Product Description: This Grade 1 Panzer Shooting Lanyard is an eye-catching example of the German Army award issued for marksmanship in tank gunnery. The plaque is made of zinc, and features a German Panzer tank, within a wreath made of Panzer track links. All of the original silver finish has faded from the zinc, a typical result of the finish interacting with the base metal over time. The plaque has normal age patina, and retains all of the original detail. It shows no sign of ever having been removed from the lanyard. The braided aluminum lanyard is complete and full length, and both of the loops intended for buttoning this onto a uniform are intact. There is little or no wear to the aluminum braid, and only a very light, mild patina from age. There is no rayon backing fabric on the reverse, nor any sign of one ever having been affixed. The reverse of the plaque is backed with wartime quality field gray wool which has been neatly hand stitched in place. This Grade 1 Panzer Shooting Lanyard is in excellent condition.
Historical Description: Marksmanship was a highly valued skill in the militaristic culture of the Third Reich. For soldiers, of course, this skill was taught and trained, and soldiers were expected to achieve marksmanship proficiency. Members of paramilitary organizations such as the Hitler Youth also trained with the use of weapons, and of course there were civilian shooting clubs that held events and competitions as well. There was a myriad of different kinds of marksmanship awards that were used to recognize this skill. In the SS, and early in the German Wehrmacht, sleeve insignia was used in different patterns to display different levels of rifle qualification. Later, the Heer and Luftwaffe used special lanyards for this purpose. Heer and Luftwaffe lanyards used distinctive emblem patterns, as did the Panzer branch of the Heer. The lanyards were produced in many different grades for which a soldier could qualify and were not worn on the field uniform. Because of this, issue of these lanyards was discontinued around the start of WWII. Civilian and paramilitary groups had their own wide array of different marksmanship awards, ranging from pins and badges to non-portable medals and award plaques.
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