Product Description: This is a textbook original SS Medical Services Sleeve Diamond. It features a Rod of Asclepius snake-and-staff emblem of the medical services, and was worn by SS personnel with an occupational assignment in medicine (Sanitätsdienst der SS). The emblem is machine embroidered in black and white thread, on a black wool backing. It is an enlisted pattern diamond. It has no stitch holes, no mothing or damage of any kind, and is in excellent condition overall. The reverse shows no sign of having had a tag attached; this one may be wartime manufacture for medical soldiers of the Waffen-SS. It measures 2-3/4 inches tall by 1-3/4 inches wide. It is a great example of a classic piece of SS medical insignia.
Historical Description: The uniforms worn by the various SS branches before and during WWII used a variety of insignia to indicate rank, unit assignment, and role, including collar tabs and shoulder boards, cuff titles, and sleeve diamonds. The sleeve diamonds were initially authorized in October 1935. Each had a distinctive letter, symbol or emblem, with its own unique meaning. SS sleeve diamonds were used to indicate which SS organization the wearer was assigned to, specific roles of SS personnel, special achievements such as proficiency in sports or marksmanship, or to recognize former service in other Nazi Party organizations. Some diamonds were specific to certain SS branches, such as the Allgemeine-SS, Waffen-SS, or the SS-Totenkopfverbände. Other sleeve diamonds could be worn by a member of any SS branch. The materials and construction of original sleeve diamonds varied. Some were either hand-embroidered or machine-embroidered on black wool, while others were “Bevo” machine woven on a rayon base. Generally, silver-gray thread embroidery was used for enlisted ranks and NCOs, while officers wore hand embroidered wire bullion. Diamonds could be edged with silver-colored twisted wire cord for officers, or black and silver twisted cord for NCOs. Originals existed with paper or cloth RZM tags on the reverse, or were unlabeled. In total, there were dozens of different types and variations of these made between 1935-45. Some were produced in limited numbers, and others are more commonly encountered today, but all are desirable and collectible pieces of SS regalia.
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