GENUINE POST WAR 1957 PATTERN KUBAN SHIELD - NO SWASTIKA - ONE PRONG IS MISSING. MAKER: STEINHAUER UND LUECK (ST&L). NICE CONDITION - GOOD DETAILED EXAMPLE, NOT EASY TO FIND.
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 Kuban Shield was instituted on the 21st of September 1943, to honor those who were fighting to preserve the bridgeheads in the Kuban region. The design of the badge was similar to the Krim shield, in that an eagle with outstretched wings constituted the top of the award and the bottom took a semicircular shape. The eagle clutched in its claws a wreath that surrounded a swastika, on the flanks of which were the numbers “19” and “43”. Immediately below, the word “KUBAN” was written out on block letters surrounded by two vertical lines, the top one of which was almost touching the wreath. The body of the award features a representative map of the Kuban area, with a broad jagged line representing the defensive line that the men fought to preserve. The names of bridgeheads that had been witness to particular gruesome struggles between the opposing armies are denoted in the map. These are “KRYMSKAJA” (middle of the shield), “LAGUNEN” (near the top), and “NOWORO; SSIJSK” (bottom). The shield was struck in sheet metal or zinc and treated with a bronzed wash. A back plate, which held in place a piece of cloth matching the recipients’ branch of service, was applied to the shield. There were several ways to attach this plate, with again the most popular method being the four prongs, two on top and two directly at the bottom.