Product Description: This Panzer Assault Badge in Silver is a very desirable early award. This is a type known to collectors as the 7 Wheeler Variant. This early production badge is made of stamped zinc. The obverse shows really nice original silver finish, with age toning resulting in some attractive golden tones. Light wear to the high points reveals the base metal in some small spots, and there is an even, uncleaned patina. All of the original detail is intact. The swastika emblem has had the arms neatly cut out at the factory, a detail seen on some of these high quality early pieces. The reverse of this Panzer Assault Badge in Silver has a deep patina. It is unmarked, but this variant is known to be Meybauer production. The hardware setup is textbook for this maker. The round wire attachment pin has a gentle bend, likely from having been worn on a uniform. The pin functions as it should, and there are no repairs to note. This is a sought-after badge that is missing from most collections. The condition of this one rates as excellent.
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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