Excellent Mortar Man badge, ZhDTMP version, circa mid 1940s.
Brass, enamels; 45.6 x 39.0 mm. This is one of the early versions of the Mortar Man's badge. Features relatively tall, well defined embellishment above the shield. The 120-mm mortar is the "slim" 1941 model. Although this model is listed as NKPS manufacture in the Airapetyan's catalog, we believe that it was in fact made by the ZhDTMP factory.
In very fine to excellent condition. The enamel is well preserved throughout; shows only light surface wear and buffing, mostly on the center medallion. The red enamel in the lower portion under the medallion has a tiny internal hairline fracture and impact spot resulting in slightly darker areas. There are no chips or significant flaking anywhere, and the overall appearance is quite nice.
The details of the wreath and mortar are well preserved. The screw post is full length, approx. 13.5 mm long. The screw plate marked "ZhDTMP" is probably original to the badge.
The Excellent Mortar Man badge was established in May 1942, one of the initial seven badges that started the "Proficiency" series.
/See the B. Airapetyan, "Breast Badges of the Red Army, 1941-1945" p. 86 fig. 4/.