Panzer Assault Badge Bronce 25 Juncker

 

Hi Friends, today I am very happy to present you an article which was written by a good friend who helped me to get this blog more intersting for you. Please enjoy !

 

Dear collectors

Today I would like to present another badge that is rarely seen: a bronze PAB „25“ made by the company of C.E. Juncker. Unlike the bronze PAB „25“ from JFS or from Gustav Brehmer which pop up from time to time only very few examples from Juncker are known to exist.

Panzergrenadiers after Combat

Numbered PABs were instituted on 22nd of June 1943 and Juncker examples – in contrast to their JFS and G.B. counterparts – are supposed to be the earliest awarded and actually worn pieces. At least this is what evidence shows based on groupings with documents.

Whereas numbered PABs in silver can be encountered quite often numbered bronze PABs are rare on their own. Why is this so?

If you look at the first grade – the PABs without numbers – the ratio beween existing examples in bronze and silver is roughly 1:1.

Panzer Assault Badge Bronce 25 by Juncker Front view

Now when it comes to the second grade (not to mention the third or even the fourth grade) the ratio changes considerably and is about 1:20 (estimated). This applies to single pieces. The ratio for PABs „25“ in groupings is more like 1:50.

The award criteria for a numbered PAB in bronze bring up the answer.

Solbuch Entry and PA Days from Sebastian`s Collection (2)

The exact regulations were not really dealt with in the literature up to now and on top of that there were several changes to them over the course of time. Thus it is not possible to provide any really precise information but generally speaking there were the following units that were eligible for awarding bronze PABs:

  • Aufklärungs-Abteilungen
  • Schützen-Regimenter
  • Panzergrenadier-Regimenter
  • Panzerspäh-Einheiten
Panzeraufklärer sdkfz 222 Africa

The first grade was won after taking part in at least three assaults on three different(!) days. For a second grade PAB a soldier had to take part in a minimum of 25 assaults on 25 different days. The day the crediting began was the 1st of July 1943. There were exceptions for those who were killed or got severely wounded and thus would not have a chance any more to take part in further combat. The required minimum for a second grade was 18 days in this case.

Russia, Kradschützen on the March 1942 / picture from the Bundesarchiv

Furthermore a certain amount of days could be credited generally for those who served in Russia or in Africa without interruption – depending on the length of time:

  • 10 days for 8 months of service
  • 15 days for 12 months of service
  • 25 days for 15 months of service

 

(cf. Klietmann 1991)

Solbuch Entry and PA Days from Sebastian`s Collection (1)

Unlike in panzer-units the soldiers in the units mentioned above had practically no real protection when engaged in combat. There were quite many guys serving in these units but it was a serious business and only very few were granted to fulfil the criteria for a higher grade…

 

Now back to the badge starting this thread:

It shows only slight traces of wear – the bronze finish is preserved extremely well and only the high points expose the base metal: zinc. All the typical production related traits are present that can be encountered on almost any other Juncker made award. The details are well pronounced and aesthetically pleasing. The whole badge has a certain depth which makes it look more substantial than any JFS or G.B made PAB.

Panzer Assault Badge Bronce 25 by Juncker Backview

When it comes to numbered Juncker badges there is also a certain variety among them. In this case the number shield is magnetic (it can be encountered unmagnetic as well) and soldered into the little box. Earliest examples feature a hole in this box intended for the number shield to be riveted rather than soldered. Apparently this idea was soon overruled.

The rivets which hold the tank in its place are made of aluminium and penetrating which means that they can be seen from both sides: obverse and reverse. They are correct in form and size.

PAB 25 Bronce in wear from Philippe de Bock`s Book The German Panzer Assault badge of World War II

The catch is made of round wire fixed to a round base plate whereas other examples may feature a flat wire catch. Everything is textbook (cf. De Bock 2009).

 

I bought this particular piece from a dealer at the show in Ulm last year. This is the only thing about it that I know for sure. What I don‘t know: who was the man who earned it? What happened to him? If it only could speak…

 

 

 

Bibliography:

De Bock, Philippe: The German Panzer Assault Badge of World War II, Pap Jay Publishing (Belgium) 2009

Klietmann, Kurt.-G.: Auszeichnungen des Deutschen Reiches 1936-1945, 6th ed., Stuttgart 1991

Big Thanks to collector friends who helped out with pictures and documentation but they like to stay in the shadow, what I understand !

