Tank Destruction Badge

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Tank Destruction Badge
Sonderabzeichen für das Niederkämpfen von Panzerkampfwagen durch Einzelkämpfer
Tank Destruction Badge in Black.jpg
Tank Destruction Badge in Black
Awarded by Nazi Germany
Type Badge
Eligibility Military personnel
Awarded for destroying an enemy tank with a hand-held weapon
Campaign World War II
Status Obsolete
Statistics
Established 9 March, 1942
Distinct
recipients
Approx. 18,500 Silver
Approx. 400 Gold
Diekirch Museum German Soldier.jpg
German Soldier wearing the Gold and Silver Award
National Museum of Military History (Luxembourg)

The Tank Destruction Badge (German: Sonderabzeichen für das Niederkämpfen von Panzerkampfwagen durch Einzelkämpfer) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to individuals of the Wehrmacht who had single-handedly destroyed an enemy tank using a hand-held weapon. Anti-tank units were ineligible for this award. It was established by Adolf Hitler on 9 March, 1942, but could be awarded for actions dating back to June 22, 1941 (the start of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union).

On 18 December, 1943, a gold class was introduced that recognised the single-handed destruction of five tanks. A soldier could therefore have four silver badges which would all be replaced by a gold version upon the destruction of a fifth tank (to which separate silver could be added thereafter).

Variations[edit]

The tank destruction badge featured a blackened 42mm by 18mm Panzer IV tank attached to a 88mm by 33mm silver ribbon. 2mm from the top and bottom edges ran a 4mm black stripe. The tank was attached through the ribbon via three prongs which were then bent over a metal plate, and covered backing cloth or cotton.

The gold award was similar except for a gold bullion wire background with black horizontal stripes. Early awards featured a silver wash to the tank, but later versions show the similar blackened tank of the silver class.

  • Silver - presented for each kill.
  • Gold - for five kills.[1]

Notable recipients[edit]

Awarding the tank destruction badge
Certificate for the destruction badge in Gold
Name Tank Kills Notes
Günther Viezenz 21
Friedrich Anding 18
Willi Frey 12
Adolf Peichl 11
Eugène Vaulot 10
Johannes-Matthias Hönscheid 7
Michael Pössinger 5
Johannes Lutz 5 He destroyed 5 US Tanks within one day during the Battle of Hürtgen Forest and received the Tank Destruction Badge in gold for that action
Bodo Spranz 4
Oskar Wolkerstorfer 4
Josef Beckmann 4
Hinrich Ahrens 4
Hans-Georg Borck 4
Walter Kuhn 4 He destroyed 4 Russian tanks within 20 minutes and received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for that action
Franz Bäke 3
Ekkehard Kylling-Schmidt 3
Urbano Gómez García 2
Ewald Ehm 2
Hans Dorr 2
Sylvester Stadler 2
Günther-Eberhardt Wisliceny 2
Karl Auer 1
Ernst-Günther Baade 1
Rudolf Demme 1
Heinz-Georg Lemm 1
Werner Mummert 1
Joachim Peiper 1
Theodor Tolsdorff 1

References[edit]

External links[edit]