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Tank warfare was started in the battlefields of WWI, when lumbering metal giants ran about bringing fear to the hearts of the enemy combatants that saw them for the first time. But tanks back then were clumsy, they broke down fairly often and were not very effective. The crewman were exposed to hazardous conditions breathing toxic fumes.

WWII witnessed a complete revolution in tank warfare. With Hitler's implementation of the Blitzkrieg strategy, tanks were catapulted center front in combat. Much more sophisticated machines were developed during this period. They were fast, well armored, maneuverable and well armed.

With the new tanks came a new breed of specialized soldier. The military command decided to create a badge to recognize the hard work and dedication put forth by tank crewmen.

The Tank badge was created on June 1st 1940. The requirements for earning this award were very much like those established for the Silver Tank badge, except that this award was allotted for non-tank personnel such as those manning armored vehicles, self propelled guns, etc. Also eligible for this award were medical personnel who accompanied the units to battle.

The design of the badge consists of an oval shape wreath with an eagle placed in the upper portion and the ends of the wreath truncating into a small square in the lower section. The image of a tank is displayed inside the wreath. Part of the inner track of the tank extends a little beyond the perimeter set by the wreath.

The eagle has its wings retracted with the head facing to the right. The plumeage has very good detailing. It is clutching a swastika. A portion of the body extends upwardly beyond the wreath. Most of the body of the tank, including the turret and gun, are clearly visible. The thread and other components show very clear definition.

The back of the badge is flat. Notice that this badge is not marked with the manufacturer's logo. Some badges had markings while others did not.

This page is a recognition and identification guide for WWII German badges and awards. Multiple detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined points that should be noted. A vertical pin , wire type, is hinged at the top and has a catch in the opposite side. The award was worn on the lower left breast of the uniform by running the pin through a set of loops (Two or more) that were sewn to the tunic.

One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my WWII German badge worth?". A price guide is included here to address this question. The value of the badges and awards is reviewed over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth of the German badges in the collector's market is illustrated.

This service is provided free of charge to the visitor/enthusiast courtesy of MilitaryItems.com, a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality military antiques and collectibles to museums, institutions and the general public.

  1. FAQ's
  2. Tank Badge Anatomy
  3. Identifying fakes and reproductions
  4. RZM manufacturing codes
  5. LDO manufacturing codes
  6. Construction materials
  7. Pins, hinges and other
  8. Perspective view
  9. Purchasing a WWII German badge
The German Tank Badge

The "Military minute" is a series of instructional videos created by MilitaryItems.com for the purpose of providing basic information about military collectibles. The idea is to expose people to the exciting world of military collectibles.

The video presentation coupled with detailed photographs and written information, including a military collectible's price guide, and anatomical breakdown of each piece enhances the visitor's experience.

Whether you are a long time collector, a beginner or simply have an interest in the history and value of each collectible, we hope that you find the information presented here useful.

The badge was issued in a small paper envelope along with a document that was signed by the unit's commander.

There were several companies that produced the tank badge during the war. The followin is a list of the companies. it is important to note that there may be more manufacturers than those listed here.



A. D. Schwerdt



Adolf Scholze



Arno Wallpach

Found on reverse. Placed on right side of the badge.



C. E. Juncker



E. Ferd Wiedmann






F. W. Assmann & Sohne



Franke & Co



Frank & reif



Friedrich Linden




Friederich Orth

Reverse of the badge under the hinge.



Fritz Zimmermann



Gustav Brehmer



Hermann Aurich



Hymmen and Co

Marked L/53 on the back of the badge.



Josef Feix & Sohne


This firm made the numbered badges. They did not produce the standard badges.


Karl Wurster



Rudolf Karneth & Sohne

Logo placed in back under the hinge.



Rudolf Suval

Logo is placed in back center.


This company made badges during and after the war. Collectors look for the "suval" hinge when identifying replicas.


Rudolf Richter


By the Numbers
It is hard to determine the exact number of Tank bages that were produced. However, thanks to the record keeping maintained by the Wehrmacht, it is possible to find how many badges were actually issued.

There were over 300,000 Tank badges issued during the war.

The Tank badge was issued along with an award document. Not all documents were identical. variations can be found from unit to unit. A few things that all documents would have in common are the signature of the officer who awarded the shield and the state seal.

Collecting Third Reich Badges
Collecting Third Reich memorabilia is a field that has been growing since the days the GI's rummaged around Europe bringing back military souvenirs. German soldiers wore many of their awards on their uniforms when they went to battle. Once the soldier was killed or captured, the American soldiers would take the awards as war trophies. Eventually all these pieces came back to the United States where military history enthusiasts began to collect them.

In trying to determine if you should collect Tank badges there are certain factors that should be considered.

The adjacent table outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages of collecting the Tank badges.

This award is currently being reproduced. It is becoming more difficult to be able to tell the fake ones from the real ones because the quality of the reproductions is improving. The collector must become familiarized with the construction style and materials employed in the manufacturing of this badge. Attention to the details is critical in order to be able to determine the authenticity of the badge.

If you have an interest is seeing other badges and awards of the Third Reich, you can do so by going to our WWII German Badges and Awards identification guide. Where we cover Heer (Army), Navy (Kriegsmarine) and Air Force (Luftwaffe) items.


The German Army Tank badge was produced by several manufacturers and in different configurations. The following section displays some of the different types that were manufactured.

WWII Tank Badge - 1
WWII German Tank Badge. Hollowed back. No markings are found.

WWII Tank Badge - 2
WWII German Tank Badge. Solid back. A triangle is found by the catch and has the letters AS inside it.

WWII Tank Badge - 3
WWII German Tank Badge manufactured by the EWE company.

WWII Tank Badge - 4
WWII German Tank Badge. Solid back. Not marked.

WWII Tank Badge - 5
WWII German Tank Badge 25. This is a hard to find badge. Hollowed back with a "25" number at bottom of tank.

WWII Tank Badge - 6
WWII German Tank Badge. silver color. Bright construction. Manufacturer's marking found below hinge.

WWII Tank Badge - 7
WWII German Tank Badge. Silver type. Solid back with the manufacturer marking VM placed inside a circle.

WWII Tank Badge - 8
WWII German Tank Badge. Silver type. Complete with issue box. Manufacturer marked.


The value for WWII German Combat badges and other military antiques and collectibles is provided as a means to educate the collector community and individuals who have a general interest on the field. The following is an estimated value. Prices may vary in every state and every country. This service is provided courtesy of MilitaryItems.com. The source for military antiques and collectibles in the web.

Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Value $250.00 $260.00 $275.00 $285.00 $295.00 $310.00
Availability Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium
Invest Grade A A A A A A

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