Product Description: This is a great example of an Early SS lower rank shoulder board. This is the type of shoulder board worn on the legendary black SS uniform of the pre-war years. Unlike most German shoulder boards of the Third Reich, these early SS boards were not worn in pairs, but singly, on the right shoulder of the SS tunic and overcoat. This pattern of SS shoulder board was used for enlisted and NCO ranks, from SS-Mann through SS-Hauptscharführer. This early SS lower rank shoulder board features flack and silver piping affixed to a backing that is covered with black wool. It doesn’t appear to have been used and shows only very minor wear. A very nice representative example of early SS insignia.
Historical Description: The German military as well as civil, political and paramilitary organizations traditionally used shoulder straps and shoulder boards as uniform insignia, to denote the rank or function of the wearer. After the Nazi rise to power in 1933, there was a tremendous increase in the number of groups and organizations in Germany wearing officially sanctioned uniforms, and most of these organizations used shoulder straps and shoulder boards as a component of their regalia. The exact color of piping utilized, the material color, the type of braid or Tresse that was used, and the number or location of devices and pips present, allow shoulder boards to be tracked to the exact organization that issued them, and often yield even further detail such as the wearer’s rank and even his specific military unit. Normally worn in pairs, the boards were in some cases plain, and in other cases adorned with detailed embroidery or metal emblems. Some shoulder boards were made in the millions, others were specific to a single individual.
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