Product Description: This Heer breast eagle is a desirable, tunic removed example, with a great look. This was the standard regulation pattern for enlisted men from 1937 to 1939, and it continued to be used until the end of the war. It features a white eagle and swastika emblem on a dark green field. The backing has been neatly folded to apply this to a uniform, and the edges of the patch still show some traces of the original hand stitching that once affixed this to the chest of a tunic. The obverse shows some expected toning and patina as well as some discoloration from use. The reverse shows the folded edges and typical details of the Bevo style machine woven construction. This Heer breast eagle is complete and sound. It could be used to restore a salty field tunic, and also displays nicely on its own. The condition rates as excellent.
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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