Product Description: This Waffen-SS Dutch Volunteer Sleeve Shield is a nice, unissued example of this desirable piece of SS insignia. It’s a typical wartime example, with an orange, white and blue tricolor shield (Dutch colors), neatly machine embroidered on a backing of black SS badgecloth. The edges are neatly trimmed, as this would have been when issued; there is no fraying, no stitch holes or any other indication that this patch was ever sewn to a uniform sleeve. The embroidery retains bright original color, and there is no mothing or tears to the black backing fabric. The reverse of this Waffen-SS Dutch Volunteer Sleeve Shield has the typical “snowy” look resulting from using white bobbin thread. There is a rectangular area of what looks like glue residue from a sticker. Overall, this scarce volunteer sleeve shield remains in excellent plus condition.
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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