Product Description: A beautiful and extremely scarce Nickel Silver GWL Panzer Assault Badge in Bronze coming directly from my personal collection. Only a small handful of these early Nickel Silver based GWL Combat Badges are known by collectors at this time. They are without a doubt produced early in the war, and most likely on a very limited basis considering that so few are known to exist. The badge is made of stamped Nickel Silver and was finished with a bronze finish. The bronze finish is roughly 85% intact, with some of the higher relief areas showing the Nickel Silver base metal. The design of this Nickel Silver GWL Panzer Assault Badge in Bronze is classified as a “Type I” design. “Type I” variants used their own dies which were unique to the firm which produced the badge. In other words, the GWL design will only be found on GWL produced badges, no other firm used this design. The hinge and catch are classic early GWL type which are securely, and originally, attached directly to the reverse of the badge. This is an excellent opportunity to own an extremely scarce Nickel Silver GWL Panzer Assault Badge in Bronze which are missing from most collections.
Historical Description: The Panzer Assault Badge was instituted on December 20th, 1939. It was awarded in the silver grade to Panzer crewman who met the combat requirements. On June 1st, 1940, following the start of the blitzkrieg against France, the bronze grade was introduced to award armoured reconnaissance, motorcycle riflemen, and panzer-grenadier units. The requirements for both versions were the same, the soldier must have participated in three combat assaults on three separate days to be eligible.
The design of the Standard Panzer Assault Badge consists of an oakleaf wreath surrounding a Panzer (Tank) with the German National Eagle positioned at the top clutching a swastika. The Standard Panzer Assault Badges can still be a common occurrence at local gun and military shows even now. The German Army had tens of thousands of Panzer crewman who became eligible for the award as the war progressed. Because of the large number of soldiers who had fulfilled the requirements to wear the award, a high demand for producing of the Panzer Assault Badge was needed. In response to this, approximately 35 manufacturers were authorized to produce the award between 1939 and 1945. Many of these manufacturers created their own version of the badge by artistically designing their own version of the eagles, wreath’s, and tanks on the badge. The design of one Panzer badge may not be identical to the next one encountered. This makes the collecting of the different manufacturers and their variants its own niche in the hobby.
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