"BANDENKAMPFABZEICHEN" ANTI-PARTISAN BADGE
In the early
stages of the war the overall control of handling anti-partisans activities rested
with the German Army. In October 1942, the SS took over responsibility of all
anti-partisan operations. Himmler, in one of his speeches referred to the
Partisans as "Banden" (Bandits). He didn't want to mention them as Partisans
because the meaning would have given them patriotic connotations. Hence he
ordered his SS troops to root them out because they were bandits and execute them without trial.
of the extensive engagements and the savagery of the battles confronting the
partisans, a new decoration was created.
On 30 January 1944, Hitler instituted the
"Bandenkampfabzeichen" (Bandit Battle Badge). The anti-partisan badge was
officially designated as "Kampfabzeichen der Waffen-SS und Polizei."
the only military decoration of the Third Reich attributed specifically to the SS.
It should be noted that not only the SS but the rest of the German forces as well as foreign
auxiliary forces were involved in fighting partisans on the eastern and Italian
The badge was awarded in three classes for
recognition of bravery or special achievement. When worn, it was placed on the
lower left breast below the First class, Iron Cross.
The design of the badge was based on the insignia of the Silesian Freikorps of 1919.
In addition, the anti-partisan badge had a very important SS symbolic and
The design constituted a wreath with a sword in the
center. The handle has a sun wheel swastika, which represents the Nordic and
auxiliary forces. The sword is plunged into five snakes reference to the vipers, which are found in Southern Europe (Northeast Italy, Southern Austria, on the Balkan Peninsula, and in Greece). Collectors have incorrectly referred to the snakes as the hydra a multi-headed sea serpent that represented the Partisans. The mythical Greek creature was almost impossible to destroy since its heads grew again if they were cut off, this shows an interesting parallel with the ever growing presence of Partisan activities.
The criteria for the award was as follows:
All members of the Werhmacht, provided that they met the requirements, were eligible
to receive the badge. Heer, Polizei and SS were mainly awarded the APB.
Bronze:-----20 kampftagen (combat days)
Silver:-------50 kampftagen (combat days)
Gold:-------100 kampftagen (combat days)
In rare instances Luftwaffe personal received such an award. The criteria for
Luftwaffe personal was the following:
Bronze:-----30 flights related to anti-partisan duties.
badge known patterns
Unfortunately there is very little information available on the manufacturing of these
badges. However, one such German company that did produce the Anti Partisan
Badge was "C.E. Juncker."
The basic design pattern has been attributed to the firm "C.E. Juncker."
Juncker made half hollow badges by pressure casting and shows on the obverse a tiny vertical
flaw running from the lower arm of the swaz to the top of the snakes tail.
These badges were made of zinc alloy or "feinzink" also referred as "kriegsmetal" (war metal).
Feinzink is an alloy of zinc, lead and copper.
This zinc alloy was utilized very late
in the war because of war material shortages. Because of the composition used the
badge turns into a dark gray color, almost looking like lead.
The APB made by Juncker have a semi-hollow back and could either have a wide or needle style
There also exist another pattern but has been attributed to the firm "Steinhauer & Lück,
Lüdenscheid" was made of high quality alloys such as Tombak and has a solid back surface.
They have a wide pin, catch and hinge, which are attached separately. It is being debated by collectors that
the hardware attaching the badge is made post-war.
Tombak is an Alloy of copper, zinc, and tin. The color appears to be that of bronze.
This type of material was used in many badges after 1943.
Currently there is no picture evidence or has any ground dug solid badges been found, this matter is still
being debated by serious Third Reich Collectors if these badges were ever issued.
According to some sources when the Juncker firm was bombed out the production of
the Anti Partisan Badge was transferred to another firm (believed to be the
co-operative "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Metall und Kunststoff, (A.G.M.u.K.)" in Gablonz, however, there is also no clear evidence that A.G.M.u.K. was involved in the manufacturing of this badge.
For more information I highly recommend getting the book The Anti-Partisan Badge written by Antonio Scapini.
Also recommend to please visit:
German Combat Awards -Anti-Partisan currently there is a very interesting discussion led by Mr. Thomas Bendixen relating to the types of APB that were manufactured.
Concerning the badge posted above the reverse shows a semi-hollow back with two cut outs showing the silhouette
shape of the serpents. It has the needle style pin with a flat cut end. The catch and
hinge have been applied separately.
The badge is known as the Type 2 and measures 59.2mm x 49.8mm and weighs 26.8gms.
About 30% of the silver wash remains on the obverse.
Notice how the silver coating has absorbed into the zinc alloy.
These style badges were applied with some type of varnish coating, which was
baked and then warmed for the finish to dry. They were
never anodized, which implies of some type of electro-plating. Since these badges
were made of zinc alloy and not of based iron metal alloy, the electro-plating would
no had coated very efficiently to the badge.
The semi-hollow style badges have been found with either two or three cut outs showing
the silhouette shape of the serpents.
There also exist hollow badge with no cut-
Note these badges have been highly reproduced.
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