Sunday, February 28, 2010



Thursday, February 4, 2010

Changes to our Blog


Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Nazi Seed

Hermann Goering's great-niece: 'I had myself sterilised so I would not pass on the blood of a monster'

By Allan Hall

Descendants of the leaders of the Nazi regime have spoken on camera for the first time about the feelings of pain and revulsion they have for their ancestors. They include Bettina Goering, great niece of Adolf Hitler's second in command Hermann Goering, who says she has had herself sterilised so she would 'not pass on the blood of a monster'.

Adolf Eichmann's son Ricardo says he simply cannot find a way to explain why his father became the chief architect of the Holocaust.

While Hitler himself had no offspring, many others at the heart of the Reich had families and some of the children can remember being patted on the head by the Fuhrer.

One is Hitler's godson Niklas Frank, whose father Hans was Nazi governor of occupied Poland responsible for the death camps in which six million Jewish people were killed.

He says in the documentary Hitler's Children, by Israeli director Chanoch Zeevi, that he 'despises' his father's past and describes him as 'a slime-hole of a Hitler fanatic'.

The film also shows Monika Hertwig, daughter of Amon Goeth - the death camp commandant played in the movie Schindler's List by Ralph Fiennes --meeting a man who tells her how her father shot women and babies 'for sport'.

Zeevi said he found 'fascinating similarities' between the emotions of those related to Holocaust perpetrators and those of survivors, some of whom meet the children of their tormentors in the programme.

Frank lectures about his infamous father to young people in the former East Germany in a bid to prevent them from straying into the far-right scene that preys on the young unemployed and desperate.

'I have never managed in my life to get rid of the memory of him,' he said. 'I live with this deep shame about what he did.'

Bettina Goering lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she practices herbal medicine.

'Either side of me live Jewish neighbours,' she says, 'and they are always quarrelling. It's left to me to sort them out!'

Bettina told the programme both she and her brother were voluntarily sterilised. 'I had my tubes tied at the age of 30 because I feared I would create another monster. I look like him for a start - the eyes, the cheekbone, the profile. I look more like him than his own daughter,' she said.

The 53-year-old Goering said her father Heinz was adopted by his infamous uncle after his own father died and became a fighter pilot for the Luftwaffe.

Heinz was shot down over the Soviet Union and returned from captivity in 1952 to find that his two brothers had killed themselves because of their shame and the family's fortunes were gone.

Hermann Goering was sentenced to death along with 11 others at the Nuremberg trials in 1946, but he committed suicide by swallowing a poison pill in his cell the night before his scheduled execution.

Goering said her father, who died in 1981, never spoke about the Holocaust, or about his notorious uncle. 'But my grandmother was less evasive - she adored him,' she said.

'As head of the Red Cross in Nazi Germany she hobnobbed with the regime's other top leaders and had many pictures of herself alongside Hitler.

'We would be watching a documentary on TV together about the Holocaust and she would yell 'it's all lies, it didn't happen,'' she added.

'The hardest part is admitting that I could have liked him. I was so shocked by that,' she said. 'Now I am accepting myself more for who I am, whatever that encompasses - the good, the bad and the ugly.'

'The film is due to be completed later this year.

Mail-On Line, January 2010

Our thanks for Marc Jay Cohen for bringing this to our attenion.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Collecting Basics - Replica Field Marshal Baton

I received an e-mail today from a Paki fake peddler offering me a replica field marshal stick (baton) at a very low price. I get this type e-mail every day, seems they all think that because I run this web site I "must" be in the business of ripping off collectors with fakes. What a bunch of scumbags they all are!

There is nothing new about fake field marshal's batons, they've been around for years. The thing is all the fakes I know of up till now have been rather expensive, selling for several thousand dollars. However, this one is cheap... only $100. The good thing is, the maker only wants to sell them 10 at a time. I like that because it should slow his sales considerably.

Now I know that none of you experienced collectors would be fooled by this thing, but it could spell trouble for the newbie. The reason I'm posting this is because I can see the following happening. Some unscrupulous dealer buys 10 of these zonkers, goes to the trouble of "ageing" them, then puts one on his table at some small gun show at, what looks like a bargain price, and waits for the sucker to come buy. What's especially dangerous about this item is it's low price, which means more of them will probably pop up at a price new collecors will go for.

