Erkennungsmarke: This was the standard issue German military identification tag, often called a “dog tag”. The Erkennungsmarke was instituted and first issued in August of 1939 to all members of the German Wehrmacht. Thereafter, the tag was issued to all soldiers shortly after they were first inducted into the Wehrmacht. The tag itself consisted of a thin aluminum, zinc, steel, or tin oval disc that was worn around the neck on a chain, string, or lace. Wear of the tag was required at all times by all soldiers in the field or field conditions. It was perferated in the middle and was stamped with identical information above and below the perforation line. The tag was designed to be broken in two pieces when the soldier wearing it was killed. The lower half would be collected if at all possible, and given to the unit HQ for grave registration and notification. The upper half would remain with the body itself. The information on the tag varied throughout the war, but generally consisted of the designation of the individuals initial replacement unit (the unit all soldiers were inducted to before being sent to a regular field unit), a soldier number, and the soldiers blood type.