WWII GERMAN TANK DESTROYER AWARD - GOLD -
Tank warfare was started during WWI. However, the full potential of the new weapon was not exercised until
WWII. The Allies and Axis forces engaged in the biggest tank battles the world has ever seen. The
Germans shocked the world with Blitzkrieg, which was a strategy that employed tanks supported by
infantry and air power. The proliferation of tanks gave rise to anti-tank weapons. A tank could be
destroyed in a multitude of fashions. The most difficult one being a single soldier taking on the tank.
The German armed forces came up with an award to recognize individuals who accomplished this task.
This is a WWII German Gold Tank Destroyer award. Introduced on March 9th, 1942. It was established by Hitler to
recognize the destruction of a tank by a single soldier. The combatant would usually employ an anti tank weapon such as bazooka, granade, etc. to destroy the tank. The award was issued with a document.
The Tank destroyer award consisted of two types;
Silver and gold.
The Golg type is the highest tank destroyer award given. This award is rare and very hard to find because
a limited number were produced since it was hard to earn.
The following picture shows the different components of the badge. The piece of wool is shorter than the length of the ribbon. In other samples I have seen, the lengths of both pieces are identical.
Tank Destroyer Award design
The tank destroyer award consisted of three separate pieces. A rectangular piece of gold cloth with Two black solid lines run the length of the strip. one placed in the upper side the other in the lower side. A
metal rectange with two round holes near its center creates a back plate. The last section is a metal stamping of the profile of a tank.
The metal tank has two prongs that go through the holes of the back plate and the gold cloth. Once in place
the prongs are bent to form the award. The plate provides rigidity to the award.
The picture here shows the front portion of the badge. Very good detail is shown in the stamping of all the
components of the tank. There are 8 running wheels and 3 tensioner wheels. The side of the turret has
a small window.
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.
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.
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The qualifications for earning the Gold Tank Destroyer badge include the following:
A soldier destroys a tank or armored vehicle by hand in Five different occassions.
Tank destructions 1 through 4 are rewarded with Silver awards. When the fifth one is achieved the
silver awards are replaced by a Gold one.
The same process is repeated until the tenth award is received, which would yield a second Gold award.
The same process continues for all other awards.
By the Numbers
It is hard to determine the exact number of Tank Destroyer bages that were produced. However, thanks to the record
keeping maintained by the Wehrmacht, it is possible to find how many shields were actually issued.
There were over 2,000 Tank Destroyer badges issued during the war.
The Tank Destroyer 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.
The award was sewn to the right arm of the tunic. When a second award was earned it was placed right below the
previous one. Up to four awards could be worn at one time. In view that there were tank battles of epic
proportions during the war, the opportunity to kill fighting vehicles was present. Photos exist of individuals
who sported many of these badges.
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 Destroyer badges there are certain factors that should be
The adjacent table outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages of collecting the Tank Destroyer badges.
This award is currently being
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
WWII German Badges and Awards
identification guide. Where we cover Heer (Army), Navy (Kriegsmarine) and
Air Force (Luftwaffe) items.