I haven't seen one of these in person, so I don't know how well they're made, but from the pics they look good enough to fool some people. So, if you see a field marshal's baton offered at a "bargain" price, watch out!

If you know about a "dangerous" fake and would like to share the info with our readers, please email me and we'll see if we can put the info on this Blog. You can remain anonymous if you wish.

Bob Treend, Collector Basics, Militaria Blog, 2010

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Ashes Found in Trash Led to Proper Burial

January 05, 2010
St. Petersburg Times

The two teenagers got to the cemetery first. He wore his dark green dress uniform from the National Guard. She wore a long black dress. They stood on the edge of the road, across from rows of matching military headstones, waiting for the funeral of the man they had never met.

Mike Colt, 19, and his girlfriend, Carol Sturgell, 18, had driven more than an hour from their Tampa homes last month to be at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.

They weren't really sure why they had come. They just knew they had to be here.

"It's kind of sad, huh?" asked Sturgell, scanning the sea of white gravestones.

Colt nodded. "Yeah, but it feels kind of important."

At 12:20 p.m., a Tampa police car pulled up, then a white Lincoln Town Car. Another police cruiser followed. Two officers stepped out.

"Thank you for being here," Colt said, shaking both of their hands.

"No, thank you," said Officer Dan College . "If it weren't for you guys, none of us would be here."

More than a month ago , on the last Saturday of November, the young couple was hanging out at Sturgell's house when her brother rode up on his bike, all excited. He had found two fishing poles in this huge pile of trash. Come check it out, he said. So they did.

At the edge of the trash mound, sticking out from beneath a box, Sturgell spied a worn green folder.

She pulled it out, brushed off the dust. Across the top, bold letters said, "Department of Defense." Inside, she found retirement papers from the U.S. Army; a citation for a Purple Heart issued in 1945; and a certificate for a Bronze Star medal "for heroism in ground combat in the vicinity of Normandy, France ... June 1944." In the center of the certificate there was a name: Delbert E. Hahn.

Why would anyone throw that away? Sturgell asked.

And who is that guy? Colt wanted to know. Must be old, a World War II vet. Looks like he served at D-Day!

That night, they took the paperwork back to Sturgell's house and searched Delbert E. Hahn on the computer. Nothing. They talked about who he might have been, the life he might have led.

The next morning, they went back to the trash heap and searched for more clues. They rummaged through boxes, overturned furniture, picked through piles of the past. Colt moved a ratty couch - and something fell out. A metal vase, or box, some kind of rectangular container about a foot tall. On the base was the name: Delbert E. Hahn.

"It's him," Colt told his girlfriend. "This must be him, in his urn."

Sturgell screamed. She didn't want to touch it. It was kind of freaky, she said, discovering the remains of some dead guy.

"He shouldn't be here," Colt said. "No one should be thrown away like that, just left in a parking lot."

The dead man wasn't alone. Under the couch, the couple found two more sets of remains: a cylinder-style container with Barbara Hahn printed on the bottom and another urn, which had no name.

Tampa police Cpl. Edward Croissant had just reported for the night shift that Sunday when his officers showed him the urns. This kid and his girlfriend had found them and brought them to the station.

Then an officer told Croissant about the Purple Heart. The Bronze Star. And the Normandy invasion.

And Croissant became irate. He had served eight years in the Navy. He's in the Coast Guard Reserve. "I had three uncles in World War II. That was the greatest generation. If it wasn't for those men, we would have nothing," he said.

"That man saw combat. And someone just dumped him there? He deserves a better ending."

Police called the Department of Veterans Affairs and learned Hahn had died in 1983, at the age of 62, -and was a highly decorated war hero. The staff sergeant had served in the infantry and been honored with five Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.

Barbara Hahn, they learned, was the soldier's wife.

So how did their remains end up in that mound of garbage? Where was the rest of their family, or friends, anyone who would want their ashes? And who was in that third urn?

Neighbors filled in some of the story: Barbara Hahn had been a widow forever, they told police. For years, her mother had lived with her. Her mother's name was Barbara, too.

The elder Barbara had lived to be more than 100. They thought she died around 2000. That third urn, neighbors told police, must be her.

The younger Barbara, the soldier's wife, got sick in 2003. A couple came to care for her, and she wound up willing them her mobile home. When she died, the couple moved in, took out a mortgage, then didn't make payments.

The bank foreclosed on the trailer late last year.

