Men at arms

51st division assault troop

The 51st Division was set up by the Monarchy in the winter of 1914-15. The staff included replacements for the 23rd army division captured in Przemysl. They were soldiers from the south-eastern part of the Great Plain. Division 23 was not reorganized later, but Division 51 survived until the end of the war. It was deployed on the Russian front and then in Transylvania. The most well-known combat success of the division is the series of victories over the Romanians in Southern Transylvania.

Elite troops were organized in the infantry divisions to take part in the preparation of the attacks, taking of prisoners, and the elimination of enemy outposts. These were troops of battalion strength made up of selected soldiers. A company strong crew from each of the four infantry regiments of the divisions entered this unit. They received special training for their special duties, and were well versed in the use of enemy weapons, for example. Their physical abilities and endurance were also above average.

The detachments were called assault troops (Sturmtruppe). Because of their uniqueness, they usually also had their own badges. One such badge is the one shown here, the 51st Assault Battalion Kappenabzeichen. The grenade thrower assault soldier’s hand is controlled by Death in shroud. This is one of the best assault badges. It is no accident that collectors are looking for it. Unfortunately, this badge is also copied contemporary. Copies are similar to the original, but different in two small details.

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