Pattern: 1st Pattern .A.S
Base Material: Tombak
Product Description: An incredibly difficult Panzer Badge to find in todays market, the Tombak .A.S Panzer Assault Badge in Silver is missing in most panzer badge collections. When a Tombak .A.S Panzer Assault Badge is found, it is usually found with either repaired hardware or missing either the catch or the hinge. This is due to the fact that this firm used a very unique, and delicate, method to attach its hardware to the reverse of the badge’s body. Contrary to the later “A.S.” Tombak Panzer Badges, the early Tombak .A.S Panzer Badge examples are only found with high quality silver electroplated finish, usually with little remaining. No examples of bronze, for this early variant, are known at this time. It is possible that these early “.A.S” variants were produced prior to the existence of the bronze grade’s institution in 1940. The badge itself retains most of its original silver electroplating, with a very nice even patina throughout some of the Tombak base metal, showing through on the high relief areas. The hardware is completely intact, and without repairs, which itself is a rarity even for such a rare variant!
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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