The Tank Destruction Badge (German: Sonderabzeichen für das Niederk?mpfen von Panzerkampfwagen durch Einzelk?mpfer) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to individuals of the Wehrmacht who had single-handedly destroyed an enemy tank using a hand-held weapon. Anti-tank units were ineligible for this award. It was established by Adolf Hitler on 9 March, 1942, but could be awarded for actions dating back to June 22, 1941 (the start of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union).
On 18 December, 1943, a gold class was introduced that recognised the single-handed destruction of five tanks. A soldier could therefore have four silver badges which would all be replaced by a gold version upon the destruction of a fifth tank (to which separate silver could be added thereafter).
The tank destruction badge featured a blackened 42mm by 18mm Panzer IV tank attached to a 88mm by 33mm silver ribbon. 2mm from the top and bottom edges ran a 4mm black stripe. The tank was attached through the ribbon via three prongs which were then bent over a metal plate, and covered backing cloth or cotton.
The gold award was similar except for a gold bullion wire background with black horizontal stripes. Early awards featured a silver wash to the tank, but later versions show the similar blackened tank of the silver class.
Silver - presented for each kill.
Gold - for five kills.