Badge for Excellence in Socialist Competition, Narkomat of
Tank Manufacturing, 1942-46.
In gilded brass and enamels; measures 32.8 mm in height (not
including the flagpole finial), 31.9 mm in width. Shows a KV
tank under a red banner.
In very fine condition. The enamel on banner is nicely
preserved overall having only a single tiny surface flake in
the upper left corner of the banner - almost unnoticeable to
the naked eye - and some microscopic contact marks
elsewhere, completely free of repairs, penetrating chips or
significant rubbing. The enamel on the red star has some
barely noticeable scuffs. The red enamel on both the banner
and star fully retains its beautiful original luster.
There is moderate wear to the lower part of the badge under
the tank and to the wreath on the left side, but most
details are still well-defined. Traces of the original fire
gilt finish are visible in recessed areas on the obverse.
The silver plating on the reverse almost pristine. The screw
post is original and full length, over 10.5 mm long. It has
been re-threaded to accommodate a replacement screw plate
marked "Leningrad Mint" which is of slightly later vintage
than the badge itself. Overall, an attractive example of the
Soviet WW2 tank builder's badge.
Badge for excellence in manufacturing tanks was the first
Soviet award badge instituted during the Great Patriotic
War. The Tank Narkomat was formed in September of 1941,
immediately after the German invasion. This of course
underscores the importance of tanks in Soviet military
doctrine. The well-armed, heavily armored and highly mobile
Soviet T-34s and KVs (like the one shown on the badge) came
as nasty surprise to the invaders: in the summer of 1941,
Wehrmacht had no comparable tanks in its inventory or even
in advanced design stages.
/See "Avers 8", p. 108, fig. 578b, also Badges of
Narkomats "Ural Photo Catalog of Soviet Phaleristic. Part
2", p. 65/.