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     Home > SOVIET BADGES > WW2 Excellent Soldier Awards

    Sniper badge, variation with separate hammer and sickle emblem, circa 1942.

    Sniper badge, variation with separate hammer and sickle emblem, circa 1942.

    Brass, enamels; 44.9 x 36.2 mm; weighs 18.2 g not including the screw plate. Features superimposed hammer & sickle emblem attached by wires; pattern of vertical lines under the red enamel, and characteristically flat scroll of the ornament above the shield.

    In excellent condition, exceptionally well-preserved for any badge of the WW2 proficiency series, let alone the early version. The red enamel has tiny contact marks only, no chips, flaking, noticeable scratches or any other significant wear. The hammer and sickle emblem has minor bumps, dings and miniscule amount of tarnish. Details of the artwork are extremely well preserved showing only light wear to the high points such as rifle butts. A good amount of the original silver plating is intact on the reverse in the central portion around the screw post (where it was protected by the screw plate.) The wires holding the hammer and sickle emblem are tight. The screw post is of full length measuring approx. 10.5 mm. The screw plate maker marked "UPK - YuKhA" is original to the badge and works perfectly with the screw post.

    This superb piece is one of the fist Sniper badges of 1942 type, manufactured soon after the introduction of the awards of "Proficiency" series for enlisted personnel in mid-1942. Only three of its badges - Sniper, Machine-Gunner and Artillery Man (with a possible addition of the Tanker although it is not clear if the latter went into serial production at all) - had the two-piece variation. The early versions were likely produced for less than a year. The Sniper badge is by far the rarest of the standard three, not to mention the most desirable. After all, this piece is exactly the same as those worn by the most famous Red Army snipers such as Mikhail Surkov, Lyudmila Pavlichenko, and Vasiliy Zaitsev! For instance, many of published photographs of Pavlichenko taken during her WW2 propaganda tour of the United States clearly show her wearing the Sniper badge of two-piece type.

    /See V. Airapetyan, "Breast Badges of the Red Army, 1941- 1945", p. 80, fig. 1 (marked "R", top rarity rating in the book)/

    Item# 35108


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