In November, officials sent a maintenance company to clear it out. The workers must have just dumped everything behind the vacant building on Busch Boulevard , neighbors told police. Including the remains of three people.

Just before 1 p.m. Dec. 16 , the two teenagers led the car line through Florida National Cemetery . Police followed, then the funeral director who had the urns. Outside a wooden gazebo, two rows of National Guardsmen stood at attention.

The funeral director handed the first soldier a flag, the next one the cylinder with Barbara Hahn's remains, the third one the brass urn with Delbert Hahn.

(Barbara's mother's remains are still in the evidence room of the police station. Since she wasn't a veteran or married to one, she wasn't entitled to be buried in the military cemetery.)

"Let us open the gates of the Lord," said a military chaplain, who led the procession of strangers into the gazebo. "Let us remember," said the chaplain, "none of us lives only unto himself."

The teenagers sat on the front bench. Three officials from Veterans Affairs sat behind them. They had spent weeks searching for the Hahns' relatives, any distant kin or friend, someone who might want their ashes - or at least want to come to their burial.

They couldn't find anyone. Even the couple whom Barbara Hahn had willed her home to didn't show.

By the time the chaplain lifted his head from the Lord's Prayer, a long line of men had wrapped around the gazebo.

Wearing blue denim shirts and work boots, they clasped their caps in their hands and bowed their heads. Dozens of groundskeepers from the cemetery had left their Christmas party to come pay respects to the man who, in death, had been so disrespected.

A bugler played taps. The riflemen fired three shots. And 56 people watched the honor guard fold a flag over the urns of the man and woman they never knew.

Our thanks to Marc Jay Cohen for sending us the article.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Official Numbers of German Naval Personnel

Official Numbers of German Naval Personnel. A simplified system of official numbers (Stammrollennummern) was introduced in December, 1941, to take effect from 1st January, 1942. It only applies, however, to entries after that date, and the old system remains in force for previous entries.

Old System. Typical numbers which may be taken as examples are: N 1329/37 S and O 151/41 T.

1. All entries into the Kriegsmarine are divided between depôts (Stamm-marineteile) of the Admiral Commanding the Baltic and the Admiral Commanding the North Sea, and bear a distinguishing letter either ( (Ostsee) or N (Nordsee), accordingly.

2. 1329 and 151 are the serial numbers of the individuals (Jahrgangsnummer).

3. 37 and 41 are the years of entry (Einstellungsjahrgang), viz.: 1937 and 1941.

4. The letters after the numbers refer to the branch of the service to which the man belongs (Ausbildungszeichen). The following are known:
S stands for Seemännische (Seaman branch)
T stands for Technische (Technical)
KS stands for Küstenschule (Coastal school)
KT stands for (not known, possibly Kustentechnische - Coastal Technical).
ES stands for Ersatzseemännische (Reserve Seaman branch)
ET stands for Ersatztechnische (Reserve Technical branch)
E stands for Ersatz (Reserve)

U-Boat personnel are understood to have the letter U prefixed to the O or N.
New System:
1. O and N are retained as before.
2. The letters after the name disappear as a general rule. Conscripts (Dienstpflichtige), however, bear the letter D.
3. Naval recruits, continuous service volunteers (Flottenrekruten), (Ungedienende Freiwillige) and all members of the shore establishments (Küstendienst) are given uneven numbers by the Baltic Station and even numbers by the North Sea Station, e.g.: O 101/42, N 102/42, O 103/42 D.

4. Recruits in Laufbahnen (see Appendix I) XIV, XV and XVIII, (Marienartillerie, Kraftfahrer and Flugmelde), receive their numbers similarly with the letter K added, e.g.: N 52/42 K.

5. The Marinestammregiment Beveloo (Belgium) (believed to be Marinestosstruppen) keep their previous system, numbers and suffixed letters, but the letters M St. R are substituted for O and N., e.g.: M St. R 30100 S.

6. On being moved from one depôt to the other the letter of the new station is prefixed to the letter of the old. On return to the original depôt the new letter is once more dropped. This applies to pre-1942 numbers as well, e.g.: ON 951/41 S.

7. Identification discs (Erkennungsmarken) are in future to bear the word "Kriegsmarine" for all members of the Navy, with the official number and the letter for the blood group of the man, e.g.:
202/42 K
202/42 K

The owner's name will apparently not be shown.

A comprehensive listing of Job/training specialities and positions and what they represent in English. This resource can make it simpler to research and title items accurately.

