Product Description: This SS Collar Rank Tab is a fine example, with no evident damage. The body of the tab is made from a typical SS black wool badge cloth. There is no indication that any rank pip or Tresse were ever applied; this is the correct pattern for the lowest enlisted rank, SS-Mann (also the various specialized versions of this like SS-Funker, SS-Panzergrenadier, etc.). The badge cloth is neatly folded around a textbook white lattice stiffener, which is visible on the reverse. There is no RZM tag. This appears to be an unissued piece, with no stitch holes on the edges. The obverse has a light patina with some inset dust that we have made no attempt to clean. This SS Collar Rank Tab is complete and free of faults, and is a nice representative example. The condition rates as excellent.
Historical Description: Regulations for the SS Collar Tab went through quite an evolution in just a short 16-year period. The first SS Collar Tabs were introduced in 1929 by Heinrich Himmler as part of the newly introduced SS uniform code. Initially, tabs were worn by both lower rank SS men and their senior leaders. Lower ranks would wear a rank tab as well as a numbered unit identification tab, with senior leaders wearing their rank tabs on both collars. In 1933 the well-known “SS” runic tab was adopted by Hitler’s personal bodyguard detachment, the “Leibstandarte” or “LAH”. The LAH used this runic tab in lieu of the numerical unit identification tab to identify them as members of the elite unit protecting the “Führer”. In 1934 the runic “SS” tabs were again adopted for use by the early “SS-VT” units. This adoption eventually led to the widespread use of SS runic tabs by German Divisions; the later non-German volunteer units would not be permitted to wear the runes, and bore their own unit designed patch instead. SS Collar tabs can be found in an extraordinary variety of numbers, designs, and pipings depending on unit and rank, from hand-embroidered tabs worn by officers to mass produced embroidered and machine woven types that were used on combat uniforms.
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