Brass and its chief alloy ingredient, copper, were among the metals continually needed for the allied war effort. Towards the end of the Second World War, some of the scrap was released for other purposes. The badges pictured here were made of brass late in the war. They were found in Belgium and are very characteristic of the badges made both there and in Holland after liberation in 1944.
Other similar wartime badges from those countries have been featured in this column. Those badges, however, pictured the allied wartime leaders: Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Franklin Roosevelt, Marshal Joseph Stalin, and leader of the Free French General Charles DeGaulle.
It is quite unusual to have a badge celebrating Field Marshal Montgomery. It appears the badge maker also wanted to celebrate the allied military leaders. A pair of badges from this name set also exists for President Roosevelt and General Eisenhower. It would be consistent for a pair to exist not only for French Generals DeGaulle and LeClerc , but also the Russian allies, Marshal Stalin and General Zhukov. If such badges were made, however, they have not appeared in any recent marketplace or saleroom searches.
One of the joys of collecting is to discover new additions that were previously unknown. Hopefully that will be the case here, and in time we can add to this badge set. As for now, we are perfectly content with possessing those from the set whic are British!
Brian Krapf’s forthcoming book We Want Winston!—A Treasury of Memorabilia will be published later this year.
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