Heer Officer’s Cut-Off Breast Eagle

Condition: Excellent

SKU: JW3815 Category: Tags ,


Product Description: This Heer Officer’s cut-off breast eagle is a very desirable piece, quite scarce in this configuration. This was cut from a German Army officer’s service jacket, and was very likely taken as a wartime souvenir. The eagle itself is a nice example, hand embroidered in two styles of bullion wire over a correct cardboard template, on a backing of bottle green badge cloth. Green stitching accents were used to add detail to the wings. This eagle was originally stitched to a tunic made of gray-green Tricot material, with a ribbed weave; this is a typical material used for tailor made German Army officer uniforms. This eagle was cut away from the uniform while still attached to a section of the wool. Later, the stitching holding the eagle to this fabric broke down or was removed; the two pieces are now separate, with clear shadowing of the eagle on the tunic fabric that leaves no doubt that this eagle was once affixed and worn that way. The reverse of the eagle shows traces of the original black paper backing. The uniform cloth section retains traces of the eagle stitching, and has one small hole. This Heer Officer’s cut-off breast eagle is an interesting and attractive piece, certainly worn and used during WWII; these officer eagles are not easy to find as cut-offs. This one is excellent.



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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