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Why ? In pure common sense ,the badge was not like the pilot or observer one ,not even as a wounded badge .it was a conmemorative piece . Granted by ? I dont know . according to which statute ? neither know . In another sense ,how many Tank crewmen served in the German Army ? Roughly 20 A7vs and around 60 british Tanks were the number of German Army Tanks , thats implies at most 500 tankers  how many survived the war '? and how many rejoined the Army or the Freikorps ? ,or war veteran associations ?

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  • 2 years later...


I read this topic with interest. I have in my library the Jean-Louis Larcade, A7V Sturmpanzerwagen's book. About the badge the author (now dead) said that on decret of 13 juillet 1921, the ministry create a badge which can be granted only if the people make the request. To receive the badge, the crew had to have 3 days of engagements or to be wounded during an attack. May be a lot of people forgot to request about the authority and only 99 men did.


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Thats right so far, but they could receive it as well, when they attended only 1 combat as a tank crew member, but showed some kind of bravery. 


By the way, the Badge was NOT awarded, only the certificate was handed out. The Badge had to be bought by the awarded man himself.


There is no reliable source about the number 99 so far. But it is allways said around 100.

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I did further research back in 2013 and posted this on WAF:  

Since I first started it way back when I have found more info on the German Tank Detachments. Three new books published by Tankograd have come out that directly relate to this thread: #1001 Sturmpanzer A7V, #1003 Beute-Tanks Vol1, and #1004 Beute-Tanks Vol 2. Besides extensive pictures of tanks in service with the German Army in WW1 they also have fairly complete records of the combat actions down to which tanks were in which battles on any given day. I hope to use this information to show that the collector myth of” 99 personnel were eligible for the Kampfwagonabzeichen” is just that, a myth. >>

Abts 1-4 were equipped with the German produced A7Vs which had a nominal crew of 18 personnel but in fact usually numbered 21. Each Abteilung (Abt) had 5 tanks for a total of 20 A7Vs. This gives us an initial manpower pool of 90-105 personnel per Abt or 360-420 total pax that could ride into battle in the A7V fleet. >>

ABTs 11-16 were equipped with captured British MK IV/V tanks. The Beute Tank Abts each had 5 tanks, each with a 12 man crew, 60 pax per Abt, or 360 pax total able to ride into battle at a given time. >>

The key to understanding the statistics is this, don’t count the tanks, count the crews. This is especially true with the Beute Tanks. If a tank broke down or was destroyed/lost/abandoned etc… crews would maneuver back to friendly lines and get a new tank assigned to them. Crews from broken tanks could be parceled out to fill the crews of tanks going into battle. As you will see, the crews of the senior Abts would participate in more actions then subsequent tank crews formed later. >>

For this reason Abt 1and Abt 11 have the most crews that could have received the tank badge. Abt 1 has 3 tanks that fought in 4 battles with two fighting in just 2 battles (21x3=63). Abt 11 has 3 (possibly 4) tanks that fought in three or more engagements (3(4)x12=36(48)). In just these two Abts we have a minimum of 99 pax who theoretically could have earned the tank badge. If only it was so easy.>>

The following is a roll up of engagements by Abt:>>

Abt 2 has 2 tanks with 3 or more assaults (2x21=42). >>

Abt 3 has 1 tank with 3 engagements (1x21=21)>>

Abt 4 has 2 tanks with 3 or more assaults (2x21=42). >>

Abt 12 has 3 tanks with 3 or more assaults (3x12=36).>>

Abt 13 has 4 with 3 assaults (4x12=48).>>

Abt 14 has 4 with 3 assaults (4x12=48).>>

Abts 15-16 have none that qualified.>>

It is not surprising that the Beute tank crews outnumber the A7V crews since there were more captured tanks available for service. Immobilized Beute tank crews would be re-equipped much quicker than the A7V crews could ever be. Still, in a perfect world, according to the stats above 348 personnel would be qualified for the badge under the three engagement rule. But the qualification rules also had another way to earn the badge, you merely had to get wounded during an assault. In the Beute tanks alone, 130 personnel qualified this way. There were no figures for the A7Vs as a whole though several officers were mentioned as being wounded. Even given the losses due to sickness, men rotating out to other units, death occurring after the end of the war and prior to the institution of the badge I cannot understand where this “99 award” myth comes from. The other part of the myth is that an officer placed an order for “100 badges.” Why? This was a Commemorative badge and as such was to be a private purchase. So why then would an officer place this order? >>

Here is my theory. Remember that 90-105 Abt manpower figure above? I believe that the German Army kept in its ranks a nucleus of tank veterans. These men were to preserve this capability for the new Weimar Army. Having been on the receiving end of massed tank assaults the Germans were more aware of the potential capabilities than the Allies at that time. I believe these men received their badges from the Army since they were on active duty. The Germans hid a number of banned capabilities using secret rosters and innocent sounding organizational structures so why not this one as well? Unfortunately any records of this were probably in the archives in Potsdam and were blown/burnt to ash in an air raid during WW2. So, old collector myth out, new collector myth in.>>


Or maybe they just issued them to the wounded guys that were still alive, who knows.>>


Another thought is that the supplier had a minimum requirement to tool up and do a production run, say perhaps a job lot of 100 pieces......

Pics of a badge that came from the estate of an American NCO assigned to the Berlin occupation forces right after the war.

ww1 tank j front.JPG

ww1 tank j rear.JPG

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@dond: I am happy about every Information about the badge - wether it is about an original or a fake.

Usually I should be aware about every thread regarding the Kampfwagenabzeichen in each of this Forum (because I am a member):

SDA - Sammlergemeinschaft Deutscher Auszeichnungen, GMIC, Landships Forum, MFF - Militaria Fundforum, Wehrmachts Awards, Feldgrau Forum.

My main forums are the SDA and the Landships Forum, which I use to visit on a daily basis. All others I visit every 6 to 12 months and then I search for KWA-related threads. But sometimes I miss one - like the one you made me aware of it. So at this point: Thank you again!


I am also looking for all (!) informations in books or magazines from the past - especially in the time from 1921 to 1945. Also like manufacturers catalogues. I am looking for stories, pictures, manufacturers - everything.


Well … of course most of the informations I receive, I do allready know, because I am doing the KWA since 25 years. But sometimes I receive new Information.


So let me know what you know. I am happy for any Information.

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OK.  If you ever come across an AWS catalog from the early to mid 1920s I'd be interested in whether they show a KWA as well.

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Hmm …. I've never seen an AWS from that time. Also I have never seen a badge that could be an original with AWS markings. But I have seen a fake with AWS marking in the past.


I am still looking for Juncker and Godet catalogues from that period.

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Puh … I have to search my database, but as far as I remember, I haven't saved the Pictures, because in fact it was a typical US-fake from the 1970s with an AWS marking. You can find those with different markings from nearly every manufacturer.

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Yes this book is very informative. Lot of photos, the author has made research in Germany. The book is about the formation of the unit, where they fought, the armament, the ammos etc...





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