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.....And Then There Were Six.

Article about: Hi Guys, Just thought i'd post this rare badge for those not familiar with it. It's an unfinished badge (called a planchet) that was most probably picked up by a G.I. from a factory (perhaps

  1. #1

    Default .....And Then There Were Six.

    Hi Guys,

    Just thought i'd post this rare badge for those not familiar with it. It's an unfinished badge (called a planchet) that was most probably picked up by a G.I. from a factory (perhaps destroyed by bombing) in Germany. There were only five of these known to exist until this one cropped up in Maryland last year at an estate sale. All of the badges so far known have come from within the U.S., and it's that what makes the consensus think they were picked up by American soldiers at the end of the war.

    The design of the badge is at odds with all other known designs, the tank is especially different when you look at the more realistic design, different turret, slimmer gun, covered headlights etc. as is the reverse, where the 'scooping' out of the wreath is more reminiscent of an APB badge rather than a PKA.

    There is very slight differences in nearly all the badges so far found, usually in the shape of the eagles head. The fact that of the six badges so far discovered, four are fitted with a different rear set up, and two, in the case of mine and one other are unfinished, never having been fitted with a hinge, pin and catch, make the big collectors in this field think that it was a 'Prototype' badge that never went into full production and these are just test pieces, the maker is so far 'unknown'. There is an interesting link here off WAF that explains a bit more:

    A rare treat for Panzerkampf Abzeichen fans - Page 2 - Wehrmacht-Awards.com Militaria Forums

    (You need to start at the bottom of page 2 and work backwards for some reason....)

    Anyway, I'd like to say thankyou to forum member Jonobo who let me take this off his hands, it was very kind of him! All comments welcome.

    Regards, Ned.

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    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

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  3. #2
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    Thanks for posting Ned. A very interesting badge and as you say, a rare one.

    Although many badges by many makers are variations on a theme, this one does stand out from the rest because of the reverse. Unusual to say the least. Curious also that all these badges are somehow different. Because of the few known this rules out them being results of continued die repair/progression over years and points more towards the prototype theory.

    A shame more isn't known about the location of the find as it would give a few more clues but I don't expect G.I.s in 1945 were concerned with what their find could mean seventy years down the line.

    Congratulations on your new addition though!

  4. #3

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    Thanks Adrian,

    I've had this several months now, but it's been travelling around Europe with different people looking at it.

    I must be honest looking at the badges that have a rear set up, it has crossed my mind that perhaps some of them MAY have had the hardware 'added' at sometime since they were originally picked up. Who knows? But there's been no accurate info to confirm or deny this. What is known is that the one I own and the other planchet have never had the rear hardware fitted, and are still in the 'as found' condition. It has been mooted that the maker may have been either Weidmann or Deschler (who do not have a history of PKA production) but there have since been so many other things that keep cropping up concerning the badges possible origins, that this is merely speculative. The mystery continues....
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  5. #4
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    It is strange they are all the same badge design yet with the those others having hardware from so many different makers.

  6. #5

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    It's odd for sure, hence my thoughts that some may possibly have been 'titivated' at a later date (but I could get shot for saying that!). There is no evidence that they are fake, Phillipe De Bock is certain they are of wartime production due to the material used and the various different production design and methods used at the time that are comensurate with this badge type.

    Considering that this not particularly remarkable looking zinc badge is probably one of the rarest of items in it's field to have appeared on any collecting forum including this one, none of them are worth much more than any other standard zinc PKA, and not as much as a lot of tombak or cupal ones. It's just the small amount found, the totally unique design, and the mystery as to why they never made it into full production that makes them an interesting item of German combat award history.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  7. #6
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    Very nice Ned, I wonder if the non production relates to the guality control aspect of the details, ie , the right hand track being out of proportion to the left, and the full on view of the inner wheels in the right track,and the depth of the hull to the ground??

  8. #7

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    You raise some good points there Dave. One train of thought that has gained some favour amongst collectors is that perhaps the 'prototype' strayed too far from the known and accepted Panzerkampfabzeichen design and therefore may have been rejected by the Prasidialkanzlei who set the design and quality control rules. This would be one way of explaining the scarcity of these and perhaps that of a limited production run, if it ever got to that stage. So far there have been no battlefield ground finds or examples from German vets awarded it.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  9. #8
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    Quote by big ned View Post
    One train of thought that has gained some favour amongst collectors is that perhaps the 'prototype' strayed too far from the known and accepted Panzerkampfabzeichen design and therefore may have been rejected by the Prasidialkanzlei who set the design and quality control rules.
    That's interesting. How far did the PKZ go in saying yes or no to a design? This badge isn't that far beyond the realms of acceptability. All the key details are there as far as I can see.

  10. #9

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    The design is actually more realistic than the tank design that was used over all five types of the standard PKA. The improvements include besides the already mentioned headlight covers, main gun and turret (realistic mantlet including co ax MG), a more realistic cupola compared to the usual 'domed' type on standard badges, a redesigned loaders hatch that compares favourably to the real thing, and detailed separate track links.

    Perhaps all this contributed to the powers that be at the PKZ to conclude that the design was too 'outre' compared to the other five previous design types which only vary slightly compared to this more radical and realistic rendition?

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  11. #10

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    I think its a nice looking badge Ned.

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