18th SS Horst Wessel Collar Tab

Condition: Excellent

SKU: JW5666 Category: Tags ,


Product Description: This is a nice representative example of an 18th SS Horst Wessel Collar Tab. This pattern of SS collar tab was intended for wear by foreign volunteers in the 18. SS-Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier-Division “Horst Wessel,” a unit formed in 1944 and composed primarily of ethnic Germans from Hungary. The body of the tab is made of a typical black wool badge cloth. The front is adorned with the runic emblem of the SA, neatly machine embroidered in light gray thread. The obverse of the tab is undamaged. There is no indication that this was ever sewn to a uniform, and it shows only light handling wear. The reverse of this SS Horst Wessel Collar Tab reveals a textbook tan buckram stiffener. The white machine stitching around the folded edge of the black wool is typical of tabs found in the warehouse at the Dachau camp in 1945. There are some small, match head sized moth nips to the wool on the reverse. This mothing is not visible on the front and does not affect the look of this piece when it is displayed. These SS foreign volunteer tabs are very desirable and continue to get harder to obtain. The condition of this one rates as excellent overall.



Historical Description: Regulations for the SS Collar Tab went through quite an evolution in just a short 16-year period. The first SS Collar Tabs were introduced in 1929 by Heinrich Himmler as part of the newly introduced SS uniform code. Initially, tabs were worn by both lower rank SS men and their senior leaders. Lower ranks would wear a rank tab as well as a numbered unit identification tab, with senior leaders wearing their rank tabs on both collars. In 1933 the well-known “SS” runic tab was adopted by Hitler’s personal bodyguard detachment, the “Leibstandarte” or “LAH”. The LAH used this runic tab in lieu of the numerical unit identification tab to identify them as members of the elite unit protecting the “Führer”. In 1934 the runic “SS” tabs were again adopted for use by the early “SS-VT” units. This adoption eventually led to the widespread use of SS runic tabs by German Divisions; the later non-German volunteer units would not be permitted to wear the runes, and bore their own unit designed patch instead. SS Collar tabs can be found in an extraordinary variety of numbers, designs, and pipings depending on unit and rank, from hand-embroidered tabs worn by officers to mass produced embroidered and machine woven types that were used on combat uniforms.


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