Hauptmann Reinhard Vogelsang' who originally joined up - presumably in the 'Haup

  1. #1

    Default KVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen

    I've had some very interesting finds on eBay de in recent weeks, and the first lot was a group of Urkunde to 'Hauptmann Reinhard Vogelsang' who originally joined up - presumably in the 'Hauptverwaltung fur Ausbildung (HVA)' in December 1949. There is his discharge certificate (Urkunde) which dates his service from 09.12.1949 to 31.10.1963... and then there is a certificate awarded to him while in service with the 'Kasernierte Volkspolizei,' another issued on 15.10.62... and his certificate for the award of the 'Medaille fur treue Dienste' in silver which was awarded in March 1960. rather sadly there is no certificate for the 'Leistungsabzeichen' (performance badge).



    KVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen



    There appears to be an old repair to the fastener of the performance badge, the hinge pin seems to have been a bit of a weak point - as I have seen similar repairs to other examples - but the rest of the badge is in superb condition and shows little wear. The badge was first issued in July 1954, and was then replaced in 1956 by a different style badge when the KVP became the NVA... see pictures below. The example shown is circa 1959/1960 after the numbering of badges discontinued. The Urkunde is not linked to this particular badge, but is of the type which was in use from 1959 to 1990.



    KVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen



    The DGP badge & Urkunde date from 1954, and coincidentally the issue number on the badge is also 1954. The Urkunde itself has not been filled in with the badge number, but both items came from the same source and I have no reason to doubt that they have always been together.



    KVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen


    The Deutsche Grenzpolizei badge was introduced around the same time as the KVP badge and continued in use until 1959 when the design was changed to the one illustrated below, and then in 1962 the DGP were renamed Grenztruppen der DDR. I have several of these badges, all with different fasteners, and as far as I am aware this is the early type.


    KVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen


    A general view of the back and front of the four performance badges....


    KVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen


    The presentation boxes are all of high quality - apart from the later style Grenztruppen badge. The cases for the KVP and the NVA Leistungsabzeichen are of similar construction, measuring 85 mm square X 20 mm deep. The construction of the boxes appears to be of wood with a leatherette covering, the insides being lined with velvet on the bottom and silk (or satin) on the lid, and the lid is fastened with a brass stud. The case for the DGP Leistungsabzeichen is constructed from card covered in green leatherette, with the inside being lined with green velvet to the base and textured silk (or satin) to the lid.


    KVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen


    The most infuriating aspect of collecting these early performance badges and certificates is the extremely limited information on how the numbering system works. Anyone who has seen Mark's (Watchdog) post with his DGP Leistungsabzeichen and Urkunde should note that the certificate for his badge is dated a few days later than the one for my badge, and yet my badge has a much higher serial number! Then there are all the certificates that are encountered with the serial number not filled in. One thing seems constant though, all the performance badges assigned to KVP and DGP members appear to have been numbered... with the KVP badge possibly being the rarest because it was only produced for two years. And yet when you look on 'eBay de' there are quite a few un-numbered examples of both types available. Surely they have to be fakes? Click on all images (twice) to enlarge.

    Cheers,
    Steve

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  3. #2

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    I forgot to include these two images of Vogelsang's other Urkunde.

    Cheers,
    Steve


    KVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen

  4. #3

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    Excellent finds once again Steve, and an excellent post describing these rare items! Numbered badges and awards are always much more interesting than blank ones, it adds that extra level of specialty, linking the item to a certain person. The old cases are also lovely...Hopefully one day I can afford to get some of these rarities as well.

    I've noticed that quite a few older medals and awards have repairs in the fasteners, like that medal bar I showed a while back. Just extra proof that the item was in heavy use!

    -Joel

  5. #4

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    Great content and super badges Steve thanks

    I am not sure that your badge has been repaired as the soldering of these was done by hand rather than by machines as is the case these days and just about every (early) soldered fastener on any DDR badge I have seen has this kind of appearance to some degree. Of course it may look worse in hand.

    I agree that the last pattern GT Leistungsabzeichen was never serial numbered but according to the "Special Catalogues" published in Germany (Husken et al) the KVP badge appeared both with and later without a serial number. I think that the apparent colour difference between the two is likely due to differences/improvements in the anodes and the electrolytes used in the electroplating process (Many believe that this is a new / modern process but electroplating actually originates at the very start of the 19th century and has only seen truly modern improvments in the 2nd half of the 20th). The two that I show here differ only in colour shade and the presence / absence of a serial number. In terms of base material, weight and dimensions they are identical. I struggle even to discern any difference in the die characteristics which in the case of copies would seem incredible. If a copy is cast from an original which is the most likely method there will be an overall reduction in dimensions of around 1mm. I think we are quite safe with non-serialised badges for now as long as the other characteristics measure up.

    Regarding the Leistungsabzeichen der NVA I am fairly confident that three patterns exist with serial numbers; No Staatswappen, stamped Staatswappen (added post forging) and integrally forged Staatswappen (part of the die) in addition to the last pattern; integrally forged Staatswappen without serial number.

