Product Description: This is a very rare first pattern Volkssturm armband. The Volkssturm (“Peoples Storm”) were hastily raised militia forces formed in October 1944 and made up of Hitler Youth and men who had not yet been called up for military service, mostly older men. These units were originally intended mainly for local defense, but were deployed and used in combat on both fronts in the war’s final weeks. The standard armband that was eventually issued in large numbers to these troops was a red, white and black printed armband. But when this organization was first formed, the standard armband could not be promptly issued to all troops, and so a variety of early patterns were hastily issued. This First Pattern Volkssturm Armband was one of those early versions, and this pattern is today very hard to find. It is made of red cotton, crudely printed with “DEUTSCHER VOLKSSTURM WEHRMACHT” and two national eagle emblems. It is sewn and finished in the back, but the ends are not sewn together- this was meant to be simply pinned on the sleeve of a tunic or overcoat. There is no indication that this First Pattern Volkssturm Armband was ever actually issued, as the condition is just about perfect. A very scarce variation of a desirable late war military armband. For some last ditch militia troops, a Volkssturm armband like this was the only “uniform” they would ever be issued.
Historical Description: Nearly every military, civil, political and paramilitary organization in existence during the Third Reich used armbands. Armbands were worn on military and civilian uniforms and also on civilian clothes, from suit jackets to work clothing. They were used to denote membership in organizations, to indicate a specific role or function of the bearer, and as insignia of rank. Many organizations would change the design of their armbands over time, which added to the variety produced. These were manufactured in countless variations, ranging from simple printed bands to elaborately hand-embroidered pieces of the highest quality. Some Nazi armbands were worn by all members of large organizations and were made by the millions. Others were intended for use at a specific time and place and were unique. Many types were made in very limited numbers. Some bore metal insignia or special identifiers that indicated the wearer’s rank, unit affiliation, or nationality. Armbands were sometimes but not always marked with ink stamps by the issuing authorities.
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