Luftwaffe Paratrooper Badge, by Gebrüder Wegerhoff (silver wreath)


SKU: 01.GTR.0707.101.06.001

Estimated market value:

$1200 USD

  • Luftwaffe Paratrooper Badge, by Gebrüder Wegerhoff (silver wreath) Obverse
  • Luftwaffe Paratrooper Badge, by Gebrüder Wegerhoff (silver wreath) Obverse
  • Luftwaffe Paratrooper Badge, by Gebrüder Wegerhoff (silver wreath) Reverse
  • Luftwaffe Paratrooper Badge, by Gebrüder Wegerhoff (silver wreath) Detail

Estimated market value:

$1200 USD


  • Country
  • Makers
    Gebrüder Wegerhoff, Lüdenscheid
  • Composition
    Brass gilt/Silvered Zinc
  • Size

Physical Description and Item Details

A Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger Badge by Gebrüder Wegerhoff, Lüdenscheid - Type C; wreath in silvered zinc (white wreath, or Type C), eagle in tombac, weighs 33.2 grams, marked GWL on reverse, slightly worn, in extremely fine condition; “white wreath” version by GWL is very scarce.


The Luftwaffe Paratrooper Badge was instituted by Hermann Göring on November 5, 1936. It is a qualification badge that was awarded for those that successfully passed the tests to become a paratrooper. In order to do that, a soldier had to have six confirmed parachute jumps to his name.

Later regulations state that officially every owner of a Paratrooper Badge had to repeat this feat inside every 12 months period, otherwise they were to return their badge. However, there is no evidence that this was actually enforced. In fact, in the later years of the war the Luftwaffe Paratrooper Badge could be awarded to any soldier that was part of a paratrooper unit, even those that did not receive parachutist training, but were merely assigned to the unit as a medic or driver.

The initial regulations stated that the wreath of the badge was to be made of oxidized Neusilber. Neusilber, also known as nickel silver, is an alloy of brass and nickel, and does not in fact contain actual silver. Oxidizing nickel silver darkens it and gives it an antique look. The eagle was to be made of gilded brass.

In September of 1937, this was changed. Now, the entire badge was to be made of aluminum, with the wreath still in an antique silver look and the eagle still gilded. Some companies also experimented with cupal, which is not an alloy, but a composite material of an aluminum base with a thin copper plating.

With material shortages worsening as the war went on, by 1942 most badges were now made from a lower quality and abundant material, zinc.

Since most companies produced a plethora of different variants and variations, not necessarily all of them can and will be displayed here.

There is only one Wegerhoff design, however, while most badges have a blackened wreath (as per regulation), a few badges were produced with a silver wreath instead. Wegerhoff made their eagles out of brass and their wreaths out of zinc. For most companies, this was a transitional combination of materials during the time badge production was switched from higher quality materials to zinc, but not so for Wegerhoff, who for some reason stuck to this combination throughout their production time. Most badges are maker marked, but for unknown reasons a small number, ca. 1 in 15, are not.


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