Enamel RAD Officer Cap Badge

Condition: Excellent

Maker: “RADJ” logo and “W.D. 36,”

SKU: JW1984 Category: Tags ,


Product Description: This is a great, early RAD officer cap badge. It’s an attractive piece, with the bright enamel work contrasting nicely with the worn original finish to the metal surfaces. This badge is made of a brass alloy, and coated with a silver finish which has largely worn away from the front, though the recesses to the design retain the finish. This RAD officer cap badge features the shovel and wheat organizational emblem of the Reichsarbeitsdienst. The red, white and black enamel represents the national colors of the Third Reich. The black enameled swastika and white interior part of the shovel are flawless. The red outer shovel border is coated with a translucent enamel that has a bit of cracking at the lower corners. The reverse of this RAD officer cap badge still retains most of the original silver finish. The two attachment prongs on the back are complete and intact, with some slight bending, probably a result of having been affixed to a cap. The reverse is clearly marked with a prominent “RADJ” logo and “W.D. 36,” indicating the manufacturer (possibly Wilhelm Deumer) and the date, 1936. An early RAD officer cap badge such as this is much more scarce than the enlisted version. This is a great example with lots of appeal.


Historical Description: The German National Labor Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst, or RAD) was a major Nazi Party organization before and during WWII. It provided a labor force for Nazi civil, economic and military projects. Service in this organization was compulsory; men aged 18 to 25 had to serve six months in the RAD, though those who volunteered for certain military duties were exempt. There was also a female RAD section, with compulsory service for young women during WWII. The Reichsarbeitsdienst was originally formed in 1934, from an amalgamation of previous voluntary labor organizations. Before the war, they dug ditches, cleared forests, reclaimed waste lands and built roads, including a role in building the famous German Autobahn system. In the leadup to war, they assisted with harvests and also built bunkers and field fortifications including the West Wall. During WWII the RAD was classified as an auxiliary organization to the Wehrmacht. The organization took on an increasingly military role, with RAD personnel serving on all fronts, and even in combat. The RAD had a vast array of distinctive uniforms, from finely tailored officer garments for formal wear to coveralls and work clothing. Insignia and headgear in many patterns was issued and used in the organization’s 11-year history, and special awards were instituted to recognize RAD service. In addition to the iconic spades used by RAD members, many other types of field equipment were also issued and used.


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