Description: The SS Streifendienst Gorget is one of the most desirable gorgets manufactured during the Third Reich, and remains an extremely sought-after piece of SS regalia. This is a great example of this rare SS gorget, in excellent overall condition. The SS Streifendienst Gorget was introduced in 1935 and was intended for wear with the iconic black SS uniform. It was worn by Allgemeine-SS troops assigned guard or patrol duty anywhere SS troops were billeted, and at parades, rallies, and functions ranging from the Olympic Games to visitis by the Führer. It measures an impressive 8-1/4” wide and 4-1/2” high. The backing plate is made of a light metal that has been nickel plated and highly polished to a bright mirror finish. The finish on this example remains extremely bright. The center of the gorget features an emblem with the SS runic insignia. This has been silver plated and then painted to highlight the SS runes. The left side of the SS emblem has some flaking paint that reveals a second coat of dark finish underneath. The bottom part of the gorget has a separately applied “Streifendienst” banner that is made of a brass-colored metal that had a gold finish. The finish on this Streifendienst scroll shows some minor wear to the high points, and there is an area on the left side of this scroll with some finish loss and also some very fine scratches directly above and below it on the nickeled backing plate, that appear to have resulted from cleaning with a fine abrasive at some time in the past. The upper corners of this SS Streifendienst Gorget feature gilt metal buttons. The rear of the gorget retains its original black wool backing. There are two retaining hooks for affixing the gorget to the service uniform. The center hook is very well marked with the SS runic insignia, the RZM logo and the manufacturer code “140.” The gorget is complete with its full length original chain. Overall, a fantastic centerpiece for an SS display.
Historical Background: Gorgets were originally part of a knight’s armor during medieval times. Long after suits of armor were abandoned, the gorget continued to be used in many European armies as a form of military insignia. In the Imperial German Army until 1914, gorgets were worn as a special mark of distinction by certain elite units. Following WWI, German paramilitary and police organizations used gorgets for standard bearers, as insignia, and to denote personnel assigned special tasks. Following the Nazi rise to power, there was a vast increase in the number of uniformed organizations, and a variety of new gorgets were instituted for use by these civil, political and paramiliary organizations, as well as by the military. Standard bearers of most organizations, who were entrusted with carrying flags at rallies and in parades, wore gorgets. Other gorgets indicated assignment to guard or security forces. The military police personnel of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS had their own gorgets as a part of their uniforms, and were nicknamed “chained dogs” by the troops due to the chain used to suspend the gorget around the wearer’s neck. Because gorgets were never general issue to all personnel of any organization or military branch, they were manufactured in limited numbers, and are generally scarce to encounter today.
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