Condition: Exc /NM
Product Description: This is an unissued Georgien Volunteer Sleeve Shield. Volunteers from Georgia in southwest Russia formed one of the “Ostlegionen,” units of men from the Soviet Union who volunteered to fight alongside the German armed forces on the Eastern Front. The Georgian Legion was formed in December 1941, and its members wore this shield on the sleeves of their uniforms. This Georgien Volunteer Sleeve Shield is the second, printed pattern. It has a wrinkle, and some age toning, but remains in excellent condition, having never been sewn on a uniform. The thin, tightly woven, white backing fabric, and the printing style, are textbook in all aspects. A nice original.
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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