Product Description: This Zimmermann Bronze Panzer Assault Badge is a nice piece, with outstanding detail. It’s made of zinc, typical of combat badges from the mid-war period through 1945. The original bronze finish has faded with age, as is common with zinc badges; traces of the original brown finish remain in the recesses of the design on the obverse. The dull gray color of the base metal on the high points of the badge contrasts nicely with these traces of bronze, highlighting the great detail on this piece. The reverse of this Zimmermann Bronze Panzer Assault Badge is smooth, with no manufacturer marking, but this variant is attributed to the firm of Fritz Zimmermann. This one is textbook, with correct “Juncker style” hardware featuring a barrel hinge, round wire pin and sheet metal catch. The hardware is intact, functional, shows no sign of repair and retains the original finish, as is typical. This is an excellent condition example of a less commonly seen Panzer Assault Badge 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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