Product Description: This Tank Destruction Strip is an outstanding example of this extremely desirable combat award. This one is in silver, and would have been awarded for the single-handed destruction of a single enemy tank. It does not appear to have ever been sewn to a uniform or worn. The nicely detailed metal tank emblem retains excellent original darkening. It’s magnetic, and light wear to the high points reveals a slight gleam from the steel. There are a few small spots of green verdigris to the original dark finish. The backing strip is made of woven aluminum wire, with a nice silver luster. There is no damage to the wire, and the woven black thread borders are just what one expects to see on an original piece. On the reverse, this Tank Destruction Strip is backed with a fine blue wool fabric. This backing is completely intact, with no mothing or damage. There is no maker mark, but this piece is known to have been made by the firm of Moritz Hausch. It’s in exceptional condition, and would be very tough to upgrade.
Historical Description: The Tank Destruction Badge (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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