Product Description: This Georgien Volunteer Sleeve Shield is unissued, and in excellent condition. It was intended for wear by men of the Georgische Legion, which was originally formed in late 1941, and became operational in autumn 1942. It was formed of ethnic Georgians, some of whom had emigrated from Georgia after the 1921 Soviet invasion, and some of whom were Soviet POWs. Georgian troops served as part of the German Wehrmacht on both fronts in WWII. This is the desirable, first pattern, Bevo machine embroidered version of this patch, featuring the word “Georgien” (Georgia) over a red, white and black shield, on a field gray rayon backing. There are a couple of tiny holes to the backing fabric, that do not affect the woven emblem. There are no stains, and only extremely slight age toning. This Georgien Volunteer Sleeve Shield is a great representative example of this pattern of volunteer insignia.
Historical Description: As German military power stretched across Europe, many people in the occupied countries volunteered to fight for the German cause. Some were ideologues, some were opportunists, some probably “volunteered” because they had no other choice. In some areas, the Germans eagerly sought volunteers; in others, the Germans were less trusting, and the formation of volunteer units proceeded slowly. But by the end of the war, approximately one million foreign volunteers and conscripts were among those who had fought under Hitler. To distinguish these from German troops, and as a mark of distinction, the Germans authorized special insignia for wear by these volunteers. The insignia took the form of a cloth shield, either woven, embroidered, or printed, that was to be sewn on the uniform sleeve. Some of the foreign volunteer shields were used by specific units of the German Army or Waffen-SS. Others were worn by members of a variety of units and even paramilitary organizations. The design of each shield was chosen to represent the wearer’s nationality. Some were as simple as a national flag or colors, others had more complex designs.
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