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New to Erkennungsmarken - real or fake?

Article about: Hi, this is my first post and I hope it won't be my last as I have always been interested in military relics and the stories they tell and this site sure looks to have a great bunch of like

  1. #1

    Default New to Erkennungsmarken - real or fake?

    Hi, this is my first post and I hope it won't be my last as I have always been interested in military relics and the stories they tell and this site sure looks to have a great bunch of like minded people.

    Anyway, I was bored at work the other week and ended up browsing a British Militaria dealer website and decided to purchase a couple of Erkennungmarken. They got me interested in putting together a display of some sort so I ended up buying a 3rd tag from a digger in Volgograd so i'm pretty sure of the authenticity of that piece.

    The first tag is one of the dealer's buy and i'm a little suspicious of this one as there seems to be some 'halo' effect around some of the lettering especially on the bottom half. There appears to be suitable oxidation in the actual lettering itself which I think tells me the lettering isn't 'new' in any way. There is a big patch of lighter colour material on the bottom half so maybe it isn't a result of new strikes on an old blank but rather is just an effect of this old material? The tag is quite heavy so I assume it is zinc? The unit seems to be legitimate "Heavy Tank Hunter Detachment 519" which fought (among others) in the Battle of the Bulge and the Hurtgen Forest.
    The roll number seems very high at 15165. Is this a legitimate tag?

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    This second tag is also from the dealer purchase and I'm more confident of the legitimacy of this one but some wiser words from experts would be appreciated.
    I think this is the 2nd Battery, 1st Stab, Artillery Replacement Detachment, 268 Regiment (Motorised). The unit seems to be legitimate although I'm finding Lexicon to be quite confusing when it comes to finding the Division that the Regiment was attached too. Again the tag is quite heavy so i'm assuming Zinc. What is the consensus here?
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    Third and final is the tag I bought with some other bits and pieces from a digger who works around Volgograd. This tag is Aluminium and I think translates to 2nd Company, Bridge Construction, 522 Regiment which was part of 297 Infantry Division which Lexicon reports as destroyed at Stalingrad. This confirms to me the legitimacy of this item unless others have any comments?
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    I appreciate any and all comments as the last thing I want is to be proudly mounting and displaying fake relics of any sort.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: New to Erkennungsmarken - real or fake?


    I'd like to correct the units which these ID tags belonged to:

    2nd: 2./ l. Art. Ers. Abt. 268 mot. - 2. (Batterie)/ leichte Artillerie Ersatz Abteilung 268 motorisiert - 2 battery/ motorized light artillery replacement battalion 268
    3rd: Br. Bau Kp. 2/522 - Brückenbau-Kompanie 2/522 - 2 coy/ 522 bridge construction battalion

    In my opinion all of them look authentic.
    Last edited by Stacez; 09-26-2010 at 06:10 PM.

  4. #3

    Default Re: New to Erkennungsmarken - real or fake?

    Hi Glenn, welcome to the forum and I hope you'll have a good time here.

    I agree about the 'halo' on the letters of the first disc and the seemingly unbelievably high Stammrollennummer. 'Panzerjäger' is a wartime designation, so being marked to the field unit would suggest it's from a unit's replacement disc stock- the problem is it's pretty hard to believe they'd stock 15000 discs for a relatively rare event. It's also a very desirable unit- it was one of the Hornisse/Nashorn units, in particular the one the famous Albert Ernst served in (see his story in 'Panzer Aces' by Franz Kurowski), which later had the Jagdtiger- that alone making it far too likely to be fake without some excellent provenance. I believe it may be an original blank, just marked since the war with a recognizable and very desirable unit- so to my mind definitely a fake.

    The other two are fine, if nothing special; you won't necessarily find a Divisional attachment for a replacement unit, and even then it's just a paper association so doesn't always tell you were a soldier served. leichte-Artillerie-Ersatz-Abteilung 268, according to my reference, was associated with Artillerie-Regimenter 168 and 268, so you'd have to search to find what Division(en) they were part of to learn at least the potential places the disc's owner might have been. Apparently the unit only existed as what your disc is marked from 11.41 to the end of 9.42, so quite a short time- your Artillerist could therefore have been at the locations the Divisional record shows any time after late 1941.

    Brükenbau-Bataillon 522 is definitely listed as having been destroyed at Stalingrad, and given the fact that the disc is marked to the field unit and has an extremely low Stammrollennummer, I expect this man was one of the original members; the unit was raised in 8.39, so he served right from the beginning of the war in Poland, the west, then southern Russia right to the Kessel of Stalingrad.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  5. #4

    Default Re: New to Erkennungsmarken - real or fake?

    Thanks Matt, it seems as a newbie I got totally ripped off here, the light artillery tag was GBP12 but the Tank Hunter fake was GBP65!!!

    The seller was a UK ebay dealer who has a 100% positive ranking after over 4000 transactions so I figured I was safe with the tags, maybe even he didn't realise it was fake?

    I guess this should go out as a warning to all potential purchasers to check and check again before buying and even to post a photo in this forum for triple checking before parting with the cash.

  6. #5

    Default Re: New to Erkennungsmarken - real or fake?

    Oh doubtless the seller had no idea- militaria these days requires a great deal of expertise to analyze, so no seller can know enough about everything to be sure of always supplying real objects. For that reason I never trust anyone and always look at the object, and particularly taking advantage of fellow collectors' expertise to help authenticate it if necessary.

    If this was a recent purchase, and the seller deserves his reputation, he should take the fake disc back...
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

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