WWI German Identity Disk for a Grenadier

Condition: Excellent


Product Description: This is a desirable WWI German identity disk for a soldier in a Grenadier unit. This is the 1916 pattern that was used until the end of WWI. It is made of zinc, as is typical. This tag was worn by a soldier named Dirk Schmidt, from the village of Veenhusen in Lower Saxony. It was issued by a replacement Bataillon in Grenadier-Regiment 3. The disk is a dull gray zinc color with some typical light-colored oxidation, but remains in excellent overall condition with no damage. This WWI German identity disk is complete with its original 100-year-old hemp cord that would enable the soldier to wear the tag around his neck. This is a great original WWI German identity disk that has research potential. These WWI tags are harder to find than WWII examples, especially with the original string intact.

Historical Description: The history of German identity tags goes back at least as far as 1869. The earliest pattern tags were square. In 1879 an oval type was introduced which included only a soldier’s unit and service number. Then in 1915, a new oval type was introduced that included this information as well as a soldier’s name, address and date of birth. Starting in 1916, the tags were manufactured with a perforation in the middle that would allow the disk to be broken in two. Half would be taken to register the soldier’s fate and resting place, and the other half would remain with the body. There were many different types of identity disks in use before and during WWI, including private purchase disks (which may have been the norm for officers) and a pin backed tag for sea based naval troops. After WWI, German soldiers were not issued identity disks until the autumn of 1939. Initially, the tags were stamped with a soldier’s roster number and the designation of his unit. Later, blood type information would also be stamped on the disk. For soldiers who enlisted after the fall of 1939, the tag would be stamped with their training unit. There were exceptions to this, the Kriegsmarine used a different system and some Luftwaffe units used numeric codes rather than unit designations. WWII German identity disks were initially made out of aluminum, and later, zinc or stainless steel.

We are the leading team of military antique specialists. We have specialized in military antiques for over 25 years.

Epic Artifacts offers free evaluations and the highest prices available for your collectibles.

We purchase single items, entire collections, or family estates.

Click the link here to learn more: Free Evaluation or Inquiries 

or feel free to email us directly:

Translate »