A brief history on the types of buckle we have to give all a basic understanding of the varying types of buckles that were issued starting from the Weimar/Reichsheer. This ran from 1919-1933. The order came out on the 05 May 1919 which specified the type of buckle to be used, this was formally incorporated into the official order on 22 Dec 1920. The Wehrmacht buckle or Koppelschloss was introduced by an order on the 24 January 1936. The design of the Weimar buckle was kept but the eagle was replaced by the Wehrmacht eagle with the eagle (adler) looking to the left. Each man was issued with one combat belt and buckle with the opportunity to purchase private walking out buckles and belts. In March 1936 new regulations regarding the eagles head came into play and the eagles head was changed to looking to the right. This is why the left facing eagles are desirable in the fact that they were only made for a short period of time, roughly around 3 months. Combat buckle were initially made of aluminium and attached to a leather support tab, another change came in 1936 and the grey buckles were over sprayed with field grey or a varied shade of it depending on the maker. Due to aluminium being a soft metal they wore quite quickly during combat, especially around the catch area. This was changed when in 1939/40 the aluminium buckle was replaced with the stronger steel buckle. This also saved on aluminium which even at that point in the war was becoming hard to come by and was needed for more important pieces of equipment, probably for aircraft manufacture. You do still see aluminium buckles with 1940 dated tabs but these were probably surplus late 1939. In 1942 the order came out to stop using the leather support tab. This was to save leather which again was becoming short and it was also said that it gave no support to the ammo pouch which was its main purpose in the first place. You do see 1943 dated tabs but mainly on police buckles. This information is a brief insight into how the Heer buckle came about. the facts have been gathered from various sources.