Tank Destruction Badge

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Tank Destruction Badge
short: Panzervernichtungsabzeichen
Wehrmacht Panzervernichtungsabzeichen.jpg
Tank Destruction Badge in Gold and Silver
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
Established 9 March, 1942
Approx. 18,500 Silver
Approx. 400 Gold
Wehrmacht H OR1-Kanonier-Sturmgeschütz 1945.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 22 June 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).


The tank destruction badge featured a blackened 42 mm by 18 mm Panzer IV tank attached to a 88 mm by 33 mm silver ribbon. 2 mm from the top and bottom edges ran a 4 mm 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

Awarding the tank destruction badge
File:Urkunde Panzervernichter.jpg
Certificate for the destruction badge in Gold
Name Tank Kills Notes
Günther Viezenz 21
Heinz Heuer 13 He destroyed 13 Soviet tanks during the Battle of Berlin
Adolf Peichl 11
Eugène Vaulot 10 He destroyed 2 enemy tanks in Elsenau Pomerania in February 1945, 8 more in the Battle of Berlin
Johannes-Matthias Hönscheid 7
Friedrich Anding 6 He destroyed 6 enemy tanks and 5 armored vehicles in Stadensen, 14 and 15 April 1945
Hermann Dropmann 5
Peter Kiesgen 5
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
Max Reck 2 Both awarded on the 18th of March 1945, just four days after the Battle for Ahlhorn. He was with the Division z.B.V. 471.
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


External links