Abteilungsarzt Battalion Physician
Abteilungschef im Reichskriegs-Ministerium Departmental Head in the War Office
Abteilungskommandeur Battalion Commander
Abteilungsschreiber Battalion Headquarters Clerk
Abteilungsveterinär Battalion Veterinary Doctor
Adjutant Adjutant
Amtsgehilfe Administration Clerical Official in a Department
Amtsobergehilfe Senior Administration Clerical Official in a Department
Amtsrat Senior Administration Official
Arbeiter Labourer
Arzt Physician
Auswerter Plotter / Evaluator
Autoschlosser Motor Vehicle Mechanic
Bäckermeister Master Baker
Bataillonsarzt Battalion Physician
Bataillonskommandeur Battalion Commander
Bataillonsveterinär Battalion Veterinary Doctor
Batterieführer Battery Commander
Batterieoffizier Firing Battery Commander
Batterieschreiber Battery Headquarters Clerk
Beamter Armed Forces Civil Servant / Government Service Official / Civilian Employee in Military Service
Beobachter Observer
Beobachtungsoffizier Observation Officer
Beschlagschmied Farrier / Horse(shoe) Smith
Betreuungsoffizier Entertainment Officer
Betriebmeister Managerial Works Supervisor
Betriebsleiter Managerial Works Leader
Bibliothekar Librarian
Blechschuster Tin Smith
Bootsmann Boat Operator
Botenmeister Messenger
Chef des Stabes Chief of Staff
Direktor Director
Direktor bei der Heeresfeuerwerker und Panzertruppenschule Director of the Army Ordnance and Panzer Troop Schools
Direktor bei der Heeres-Plankammer Director of the Army Chamber of Planning
Direktor beim Heeresarchiv Wien Director of the Army Archives at Vienna
Direktor beim Heeresmuseum Berlin-Zeughaus Director of the Army Museum at Berlin-Zeughaus
Direktor des Heerestechnischen Buros Director of the Army Technical Bureau
Divisionionsarzt Division Physician
Divisonskommandeur Division Commander
Dolmetscher Interpreter
Dreher Lathe Operator
Drucker Printer
Elektriker Electrician
Elektromechaniker Electro Mechanic
Entfernungsmesser Rangefinder / Distance Measurer
Erkunder Scout
Erkundungsoffizier Observation Officer
Facharbeiter Specialist
Fachschulrektor Headmaster of a Technical School
Fachstudiendirektor Deputy Director of Technical Studies
Fachstudienrat Instructor in Technical Studies
Fahnenschmied Farrier NCO
Fahrer Driver
Fahrer vom Bock Wagoner (the driver of a horse-drawn vehicle sitting on the driver's seat [the box])
Fahrer vom Sattel Horse Team Leader (the driver of a horse-drawn vehicle sitting on one of the horses)
Feinmechaniker Optics Technician
Feldbischof Chaplain-General to the Forces
Feldfunksprecher Field Radio Operator
Feldgendarm Military Policeman
Feldkoch Cook
Feldkochunteroffizier Cook NCO
Feldwebel Sergeant
Fernsprecher Telephonist
Festungsoberwerkmeister Fortifications NCO in Charge of a Workshop
Festungswerkmeister Fortifications NCO in a Workshop
Feuerwerker Ordnance NCO / Pyrotechnician / Military Artificer
Flakwaffenwart Antiaircraft Weapon Armorer
Flugmeldeauswerter Air Observation Evaluator
Flugmelder Air Observer
Führer Leader
Führer der Gefechtsfahrzeuge Leader of the Company / Battery Vehicles
Funker Radio Operator
Funkmeister Senior Radio Operator
Funkwart Radio Repairman
Futtermeister Fodder NCO
Gaschützunteroffizier Chemical Warfare NCO
Gefechtsschreiber Headquarters Clerk
Generalintendant General Commisariat Commander
Generalstabintendant General Staff Commisariat Commander
Gerätverwalter Equipment Administrator
Gerätwart Equipment Repairman
Geschützbedienung Gun Crew
Geschützführer Gun Layer / Gun Captain / Gun Commander
Getreibeschlosser Drive Train Mechanic
Gewerbeoberlehrer Senior Teacher in Trade Subjects
Gruppenführer Section Leader Also a General Rank for the SS and other political/paramilitary formations
Gruppenintendant Army Group Commisariat Commander
