Russian POA Volunteer Sleeve Shield 2nd Pattern


Condition: Near Mint

In stock

Product Description: This is a typical example of the Russian POA Volunteer Sleeve Shield. It’s the second pattern, screen printed on a thin, white, smooth fabric. The Cyrillic letters “POA” in yellow that emblazon the top of the shield (ROA, in Latin letters) is an acronym for the Russian Army of Liberation, also known as the Vlasov Army, which was officially formed in Autumn 1944. These were anti-Communist Russian volunteers who fought with the German armed forces, though the first ROA division did fight against the Germans in May 1945. After the war, the survivors of this Army were branded as traitors by the Soviets, and were executed or sentenced to imprisonment. This Russian POA volunteer sleeve shield has never been sewn on a uniform, or even folded.  The condition is near mint, with bright colors and only extremely minor age toning. There are no holes or stains. This piece is a great example of a foreign volunteer item.

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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