Product Description: This Luftwaffe Summer Tunic Breast Eagle is a high-quality, early piece. These were worn on the summer uniforms of Luftwaffe officers, and were made to be removable, to allow the uniforms to be cleaned. This one is made out of die struck aluminum, with a deluxe, mirror polish to the swastika emblem, that adds flash and visual appeal. The Luftwaffe flying eagle has a matte finish and shows only very minor traces of wear. This is a nice strike, with good detail. The reverse of this Luftwaffe Summer Tunic Breast Eagle is flat, with no manufacturer marking. The reverse hardware setup is intact and functional, with a barrel hinge, and a round wire pin and catch. The hinge and catch are crimped in to the aluminum; this piece is constructed very much like a combat award. There is a slight bend to the pin, and typical age patination to the reverse hardware, but overall this piece is very clean, and in excellent condition.
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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