Handelsoberlehrer Senior Teacher in Commercial Subjects
Handwerker Craftsman
Haptfeldwebel Senior Company NCO / Company First Sergeant
Hauptwachmeister Senior Battery NCO / Battery First Sergeant
Hauswart Caretaker
Heeresarchivdirektor Army Archive Director
Heeresarchivrat Army Archival Advisor
Heeresbaudirektor Director of Army Building or Construction
Heeresforstamtsmann Administration Official in the Army Forestry Commission
Heeresforstmeister Army Forestry Commissioner
Heereshauptwerkmeister Army Workshop Superintendent
Heeresintendant Army Commisary
Heeresjustizamtmann Army Judicial Service
Heeresjustizwachtmeister Army Court Martial Orderly NCO
Heereslandwirtschaftrat Councillor in the Army Agricultural Department
Heeresmachinenmeister Army Master Machinist / Mechanic
Heeresmaschinenbaudirektor Director of Army Construction Machinery
Heeresmusikinspizient Director of Army Music
Heeresoberförster Army Forester
Heeresoberforstmeister Senior Army Forestry Commissioner
Heeresoberpfarrer Senior Army Chaplain
Heeresoberwerkmeister Army Workshop Superintendent
Heerespfarrer Army Chaplain
Heeresrevierförster Army Forestry Official
Heeressattlermeister Army Master Saddler
Heeresschneidermeister Army Master Tailor
Heeresschuhmachermeister Army Master Shoemaker / Cobbler
Heeressportlehrer Army Sports Instructor
Heeresunterförster Army Forester
Heereswerkmeister NCO in Charge of an Army Workshop
Heizer Fireman
Hilfsbeobachter Assistant Observer
Hilfsprüfer Assistant Controller
Hiwi (Hilfswilliger) Foreign Volunteer for Military Service
Holzarbeiter Wood Worker
Inspektor (technische and nichttechnische) Official in Technical or Non-Technical Trade
Intendant Administrative Services Official [ranking as Colonel]
Intendanturamtmann Member of an Army Administrative Services Department [ranking as an enlisted man]
Intendanturassessor Administrative Services Official [ranking as Captain]
Intendanturasinspektor Administrative Services Official [ranking as Lieutenant Colonel]
Intendanturrat Administrative Services Official [ranking as Major]
Kanonier Gunner
Kanzleivorsteher Orderly Room - Head Clerk
Kartenzeichner Cartographer
Kartograph Cartographer
Kettenkraftradfahrer Kettenkrad Driver
Klempner Plumber
Koch Cook
Kommandant Commandant
Kommandeur Commander
Kompanieführer Company Commander
Kompanietrossführer Company Train Leader
Kompanietruppführer Company Headquarters Section Leader
Korpsintendant Army Corps Supply Services Official
Korpssattlermeister Army Corps Master Saddler
Kradmelder Motorcycle Messenger
Kraftfahrzeugelektriker Motor Vehicle Electrician
Kraftfahrzeugmotorenschlosser Motor Vehicle Motor Mechanic
Kraftfahrzeugschlosser Motor Vehicle Mechanic
Kraftwagenbeifahrer Motor Vehicle Co-Driver
Kraftwagenfahrer Motor Vehicle Driver
Krankenträger Stretcher Bearer
Kriegsgerichter Judge Advocate General Branch
Kriegsgerichtsrat Member of Court Martial Committee
Laborant Laboratory Technician
Ladeschütze Loader
Lagermeister NCO in a Depot
Lagerwart Depotman
Laufwerkschlosser Running Gear Mechanic
Lehrer Teacher
Leiter Chief Leader
Lichtpauser Photographer
Lithograph Lithographer
Magazinmeister NCO in Charge of a Depot
Maler Painter
Mann Enlisted Man
Mannschaft Enlisted Man / Other Rank
Maschinengewehrschütze Machine Gunner
Meldefahrer Motor Vehicle Messenger
Meldefahrer Messenger (Motor Vehicle)
Melder Messenger / Runner
Meldereiter Messenger (Horse-Mounted)
Ministerial Direktor Minister and Head of a Government Ministry
Ministerialamtsgehilfe Administration Clerical Official in a Ministry
Ministerialbürodirektor Administration Official in a Ministry
Ministerialdirigent Administrative Official in a Ministry (Usually of Generalleutnant Rank)
