Original WW2 German Luftwaffe Ground Combat Badge 1942-45 as pictured.
In late 1941 the first Luftwaffe ground combat units were hastily formed to help replace the massive lose of men on the Eastern front, followed by the formation of the Brigade Meindl consisting of five Luftwaffe Field Battalions in February 1942. As a result of the formation of these new ground combat units Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring established the Luftwaffe Ground Combat Badge on March 31ST 1942, for award to all Luftwaffe personnel who had distinguished themselves in ground combat. Certain criteria had to be met for award of the badge with the main criteria being three separate ground combat actions. Of Note: Since the Luftwaffe had excess personnel on September 17TH 1942 Göring announced the formation of new Luftwaffe field divisions also to replace the massive lose of men on the Eastern front. Due to the lack of training and poor performance in the field, of the twenty-two divisions formed, seventeen were either destroyed or disbanded before the end of the war. Also Of Note: On introduction of the Ground Combat Badge, Luftwaffe personnel who had been awarded the Infantry, Panzer or General Assault badges previously, were required to exchange them for this badge. Prior to the introduction of this Ground Combat Badge, Flak personnel who had utilized their Flak guns against land or sea based targets three times were awarded the Flak War Badge. These personnel also exchanged their Flak War Badge for the Ground Combat Badge.