Original German WWII 2nd SS Panzer Division Regiment "Deutschland" Identity Disc Dog Tag Half

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a genuine German WWII SS Erkennungsmarke (identity disc or Dog Tag) half, used to identify soldiers in the field. These were made of plated steel, aluminum, or zinc, and were designed so that if a soldier died, the bottom half of the tag would be broken off, while the other half remained with their body. This is what looks to be the top half, and we have no way of knowing whether it simply broke at some point, or whether the soldier it was issued to was killed in action.

It is marked on the front with the following regimental designation:

ᛋᛋ - V. T.
1. K. (E.) ᛋᛋ / D. 856

This indicates the soldier was a member of the SS-Verfügungstruppe, which was the predecessor of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich. The lower line indicates they were part of the 1. Kompanie (Ersazt) ᛋᛋ / Deutschland, or the 1st Company (Replacement) of the SS Regiment "Deutschland". We assume they were soldier number 856 of this unit. This would eventually be known as 3rd SS Panzergrenadier Regiment "Deutschland" after the SS-VT had been officially made into a the 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich".

While still the SS-VT, regiments within the division did not have numbers, but special designations (Deutschland, Germania and Der Führer). These were kept when they were made part of the Waffen SS, with Deutschland and Der Führer going to the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich, and Germania becoming the core of 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking. These unique unit designations were kept when the divisions were made.

Condition of the half disc is very good, however there is definitely oxidation on the obverse, which has made the regimental designation a bit hard to read. It is non magnetic, and looks to be made from zinc or some similar metal.

Ready to research and display!

The 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich (German: 2. SS-Panzerdivision "Das Reich") or SS Division Das Reich was an elite division of the Waffen-SS of NSDAP Germany during World War II, formed from the regiments of the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT). The division served during the invasion of France and took part in several major battles on the Eastern Front, including in the Battle of Prokhorovka against the 5th Guards Tank Army at the Battle of Kursk. It was then transferred to the West and took part in the fighting in Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, ending the war fighting the Soviets in Hungary and Austria. The division committed the Oradour-sur-Glane and Tulle massacres along with others on the Eastern Front.

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