Product Description:This is an unissued, near-mint example of the Waffen-SS Italian Volunteer Sleeve Shield, as worn by members of the 29. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS. It’s made out of typical SS black wool badge cloth, and bears a machine embroidered Fascist axe bundle emblem, neatly executed in red and yellow thread. This example was almost certainly removed from the SS clothing warehouse at the Dachau concentration camp in 1945. It has never been stitched to a uniform and shows only extremely faint age toning. We purchased these directly from a veteran’s son whose father was in the army during occupation and was stationed at Bad Tolz, Germany, at the former Waffen training school. We purchased a quantity of unissued sleeve shields which were in bundles. We will make sure to pick the nicest example when mailing your order. A choice example of the Waffen-SS Italian Volunteer Sleeve Shield.
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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