Product Description: A near mint example of a 18th SS Horst Wessel Collar Tab . This style of tab is known in the collecting community as being produced by the political prisoners of the “Dachau” concentration camp, located in Bavaria just outside of Munich. Since the end of the war these tabs have been found predominately in U.S. Veterans estates after they brought them home from Europe as “War Souvenirs”. The tab itself is made of a buckram backing with black badge cloth folded over the front and stitched in place on the reverse with a white thread. The embroidered emblem on the front is executed in a white cotton thread. A beautiful example of a 18th SS Horst Wessel Collar Tab .
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 body guard 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 wide spread 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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