Product Description: This is a nice, representative example of a Bronze Panzer Assault Badge. It’s made of zinc. There is plenty of original “Brennlack” finish remaining to the obverse, with wear to the high points that exposes the light fray color of the base metal. The contrast between the light gray color of the high points, and the darker finish remaining in the recesses, gives this piece a striking, three-dimensional look. It’s a nice strike, with great detail. The reverse of this bronze Panzer Assault Badge is solid, flat, and smooth, with some minor surface scratches near the edges. There is no manufacturer marking, but this badge variant is known to have been manufactured by the firm of Frank und Reif, in Stuttgart. The hardware setup on this badge is functional and unrepaired, and features a sheet metal hinge, round wire pin, and catch with catch plate. The hardware components retain original golden color. This badge has a great look, and is in excellent condition.
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 crewmen 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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