    As for the correlation between serial numbers on badges and presentation dates on the Urkunden I don't believe this is more than a link between the actual badge and Urkunde ie that when the two match it indicates that "this badge was given to that man". Given that the presentations were made "enmasse" on programmed parades it seems highly improbable that the "qualification date" and "presentation date" were in anyway related. I would suggest that a soldiers name would be listed for the next parade after he qualified then nearer the actual parade date the Urkunden would be filled out with name, rank and presentation date to be married up with the next badge to come out of the stores cupboard or whatever. This might account for the badge serial number not always being entered on the Urkunde if it was filled in somewhere other than the physical location of the unissued badges. This of course only works with a blank serial number box on the Urkunde. If you have a badge serial number that does not match the number that is entered on the Urkunde then clearly this is not a pair.

    This is entirely subjective and based solely on my own experiences of admin in official circles. Hopefully at some point we will find either a published source or gain a member who was actually involved in the process and can put us straight.

    For now this works for me

    I posted my Leistungsabzeichen der Deutschen Grenzpolizei here;

    Leistungsabzeichen der Deutsche Grenzpolizei

    and here are a couple of Leistungsabzeichen der Kasernierte Volkspolizei (the forerunners of the NVA) for comparison;

    KVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen

    I hope this all makes sense and as I say there is a good measure of opinion here based on the limited evidence that seems to be available at the moment.
    We will work it out but just remember how much is still being discovered about TR stuff!!

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  6. #5

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    Hi Mark... very nice examples! As for the repair to my badge, it is the tiny rivet which holds the fastening pin in place which has been repaired. The repair was usually carried out by using a ring of copper wire to hold the pin in place... see pictures below of the repaired fixing and the usual fixing. Nothing has been re-soldered, and under normal examination you would not really notice it.

    KVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen

    As for the numbering system, it defies logic to me... and it is when I try to apply my kind of logic that I come unstuck. I can accept that certificates can have the box for the award number left blank, but then I struggle to accept that medals (and badges) can also be devoid of numbers. The KVP Leistungsabzeichen was only in circulation for two years, and logic tells me that if the practice of numbering the awards finished before the badge was replaced... why would they start numbering the NVA award which replaced it? I have a numbered example of the NVA Leistungsabzeichen which was originally without 'staatswappen,' and then later 'punched' (twice) from the back to add the 'staatswappen' to the flag. I would add pictures of it to the thread, but some items from my collection were removed to a safe place when I last decorated my 'office' and have yet to resurface!

    Neither of my two reference books... 'Militarische Abzeichen' and 'Auszeichnungen der Nationalen Volksarmee' give any information on the numbering system, but the proof of what could and did happen is staring me in the face! I have an Urkunde and medal (Fur Treue Dienste - Stufe 111) awarded to an Oberwachtmeister in the Volkspolizei. The certificate is dated 1.7.1955... there is a box for the medal number - which is blank - and the medal is not numbered either, although it is certainly from that period when awards were numbered!

    Cheers,
    Steve

  7. #6

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    Very nice finds there Steve.

  8. #7

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    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    As for the repair to my badge, it is the tiny rivet which holds the fastening pin in place which has been repaired. The repair was usually carried out by using a ring of copper wire to hold the pin in place... see pictures below of the repaired fixing and the usual fixing. Nothing has been re-soldered, and under normal examination you would not really notice it.
    Bloody hell! Look at my numbered KVP. It has the same repair but the wire is in a different position. I thought it looked odd but never looked closely as I have now

    I think this gives credance to the idea of a known weakness repaired in a standard way!

    It seems we are managing to build a knowledge base here

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  9. #8

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    Here's another Leistungsabzeichen der NVA der DDR that I have been after for a while until this very nice example popped up recently complete with Urkunde.

    It is the first type which like the second type is stamped with a serial number but being issued between 1956 - 59 it does not have the Staatswappen (State Emblem) on the flag as it was adopted in 1960.

    It has been mentioned before but it is worth repeating that some of the DDR cases are strikingly similar to their TR forebears.

    The Urkunde is glued into the Mappe whereas others were like a folded A5 sheet that was held in by the black/yellow/red/ braided cord. It was also embossed after it had been fixed (see the rear of the Mappe) whereas some were embossed before fixing. So even with the Urkunde there seem to be three configurations before different styles and designs of the print format are considered.
    I think all I need now is the type with Staatswappen included in the original forging that is also serial numbered then I will have the "full set" as we used to say about bubble gum cards

    Then I will post a comparison group

    Anyway here's the "new boy"

    KVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen

    Regards

    Mark
    Last edited by Watchdog; 06-08-2020 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Typo
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  10. #9

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    Very nice Mark... my 'first type' Leistungsabzeichen (no Urkunde) which later had the staatswappen added, resurfaced again a few months back, but I never got around to photographing it. I will do it in the next few days and post it.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  11. #10

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    Here's my first type Leistungsabzeichen with 'Staatswappen' added later, There are two clear strikes on the back where the badge was punched. Images taken with my new camera, the last one - an eBay purchase last August, went kaput the other day. Click on images to enlarge.

    Cheers,
    Steve


    KVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA LeistungsabzeichenKVP & NVA Leistungsabzeichen

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