Product Description: This is a pristine, perfect example of an original wartime embroidered SS Sleeve Eagle. This pattern of insignia was factory applied on field gray as well as camouflage tunics issued to enlisted men and NCOs in the Waffen-SS, as well as on overcoats and other garments. It features the distinctive eagle and swastika design used by the SS, embroidered in silver-gray thread on a backing of black wool. The black wool backing is typical wartime fabric, with a slightly visible weave. The embroidered emblem is flawless, with no fraying, soiling or toning. On the back, the SS emblem is visible in reverse. There is a thin, black backing fabric used to support the embroidery. This embroidered SS sleeve eagle was never issued and has never been sewn on to a uniform. The condition rates as near mint. It would be hard to find a nicer example of this iconic and very desirable piece of SS insignia.
Historical Description: The German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht), as formed in 1935, and as they existed until the end of World War 2, consisted of the Army (Heer), the Air Force (Luftwaffe) and the Navy (Kriegsmarine). The Waffen-SS fell under the command of the Wehrmacht during the war. Each of these branches of service had a unique eagle design that was worn on both the formal dress and parade uniforms, and the field uniforms, of the members of that branch. These eagles were worn on soft headgear, including service and field caps, as well as on the uniform jacket. In the Heer, the Luftwaffe, and the Kriegsmarine, this eagle was worn on the chest of the tunic; collectors have termed these “breast eagles.” The Heer and the Luftwaffe generally used the same eagle style, though variations in color of the eagle or the backing distinguish between the two. The Luftwaffe used their own flying eagle emblem. The Waffen-SS sleeve eagle (and cap eagle) had wings that came to a distinctive tapered point. The cap, breast and sleeve eagles used by the various military branches were manufactured in many variations. There were machine-woven and machine embroidered versions, usually used by officers and NCOs. Hand-embroidered bullion wire eagles were typically for officers. There were metal eagles, for caps, or for uniforms that were intended to have detachable insignia. There were even eagles embroidered on camouflage fabric, intended for use on special field uniforms. There were also eagles in specific colors for use on tropical uniforms. Some of these eagles were mass-produced and are still common today. Others were, and are, very rare.
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