Product Description: This is a lovely, textbook example of an SS rank tab. There is no pattern of Waffen-SS insignia that is exactly common these days, but nice rank tabs like this are surprisingly hard to find, perhaps because they were less popular veteran souvenirs than the SS runic tabs worn on the other side of the collar. This one is for an SS-Unterscharführer, which was an NCO rank roughly equivalent to Sergeant. It’s made of black SS badge cloth, wrapped around the expected tan buckram stiffener. It has a single aluminum pip, which remains in near mint condition. The rank pip is affixed to the tab with two flat prongs. This Waffen SS Rank Tab is unissued and unworn, and in excellent condition.
Historical Description: Regulations for the SS Collar Tab went through quite an evolution in just a short 16 year period. The first SS Collar Tabs were introduced in 1929 by Heinrich Himmler as part of the newly introduced SS uniform code. Initially, tabs were worn by both lower rank SS men and their senior leaders. Lower ranks would wear a rank tab as well as a numbered unit identification tab, with senior leaders wearing their rank tabs on both collars. In 1933 the well known “SS” runic tab was adopted by Hitler’s personal body guard detachment, the “Leibstandarte” or “LAH”. The LAH used this runic tab in lieu of the numerical unit identification tab to identify them as members of the elite unit protecting the “Führer”. In 1934 the runic “SS” tabs were again adopted for use by the early “SS-VT” units. This adoption eventually led to the wide spread use of SS runic tabs by German Divisions; the later non-German volunteer units would not be permitted to wear the runes, and bore their own unit designed patch instead. SS Collar tabs can be found in an extraordinary variety of numbers, designs, and pipings depending on unit and rank, from hand-embroidered tabs worn by officers to mass produced embroidered and machine woven types that were used on combat uniforms.
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