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Best

Sascha

German Cross in Gold and the „Dotted“ Story

Hi Guys,

A while ago I read an article about  German Crosses in Gold and their different makers. Interesting information about the Juncker, Godet, C.F. Zimmermann and so on.

German Cross in Gold Zimmermann light full view

Later that day I found a posting / a discussion in a Forum which German Cross in Gold is the best to collect or the best to put in your own collection.

Some collectors say that the rarest is the best German Cross in Gold to keep, other say that the condition is deciding for keeping or buying a cross.  Some refer to the story behind it (yes I know….never buy the story just the badge ;-)) but in this case the story behind it stands for the whole grouping or the estate.

I can remember a time where I bought a huge Uboat grouping form a family here in Germany. The Kriegsmarine Soldier was from 1939 until 1945 on Uboats as a mechanic and served the whole war on these steel tubes.

Zimmermann left /Juncker right – cased

Finally he was on a Monsun UBoat and went all the way to Japan. In 1945 he earned the German cross in Gold.

As the war ends he stayed in japan until 1947 and came back to Germany…..He went a long way on Uboats and as you all know, a lot of german Uboat men died during war time but he survived it. That’s the story behind my German Cross in Gold and I put the whole grouping in my collection. That Cross was made by Junker, it was cased and in good (but worn) condition

About two years later I put my hands on a German Cross in Gold made by Zimmermann (a light one) in the best condition I have ever seen. It came along with the case, also in very nice condition.

Zimmermann left /Juncker right – cased II

I went to the bank and opened my bank deposit, took my Juncker cross out and went home. I put the side by side and thought about them.

Should I keep the unworn minty Zimmermann or the worn Juncker……keep them both and sell some other stuff.…….

Finally I made my decision and I kept the Juncker. I had a name to it, I had a face to it and (yes I know….) I had the story to the cross.

Another thing which made my decision easy was the fact that you see ten Zimmermann a year and only one Juncker. So not always that hard to get a Zimmermann cross in a decent condition.

But let`s stay with the Zimmermann. As you all know there is the number “20” for the Zimmermann company on the needle (inside) of the cross. Easy to identify but there is a problem. Have you ever heard of the „dotted“ German Cross in Gold from Zimmermann?

It is not a secret but there might be somebody out there who didn`t know. So let bring some light in this dark area.

The “dotted” Zimmermann was a long time described and handled as a fake cross. It took a long time to proof that they are original „pre“ war time made.

But fact is, that you have three things to look for to identify these “dotted” crosses.

The first thing is the Number 20 ( Präsidialkanzleinumber “20”) on the inside of the crosses needle. If the 20 is in full shape and on a straight line, that is a normal Zimmermann. If the upper area of the number 2 is cut off and the whole number 20 is not in a horizontal line, you have the indication of a “dotted”. At least it looks like a false or incorrect marking.

The second thing is the number “1941” on the outer golden wreath. On a normal Zimmermann cross the number is on a normal metal underground. On a dotted German cross the date numerals are filled with little holes, which means that there are little dots inside the numbers.

Last thing is the production mistake on the 11 O´clock area of the wreath. The first „dotted“ which were examined didn`t have the „flaw“ but now some Crosses were found with the „Zimmermann Flaw“.  If you see that, the cross should be a good cross.

Mr. Dietrich März is on this subject and he searched for more evidence on the dotted mystery. I think if he finds out something new, we will know it soon.

 

Under the line it comes down to facts and evidence. If you have a normal Zimmermann or a „dotted“ one, don`t get nervous. Just read about the facts and keep the dotted in you collection.

Finally and as always, you have to know certain things in our hobby, so you don´t lose money or pay twice.

Best

Sascha

 

Pilot and Observer Badge 1st Form 1935

Dear collectors,

Sit down and grab a coffee. This time I have something for you what I haven´t seen in 25 years of collecting. A real stunner, so I hope you sit by now.

For some collectors this badge is the “Fliegerschaftsabzeichen” , for others it is the Pilot Badge with the funny wreath or the Air Crew Badge. But like Dietrich März wrote on the WAF, it is the Pilot and Observer Badge 1. Form “…..documented in the LVBl as „Gemeinsames Flugzeugführer und Beobachter Abzeichen“, founded on 19 January 1935 Form“.Pilot Badge first form 1935 cased (3)

Sure there were few of these “holy grails” in auctions around the world or old sales catalog, but not in the content of a whole estate of a Luftwaffe Pilot.

