Turkestan Legion Volunteer Shield 3rd Pattern


Condition: Exc /NM

In stock

Product Description: Nice, unissued example of the printed Turkestan Legion Volunteer Shield 3rd Pattern as worn by personnel of the German Army 162. (Turkestan) Infanterie-Division. This unit was made up of volunteers from Turkestan (mostly refugees and former prisoners of war), with German cadre personnel. They fought in Italy and proved to be quite effective. This Turkestan Legion Volunteer Shield 3rd Pattern was introduced in 1944 and worn until the end of the war. All of these third pattern shields were printed on cotton, and this example is textbook in both fabric and printing style. The shield depicts a mosque with the word Turkistan and the slogan “God with us!” rendered in ancient Turkic script (the same slogan was used on all German Army enlisted belt buckles). It shows only extremely slight age toning and is in near mint condition overall. A perfect representative example.


Historical Description:  As German military power stretched across Europe, many people in the occupied countries volunteered to fight for the German cause. Some were ideologues, some were opportunists, some probably “volunteered” because they had no other choice. In some areas, the Germans eagerly sought volunteers; in others, the Germans were less trusting, and the formation of volunteer units proceeded slowly. But by the end of the war, approximately one million foreign volunteers and conscripts were among those who had fought under Hitler. To distinguish these from German troops, and as a mark of distinction, the Germans authorized special insignia for wear by these volunteers. The insignia took the form of a cloth shield, either woven, embroidered, or printed, that was to be sewn on the uniform sleeve. Some of the foreign volunteer shields were used by specific units of the German Army or Waffen-SS. Others were worn by members of a variety of units and even paramilitary organizations. The design of each shield was chosen to represent the wearer’s nationality. Some were as simple as a national flag or colors, others had more complex designs.


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