Condition: Exc /NM
Product Description: This is an attractive original pair of Ukrainian YBB Volunteer Sleeve Shields. The Ukrainian Army of Liberation (UVV, represented by the Cyrillic characters YBB) was formed in 1943, from Ukrainian volunteers including ex-prisoners of war. Men of the UVV/YBB were scattered among many units of the German Army, and its members wore this volunteer sleeve shield as identifying insignia. Ukrainian volunteers in the “14. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS” were among those who wore this shield. The shield bears the Ukrainian national colors, as well as the trident emblem of Ukrainian hero Vladimyr the Great. This uncut pair of Ukrainian YBB Volunteer Sleeve Shields are the second, printed pattern. They are in near mint condition, never cut or folded, unissued. The white, thin backing fabric has a diagonal weave, the printing is visible on the reverse which is typical. There is no fraying that affects the design, or other damage. A very attractive and desirable uncut pair.
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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