Well, now you think about the “second” form…..mmmhhh have I seen that one before? Sure you have , think about the Pilot Badge with the golden wreath, that’s the second form but the term “second form” got lost……somehow.

OK, back to business, to get the term right we talk about the “Flugzeugführer und Beobachter Abzeichen 1. Form“.

Pilot Badge first form 1935 cased (1)

But we want to have a close look on this bird over here. You see the badge with the large Eagle on it, looks like an attacking bird, in his fangs the swastika as always with Luftwaffen badges. The wreath in this case is not “egg shaped”  vertical like the Pilot Badge 2nd Form, it is oval and in my opinion very big.Pilot Badge first form 1935 backside

The Wreath is about 60,48 mm x 41,55 mmm. The weight is about 27,2 gramm. The pin is a round pin and about 48,8 mm long. On the backside you see a soldered round wire catch and a tube hinge, also soldered to the wreath in vertical manner. The 3 !!! rivets are like Juncker rivets used to be and they surly hold this big bird in place. The marker mark says “CEJ” on the backside of the bird, for most collectors THE company to collect Luftwaffen badges from.

Another nice feature is the blue case without any writing on it. Also a tough one to get but in this estate the badge came with it and so we have a nice combination.Pilot Badge first form 1935 case blue

Short excourse to the life of the pilot:

The man who archieved this badge was Hauptmann Günther Klünder, born on the 4th of August 1904. He served on Board of several ships of the Reichsmarine from 1927 – 1932. To name just a few of them : “Berlin” (light cruiser WW1), “Schlesien” (Battleship WW1), as well as the Torpedoboot “Albatros”.

Later on his career brought him to the “Seeübungsstaffel” (October 1933 – October 1934) and the “Erprobungsstelle Travemünde”

In 1937 he was Staffelkapitän with the Aufklärungsgruppe See 88 (A.S. 88) in the Legion Condor from February 1937 until July 1937, equipped with He-59 seaplanes.
On September 5th, 1939 – at the age of 32, he was shot down with a Junckers Ju 52 – D – AGZG by friendly fire (navy flak).

Let`s have look in the Soldbuch of the soldier. Here we found the entry for the badge with the number 1414 / 35 as you can see on the picture below.Pilot Badge first form 1935 Soldbuch

Together with the Pilot Badge there were different badges in his estate.

They were:

  1. Italian military pilot badge
  2. Medaille de la campana
  3. Wehrmacht Dienstauszeichnung 4. Klasse
  4. Deutsches Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Schwertern
  5. Cruz de guerra
  6. Officerscross Crown of Italy

We can also have a look on the historical background of the badge:

The combined pilot’s/observer’s qualification badge was originally introduced by Hermann Göring on January 19th,  1935, and featured a horizontally oval wreath encompassing a stylized national eagle in flight. On March 26th, 1935 the badge was redesigned (after 205 days) by altering the wreath to the vertical position as with the other Luftwaffe qualification badges. The badge was intended for award to personnel who had qualified for both the military pilot’s and the observer’s badges and had held at least one of the awards for a minimum of one year. This second pattern badge took the same form as the pilot’s badge, but with a golden wreath.Pilot Badge first form 1935 swas

Pilot Badge first form 1935 rivet

Pilot Badge first form 1935 catch

Pilot Badge first form 1935 tube hinge

Just to get it all together, in the summer of 1935 Hermann Göring established the combined pilot’s/observer’s badge with diamonds which was the highest Luftwaffe non-combatant award of WWII. It is estimated that roughly forty of the diamond badges were awarded.

We will never know why Hauptmann Klünder kept the first form and did not get the second form….or maybe had the second form on his uniform and it was lost when he shot down by friendly fire….

Finally said that the is one on the best estates I have seen in years and I like to quote Mr.  Dennis Suitner, the Boss of Trave-Militaria: THE HOLY GRAIL OF THE LUFTWAFFE. A big thanks in that direction to the Team of Trave-Militaria, who supported me with all the pictures and data to bring this topic in my blog.Pilot Badge first form 1935 whole estate

 

Subscribe for more … Kind Regards,

Sascha