Product Description: The M34 Heer Breast Eagle was introduced for wear on field gray German Army uniforms on February 17, 1934. It was a Bevo machine woven eagle, executed in white thread on a light gray woven backing. These breast eagles were replaced in 1937, but appear frequently in wartime photos from the early campaigns. Originals are very scarce today, and are far less often encountered by the later 1937, 1939, 1940 and 1944 patterns. This is an attractive, textbook example. It has never been worn, and is unissued. There is some minor staining and discoloration to the thin, light gray backing fabric, that does not affect the woven eagle. The reverse shows details of the machine woven construction. This attractive and rare M34 Heer Breast Eagle is an interesting relic of the early Wehrmacht, that displays great.
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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