Product Description: This is a pristine, unissued example of the rare and desirable Silver Tank Destruction Strip. The condition of this piece rates as mint; it would be extremely difficult to find a better example. Every part of this attractive award is extremely clean and well-preserved. The woven wire and thread backing is perfect, with full original luster, and shows no sign of tarnish or discoloration. The metal tank emblem is a detailed strike that retains nearly all of the original dark finish, with only a very minor hint of slight color shift due to the passing of decades. The reverse retains its original backing cloth, a dark blue wool fabric that is one of a few different backing fabrics used on these. Every detail of this Silver Tank Destruction Strip is textbook and exactly what one would expect to see on an untouched original example. The Silver Tank Destruction Strip is not a common award in any condition. We are pleased to be able to offer this truly mint example, a rare survivor.
Historical Description: The Tank Destruction Strip (Sonderabzeichen für das Niederkämpfen von Panzerkampfwagen durch Einzelkämpfer) was officially instituted by Adolf Hitler on March 9, 1942, to recognize the achievements of soldiers who were able to single-handedly destroy an enemy tank in combat using hand-held weapons. The award was authorized to be granted for soldiers who destroyed tanks in combat actions dating back to June 22, 1941, the date of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The criteria were strictly written, and did not authorize issue of the award to crews of anti-tank cannons, but only to individual soldiers who destroyed tanks with weapons such as grenades, mines or Molotov cocktails. The Tank Destruction Badge was issued in the form of a woven cloth strip, silver in color, that would be sewn to the upper right sleeve of the recipient’s uniform. Mounted to this cloth strip was a metal emblem representing a German Panzer IV tank, with a dark finish. The badge was issued for destruction of one tank, and soldiers who destroyed more than one tank could be awarded and wear a corresponding number of Tank Destruction Badges. On December 18, 1943, the German Army command instituted a second grade of this award, the Tank Destruction Badge in Gold. This was a gold woven cloth strip, with a metal tank emblem that had a silver finish. The Gold grade of this award was bestowed for the single-handed destruction of five enemy tanks.
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