Genuine German post WW2 - 1957 pattern Narvik Shield in Silver (for the army) - IN GOOD CONDITION WITH 3 INTACT PRONGS, MAKER: STEINHAUER UND LUECK (ST&L), A VERY GOOD DETAILED EXAMPLE - THE AWARD IS NOT OFTEN SEEN
FEW FACTS ABOUT THE 1957 PATTERN AWARDS:
In 1957 the West German government authorised replacement Iron Crosses with an Oak Leaf Cluster in place of the swastika, similar to the Iron Crosses of 1813, 1870, and 1914, which could be worn by World War II Iron Cross recipients. The 1957 law also authorised de-Nazified versions of most other World War II–era decorations (except those specifically associated with Nazi Party organizations, such as SS Long Service medals, or with the expansion of the German Reich, such as the medals for the annexation of Austria, the Sudetenland, and the Memel region). The main government contract to manufacture and supply these new de-nazified WW2 1957 official decorations went to the world famous German firm Steinhauer & Lueck, Luedenscheid Germany. Knights Crosses, Iron Crosses , Wound Badges, Tank Assault Badges etc were re-designed by Steinhauer & Lück - often with the oak-leaf spray replacing the swastika, with S&L having the sole patent rights to all WW2 1957 German decorations. S&L did not have the whole monopoly on medal making, other famous firms such as Deschler & Sohn, BH Maher and Juncker also manufactured these new German decorations. Lüdenscheid is situated between the cities Dortmund and Bonn. It was here that one of the youngest medal firms was founded in 1889 by August Steinhauer and Gustav Adolf Lück. The first production began in a cellar, the customer base continued to increase. A property was bought at 51 Hochstrasse which is still home for this famous company today. During WW2 Steinhauer & Lück produced medals and badges, like the famous Knights Cross and many other types of medals and badges. In 1957 this company was awarded the contract to produce all the newly re-designed legal WW2 1957 de-nazified decorations, plus the contract to manufacture all of Germany's official decorations including Germany's highest order the Bundesverdienstkreuz. Only a very limited number of original WW2 1957 medals are still produced, mainly Iron Crosses, German Cross Gold & Silver & Wound Badges and are considered 100% genuine by the German Government.
HISTORY OF THE AWARD:
The Narvik Campaign shield was the first of a series of campaign shields to be introduced and was established by Adolf Hitler on August 19TH 1940 for award to all branches of service personnel who participated in the battle of Narvik Norway between April 9TH and June 9TH 1940. Of Note: Although the shield was officially introduced on August 19TH 1940 it wasn’t until September 12TH 1940 that the OKM, Oberkommando des Marine, (Navy High Command), published the issuing order followed by the Luftwaffe, (Air-Force), the next day. The Kriegsmarine version of the shield was gilt washed while those awarded to Heer and Luftwaffe personnel were silver washed. The shields were bestowed by Generalleutnant Eduard Dietl the commander of Army Group Narvik and it is alleged that a total of only 8,577 shields were awarded to all branches of service personnel. The shields were to be worn on the upper left sleeve of the uniform. The color of the backing material was to match that of the uniform it was to be worn on.