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Original German WWII Tank Destruction Badge in Gold - Steel Badge with Fabric Band - Type 3 - Extremely Rare

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is something we have not had before, and are unlikely to have again anytime in the year future! Here we have a lovely German WWII Tank Destruction Badge in Gold, featuring a steel tank badge on a gold bullion band. These were awarded to soldiers who were not members of an anti-tank unit that single-handedly destroyed a tank, definitely not an easy feat! It was something that most would accomplish once, much less the FIVE TANKS required for the GOLD version of the badge! This grade was only issued about 400 times during the war, compared to 18,500 of the silver grade for a single tank. We previously had a uniform that had a single silver badge on it, the only tank destruction we have had previously.

The badge consists of a steel Panzer IV tank measuring 1 5/8"W by 5/8"H, which is mounted to a 3 1/2"W x 1 1/4"H gold bullion band. It is secured by three bent clips that pass through a galvanized steel backing plate before being bent over. We have examined the badge thoroughly, and we cannot see any evidence that it was ever attached to a uniform. It shows the effects oxidation and age, which have removed the silver wash from the steel tank, which now shows surface oxidation overall. It is slightly curved, so that it would conform to the uniform sleeve when attached.

We consulted the German book Das Panzervernichtungsabzeichen sowie das Tieffliegervernichtungsabzeichen (The tank destruction badge and the low-flying aircraft destruction badge) by Dirk Schneider, and as best we can tell, this is referred to as type 3 example of the badge. This version has a large headlamp on the front of the tank. There is a picture of the page where this type is described in the photos (not included). There were 3 makers of the badge and more than 70 variations of the silver and gold badges, as well as numerous fakes. We have sent pictures to experts we know, and all have said that it is the real deal.

A lovely patinated example of an exceedingly rare German WWII Tank Destruction award, ready to add to your collection!

The Tank Destruction Badge, known in German as the Sonderabzeichen für das Niederkämpfen von Panzerkampfwagen durch Einzelkämpfer (Special badge for the defeat of armored vehicles by lone fighters) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to individuals of the Wehrmacht who had single-handedly destroyed an enemy tank or an armored combat vehicle using a hand-held weapon. Anti-tank units were ineligible for this award. It was established on 9 March 1942, but could be awarded for actions dating back to 22 June 1941, the start of Operation Barbarossa (the German invasion of the Soviet Union). Prior to the introduction of this award, the soldier would be awarded the General Assault Badge for the action.

On 18 December 1943, the OKH introduced a gold class that recognized the single-handed destruction of five tanks. A soldier could therefore have four silver badges which would all be replaced by a gold version upon the destruction of a fifth tank, to which separate silver badge could be added thereafter.

The tank destruction badge featured a blackened 42 mm by 18 mm Panzer IV tank attached to an 88 mm by 33 mm silver band. 2 mm from the top and bottom edges ran 4 mm black stripes. The badge was pinned to the sleeve, and then was "sewn on". It had a cloth or cotton backing.

The gold award was similar except for a gold bullion wire background with black horizontal stripes. It featured a silver wash to the tank, instead of a black wash.
● Silver - presented for each tank destroyed.
● Gold - for five tanks destroyed.

One noted recipient was Günther Viezenz, who destroyed 21 enemy tanks, qualifying him to wear 4 Gold Badges and 1 Silver.

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