Armor Of The Deutsches Afrikakorps by Tom Cockle

By Tom Cockle

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It was initially in silver only for award to tank com­ manders, drivers, gunners and radio operators who took part in three armoured assaults on three sepa­ rate days. From 1 June 1940, it was also given in a bronze version to Panzer grenadiere and associated medical personnel, and to armoured car crews. On 22 June 1943, larger numbered Tank Battle Badges were introduced, since it had by then become apparent that the basic badge was insuffi­ cient to recognise the mounting number of actions that a Panzer crewman might have participated in.

From 1 June 1940, it was also given in a bronze version to Panzer grenadiere and associated medical personnel, and to armoured car crews. On 22 June 1943, larger numbered Tank Battle Badges were introduced, since it had by then become apparent that the basic badge was insuffi­ cient to recognise the mounting number of actions that a Panzer crewman might have participated in. The new grades had one of the numerals '25', '50', ' 7 5 ' or '100' in a box at the base of the badge, to indicate participation in that number of assaults.

It was not until 1 May, however, the day after Hitler's death, that approval for the award was finally given, and the chaotic situation in Germany at that time meant that normal production was out of the question. The 20th Mountain Army surren­ dered to the British in Norway on 8 May, and the Germans soon found that their captor, General Thorne, unlike most Allied commanders, allowed his prisoners to wear their military decorations. In view of this, Bohme's soldiers decided to make their shield themselves.

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