Description: The Veterans Gorget Type I was worn by standard bearers of the Nazi organization for military veterans, the DRKB (Deutscher Reichskriegerbund), later renamed the Nationalsozialistischer Reichskriegerbund (NSRKB). It would have been worn on the uniform of those entrusted with carrying unit flags and standards at Party rallies, and in parades. The Veterans Gorget Type I was introduced in 1937. It’s made of polished metal with a silver finish and features a central enamel device with a swastika surmounted by the Kyffhäuser monument in Saxony, a symbol of the national veterans organization. The enamel device is flanked on both sides by stamped metal ornamentation featuring furled flags- Imperial era flags on the left, and the new Nazi banners on the right. The original blue felt backing on the reverse is present, with some scattered moth grazing and tracking but no holes. There is one retaining hook to fasten the gorget to the uniform, it has a stamped numeral “2” which is presumably a manufacturer code. This Veterans Gorget Type I is complete with its original chain, which has a very bold and striking design of alternating Iron Crosses and large static swastikas. The overall condition is excellent, with minor wear to the finish on the high points. A very impressive piece of regalia.
Historical Background: Gorgets were originally part of a knight’s armor during medieval times. Long after suits of armor were abandoned, the gorget continued to be used in many European armies as a form of military insignia. In the Imperial German Army until 1914, gorgets were worn as a special mark of distinction by certain elite units. Following WWI, German paramilitary and police organizations used gorgets for standard bearers, as insignia, and to denote personnel assigned special tasks. Following the Nazi rise to power, there was a vast increase in the number of uniformed organizations, and a variety of new gorgets were instituted for use by these civil, political and paramiliary organizations, as well as by the military. Standard bearers of most organizations, who were entrusted with carrying flags at rallies and in parades, wore gorgets. Other gorgets indicated assignment to guard or security forces. The military police personnel of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS had their own gorgets as a part of their uniforms, and were nicknamed “chained dogs” by the troops due to the chain used to suspend the gorget around the wearer’s neck. Because gorgets were never general issue to all personnel of any organization or military branch, they were manufactured in limited numbers, and are generally scarce to encounter today.
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