Product Description: This is a great, representative example of the Totenkopf SS collar tab, one of the most iconic pieces of SS regalia. This one is the “Pumpkinhead” pattern, as found in the storehouse at Dachau when it was liberated by men of the US 42nd and 45th Infantry Divisions in April, 1945. It’s machine embroidered in white thread on black badge cloth. This was an enlisted pattern of the Totenkopf SS tab that was intended for wear on field uniforms of men of the 3. SS-Panzer-Division “Totenkopf” as well as SS personnel in the concentration camp system. The reverse is textbook Dachau construction, with white stitches securing the black badge cloth around a tan buckram material. This one is unissued, never affixed to a uniform, and was among the those taken as souvenirs by the American soldiers who liberated Dachau. It’s in excellent condition, showing only very minor age. These Totenkopf SS collar tabs have a lot of eye appeal and are very desirable pieces of insignia.
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 body guard 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 wide spread 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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