Product Description: This SS Tunic Sleeve Eagle, still sewn to a piece of the uniform sleeve, is a very nice and hard to find piece of insignia. The eagle itself is a typical Bevo machine embroidered style, as worn on factory made tunics issued to enlisted men and NCOs. It depicts the distinctive eagle and swastika organizational emblem of the SS in silver-gray thread on a black backing. The eagle is complete, with no rips, stains or other damage. It is machine sewn to the uniform sleeve remnant with black “T” stitching, one of the application styles used at the factories where these eagles were sewn prior to issue. The sleeve piece to which this eagle is affixed is typical field gray uniform wool with a plain weave. The outside has lost its surface nap from wear, while the protected inside (the reverse of this piece) retains the nap. The blue bobbin thread from the factory eagle application is visible on the reverse. This SS Tunic Sleeve Eagle is a very desirable and visually appealing example. The condition rates as excellent plus.
Historical Description: The German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht), as formed in 1935, and as they existed until the end of World War 2, consisted of the Army (Heer), the Air Force (Luftwaffe) and the Navy (Kriegsmarine). The Waffen-SS fell under the command of the Wehrmacht during the war. Each of these branches of service had a unique eagle design that was worn on both the formal dress and parade uniforms, and the field uniforms, of the members of that branch. These eagles were worn on soft headgear, including service and field caps, as well as on the uniform jacket. In the Heer, the Luftwaffe, and the Kriegsmarine, this eagle was worn on the chest of the tunic; collectors have termed these “breast eagles.” The Heer and the Luftwaffe generally used the same eagle style, though variations in color of the eagle or the backing distinguish between the two. The Luftwaffe used their own flying eagle emblem. The Waffen-SS sleeve eagle (and cap eagle) had wings that came to a distinctive tapered point. The cap, breast and sleeve eagles used by the various military branches were manufactured in many variations. There were machine-woven and machine embroidered versions, usually used by officers and NCOs. Hand-embroidered bullion wire eagles were typically for officers. There were metal eagles, for caps, or for uniforms that were intended to have detachable insignia. There were even eagles embroidered on camouflage fabric, intended for use on special field uniforms. There were also eagles in specific colors for use on tropical uniforms. Some of these eagles were mass-produced and are still common today. Others were, and are, very rare.
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