Description: Great example of the Veterans Gorget Type II, introduced in 1938 for all standard bearers of the Nazi organization for military veterans (NS-Reichskriegerbund). It was have been worn on the uniform of those entrusted with carrying unit flags and standards at Party rallies, and in parades. The first pattern of the veterans’ standard bearer gorget bore a center emblem featuring a war monument. This was changed in 1938 to make the Nazi Swastika more prominent. The center of the Veterans Gorget Type II features an impressive enameled shield device with an Iron Cross and swastika. The edges of the shield have some minor wear to the bright metal finish, but the enamel itself shows no flaws or damage. The enamel device is flanked on both sides by stamped metal ornamentation, very detailed, featuring furled flags- Imperial era flags on the left, and the newer Nazi era veteran banners on the right. The upper corners of the gorget have gilt metal buttons. All of the devices on the front, as well as the polished backing plate, remain in fantastic condition showing only extremely minor aging. The original blue felt backing on the reverse is present, with some scattered moth munches here and there but no holes. There is one retaining hook to fasten the gorget to the uniform, it has a stamped numeral “3” which is presumably a manufacturer code. This Veterans Gorget Type II is complete with its original chain, which has a very bold and striking design of alternating Iron Crosses and large static swastikas. The original gold finish on the chain is still very bright. It would be hard to find a nicer one of these.
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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