The Tank Destruction Badge was called "Das Sonderabzeichen fur das Niederkampfen von Panzerkampfwagen usw. durch einzeldampfer in German, which translates as "Special award for the destruction of a tank etc. by an individual fighter." The TDB could be awarded to any person regardless of rank of branch of service.
Towards the end of the war, TDB's were awarded to Kriegsmarine personnel who found themselves without ships or submarines and who were hastily thrown into battle as infantry. Numerous awards were also made to Hitler Jugend and Volkssturm units in defence of the Reich.
There were two grades of TDB's: Gold - Awarded for the single handed destruction of five enemy tanks by use of a hand held weapon. Silver - Awarded for the single handed destruction of an enemy tank by use of a hand held weapon.
There are no records listing how many TDB's were actually awarded throughout the war but it is known that the highest number of individual kills by one man was twenty one, and was obtained by Knight's Cross holder Oberleutnant Gunther Viezenz serving in the 252 Infanterie Division. Oberleutnant Viezenz survived the war joining the Bundeswehr in 1956, retiring at the rank of Oberst on March 30, 1980. He died in Cologne, Germany on January 14, 1999. Although most kills were undoubtedly made using one of four versions of the Panzerfaust -
There were numerous other weapons in use that accounted for the balance of the kills -
I began modeling with my Dad in 1963 at age 5 , my first build being a 1/48 Monogram Focke-Wulf 190 that my Pop took great pride in helping me with. In the nearly 50 years since then I have been in and out of scale modeling as the requirements of day to day life have so dictated. Throughout my modeling lifetime, the one constant has been my ability to learn something new with virtually each project and that never ceases to amaze me. Eyesight not as sharp, fingers not as functional but thank God my ability to open a model box, examine the kit and envision the scene that the finished project will compliment, grows stronger each day. Much like that surfer in constant search of that "Perfect Wave", I seek to build that "Perfect Diorama", the one that will survive me for years to come. The one that makes other Modelers "Think".