Panzer Badge (Panzerkampfabzeichen)

Panzer Badge (Panzerkampfabzeichen)

Panzer Badge existed in the German Army since the times of the First World War. Its release was resumed after the end of the Spanish Civil War. It was again established on December 20, 1939, to award tank crews that took part in tank attacks. The badge was designed by Ernst Piehaus, according to the order of Colonel-General von Brauchich. On June 6, 1940, a separate class of the badge (bronze) was added, which was awarded to crews of other armored vehicles.

Panzer Badge

Panzer Badge . Photo by Apolon

Award Criteria:

  • Take part in three tank attacks during three different days.
  • Get injured during the attack.
  • Show special courage during the attack.

As mentioned above, tank commanders, mechanic drivers, radio operator gunners were awarded with the Silver Class, while tank troops, armored personnel carriers crews and also medical personnel participating in the attack were awarded with the bronze class. The commander of tank units had the right to be awarded.

The badge has an oval shape. Its size is about 60×42 mm. In the center of the badge is the PzKpfw IV tank.  The badges had some differences in manufacturing methods and types of fastening. The badge was worn on the left breast pocket.

Order of wearing rewards

Panzer Badge was worn on the left side, immediately below the Iron Cross of the 1st class or a similar award.

officer of the German tank group

An officer of the German tank group

As the war continued, it became apparent that the Badge for Tank Battle could no longer adequately identify the growing number of veterans participating in the much bigger number of attacks than was needed to get awarded with the usual badge For Tank Battle. Therefore, in June 1943, four new reward classes were established for 25, 50, 75 and 100 tank attacks. These new badges were similar to the unnumbered Badge “For Tank Battle”, but a rectangle with Arabic numbers was placed at their base. The numbered Signs “For Tank Battle” were made with high quality, and were especially popular among military personnel. In the presence of several degrees, the highest was worn. The badge was worn on the left breast pocket.

Panzer Badge

Panzer Badge. Back side, mark. Photo by Apolon

The countdown of the days of fighting had begun on July 1, 1943, but for those who fought on the Eastern Front and in Africa, past battles were also counted:

  • from 8 to 12 calendar months equated to 10 days of battle;
  • from 12 to 15 calendar months equated to 18 days;
  • more than 15 calendar months equated to 25 days.
Panzer Badge. Back side.

Panzer Badge. Back side. Photo by Apolon

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