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Ballonbeobachterabzeichen Fantasy award

Article about: Hi gents, I have seen this award for a few times so far on sale and this badge has been in all that cases always called original and allegedly one of the rarest Third Reich decoration, also

  1. #1

    Default Ballonbeobachterabzeichen Fantasy award

    Hi gents, I have seen this award for a few times so far on sale and this badge has been in all that cases always called original and allegedly one of the rarest Third Reich decoration, also price for all of them was very high, somewhere between 700€ and 1000€. The truth is that this award was not issued nor existed during the Third Reich era at all. Maybe there were some plans for introduction of this badge, but nothing more than that. This badge is pure fantasy piece, made postwar, so beware.

    Ballonbeobachterabzeichen Fantasy award
    Ballonbeobachterabzeichen Fantasy award

    Best regards,
    Franko

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  3. #2

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    Quote by Franjo Vuk View Post
    The truth is that this award was not issued nor existed during the Third Reich era at all. Maybe there were some plans for introduction of this badge, but nothing more than that. This badge is pure fantasy piece, so beware.
    It is indeed not proven that the badge was ever manufactured or physically issued before the end of the war (most likely it wasn't) and it is true that it is heavily faked and that such fakes are regularly offered for very high prices, but just for the sake of accuracy, allow me to remark that it isn't a complete fantasy:

    The badge was officially instituted in July 1944; detailed award criteria and an official design for the award were laid down and awards were even made on paper. Because of this, even a 1957 version of the badge was authorized and manufactured.
    Last edited by HPL2008; 02-26-2018 at 10:10 PM.

  4. #3

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    Thanks HPL 2008. I know that it has been planned and as you mentioned (I didnt know that) even instituted, but it was never produced nor awarded to someone, so there is no single piece of this badge made during the Third Reich period. But I should maybe named this badge as a fake rather than just fantasy piece though.
    Best regards,
    Franko

  5. #4

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    Just for the sake of completeness, for those interested in the badge's background and award requirements:

    The Ballonbeobachterabzeichen [Balloon Observer Badge] was instituted by a Hitler decreee of 8 July 1944, with award criteria announced by the General der Artillerie beim Chef des Generalstabs des Heeres [General of the Artillery with the General Staff of the Army] - in whose name the badge was to be awarded - on 15 July 1944, both of which were published in the Allgemeine Heeresmitteilungen [General Army Announcements] 1944, vol. 18, page 236 under no. 419.

    Eligible for the badge were officers, NCOs and other ranks serving as balloon observers on active frontline duty. The badge came in three classes graded on the basis of a points system. The 1. Stufe [1st level] (bronze) was for 20 points, the 2. Stufe [2nd level] (silver) for 45 and the 3. Stufe [3rd level] (gold) was for 75 points. Points were recognized as follows:

    1. Flawless spotting of tactically relevant targets
    a) that are of particular significance to the command authorities (such as stagings and major concentrations of troops, transport movements of every kind etc.) - 1 point per target
    b) that were combated by heavy weapons (artillery or air force) (such as firing positions, groups of tanks, ammunition dumps etc.) - 1 point per target
    2. Successful direction of adjustment fire - 1 point each
    3. Balloon ascents on the frontline - 1 point per every 4 hours
    4. Observation despite incoming fire from enemy aircraft or artillery
    a) if no losses or damage were incurred - 2 points
    b) if damage to the balloon or the ground station was incurred - 3 points
    5. Parachute bail-out from the balloon due to an urgent reason
    a) first jump - 10 points
    b) every subsequent jump - 5 points each

    The badge was to be bestowed with an award certificate and to be worn on the left breast of the uniform. If the recipient held an assault badge, the Ballonbeobachterabzechen was to be worn to its left.

    The final edition of Dr. Heinrich Doehle's period standard reference Die Auszeichnungen des Großdeutschen Reiches includes the badge and lists the above criteria, but with a note that an illustration was not yet available when the book went to press (which was in late October 1944, so we know for sure that the badge hadn't yet been produced by that time).

    The Ballonbeobachterabzeichen was re-authorized for wear in de-nazified form along with the other wartime combat-, service- and achievement badges of the German armed forces by the Ordensgesetz of 26 July 1957. Its modified design, along with those of all the other "1957er" awards, was regulated in the decree of the Federal Interior Minister and its accompanying manufacturing regulations of 1 February 1958, published on 28 February 1958.

  6. #5

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    Great, exhaustive and very insightful post HPL2008, thank you.
    Best regards,
    Franko

  7. #6

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    I have also posted this in a separate thread in the Bundeswehr sub-form, but for additional illustration and the sake of completeness, here is the 1957er version of the badge in gold:

    Ballonbeobachterabzeichen Fantasy award

    Ballonbeobachterabzeichen Fantasy award

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