Product Description: This is a great example of a Waffen SS Sleeve Eagle. It’s an embroidered version. These were worn on many types of Waffen-SS uniforms worn by enlisted soldiers and NCOs, including field blouses, camouflage uniforms, and greatcoats. This one appears to be worn, although any stitch holes from having been attached to a uniform are no longer noticeable. The typical light gray thread with which the eagle is embroidered shows even age toning and some light soiling that appears to be from wear. The backing of this Waffen SS sleeve eagle is textbook black SS wool, with only extremely minor fraying to edges. The reverse is clean, with no issues to note. This Waffen SS sleeve eagle is a great original example that displays well on its own, or could be used for restoration of a field-worn uniform.
Historical Description: The German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht), as formed in 1935, and as they existed until the end of World War 2, consisted of the Army (Heer), the Air Force (Luftwaffe) and the Navy (Kriegsmarine). The Waffen-SS fell under the command of the Wehrmacht during the war. Each of these branches of service had a unique eagle design that was worn on both the formal dress, parade uniforms, and the field uniforms of the members of that branch. These eagles were worn on soft headgear, including service and field caps, as well as on the uniform jacket. In the Heer, the Luftwaffe, and the Kriegsmarine, this eagle was worn on the chest of the tunic; collectors have termed these “breast eagles.” The Heer and the Luftwaffe generally used the same eagle style, though variations in color of the eagle or the backing distinguish between the two. The Luftwaffe used their own flying eagle emblem. The Waffen-SS sleeve eagle (and cap eagle) had wings that came to a distinctive tapered point. The cap, breast and sleeve eagles used by the various military branches were manufactured in many variations. There were machine-woven and machine embroidered versions, usually used by officers and NCOs. Hand-embroidered bullion wire eagles were typically for officers. There were metal eagles, for caps, or for uniforms that were intended to have detachable insignia. There were even eagles embroidered on camouflage fabric, intended for use on special field uniforms. There were also eagles in specific colors for use on tropical uniforms. Some of these eagles were mass-produced, and are still common today; others were and are very rare.
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