August 21, 2014

Tank Destruction Badge

SS-Oberscharführer Adolf Peichl congratulates SS-Oberscharführer Hans Soretz

In the above picture SS-Oberscharführer Adolf Peichl congratulates Tiger commander SS-Oberscharführer Hans Soretz for the 2,000nd enemy tank destroyed by the 2. SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division “Das Reich.” The incident took place on 6 November 1943 and was mentioned on Werhmacht’s Daily Report. Adolf Peichl, in his right arm, wears upper sleeve decorations for single handed destruction of enemy tanks.

The Tank Destruction Badge (Panzervernichtung-sabzeichen) was introduced on March 9, 1942 for members of the Wehrmacht who had single-handedly destroyed an enemy tank, using a hand-held weapon. Later a gold class was introduced, representing the destruction of five enemy tanks. The greatest number of these awards was made to Günther Viecenz for the destruction of twenty-one enemy tanks.

Tank Destruction Badge in gold and silver
2. Tank Destruction Badge in gold and silver. It totals for 6 enemy destroyed tanks.

Generalmajor Ernst-Günther Baade
3. Generalmajor Ernst-Günther Baade was one of the very few generals that were awarded the Tank Destruction Badge. Baade, one of the most eccentric officers, went into battle wearing Scottish kilt and carrying a claymore.

The Bundeswehr reinstituted the award in 1957.

Photos attribution
1. Bundesarchiv, Bild 101III-Merz-028-05A/Merz/CC-BY-SA-3.0-de, via Wikimedia Commons
2. Plbcr, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
3. Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-315-1110-09/Lüthge/CC-BY-SA-3.0-de, via Wikimedia Commons