Ministerialkanzleivorsteher Administration Official - Head Clerk in a Ministry
Ministerialoberamtsgehilfe Senior Administration Clerical Official in a Ministry
Ministerialrat Advisor to the Minister
Ministerialrat (mit den Dienstgradabzeichen des Generales) Advisor to the Minister with the Rank of General
Ministerialregistrator Registrar in a Ministry
Mitarbeiter Assistant Clerk
Motorschlosser Motor Mechanic
Mühlenmeister Master Miller
Munitionskanonier Ammunition Handler (Artillery)
Munitionsschütze Ammunition Handler
Musiker Bandsman
Musikmeister Band Leader
Nachrichtenmechaniker Signals Technician
Nachrichtenoffizier Signal Officer
Nachrichtenunteroffizier Signal NCO
Oberbotenmeister Senior Messenger
Oberfachschullehrer Teacher in an Advanced Technical School
Oberfachschulrat Principal in a Technical School
Oberfachstudiendirektor Director of Technical Studies
Oberfeldapotheker Apothecary
Oberfeldzahlmeister Senor Paymaster
Oberfuttermeister Senior Fodder NCO
Oberheeresarchivrat Army Archival Advisor
Oberinspektor (technisch and nichttechnisch) Senior Official in Tecnhical Trade or Non-Technical Trade
Oberintendanturrat Commisariat
Oberkartograph Senior Cartographer
Oberkriegsgerichtsrat Member of Court Martial Committee
Oberlagermeister Senior NCO in a Depot
Oberlandwirtschaftsrat Agricultural Advisor
Obermaschinist Senior Fitter
Obermusikinspizient Director of Army Music
Oberregierungsbaurat Construction or Building Administration Official
Oberregierungschemiker Chemistry Administration Official
Oberregierungsrat Senior Administration Official
Oberreichskriegsanwalt Judge Advocate General
Oberreichskriegsanwalt Senior Attorney in the War Office
Obersekretär (technisch und nichttechnisch) Senior Secretary in Technical and Non-Technical Trade
Oberstabsapotheker Apothecary
Oberstabzahlmeister Senior Paymaster
Oberstabzahlmeister Senior Administration Official
Oberstapotheker Apothecary
Oberstkriegsgerichtsrat Member of Court Martial Committee
Oberstudiendirektor Army Education Official
Obertrigonometer Trigonometric Official
Oberwaffenmeister Armourer
Oberwerkmeister Senior Workshop Supervisor
Oberzahlmeister Paymaster
Offizier Officer
Ordnanzoffizier Aide (-de-Camp) (Officer)
Ordonnanz Aid (Enlisted)
Panzerbüchsenschütze Antitank Rifleman
Panzerelektromechaniker Armored Vehicle Electrician
Panzerelektroschweisser Armored Vehicle Arc Welder
Panzerführer Armored Vehicle Commander
Panzerfunkwart Armored Vehicle Radio Repairman
Panzergetriebenschlosser Armored Vehicle Drive Train Mechanic
Panzerjägerführer Antitank Vehicle Commander
Panzermotorenschlosser Armored Vehicle Motor Mechanic
Panzerschlosser Armored Vehicle Mechanic
Panzerschützen Infantryman in an Armored Vehicle
Panzerwart Armored Vehicle Mechanic
Peiler Direction Finder
Pferdeführer Horse Leader (driver on foot guiding the horse(s) of a horse-drawn vehicle)
Pferdehalter Horse Holder (Groom)
Pferdewärter Groom (Horse Holder)
Photograph Photographer
Pionier Pioneer / Engineer / Sapper
Planoffizier Triangulation Officer
Postfachkraft Postal Worker
Präparator Candidate
Präsident President
Präsident des Heeresarchives Wien President of the Army Archives at Vienna
Prüfer Accounts Controller
Quartiermeister Quartermaster
Rechner Calculator
Rechnungsführer Accountant
Regierungsbaurat Construction or Building Administration Official
Regierungschemiker Chemistry Administration Official
Regierungsdirektor (Museum Wien) Administration Director of the Vienna Museum
Regierungsrat Administration Official
Regimentsadjutant Regiment Adjutant
Regimentsarzt Regiment Physician
Regimentskommandeur Regiment Commander
Regimentskraftfahroffizier Regiment Motor Officer
Regimentssattlermeister Regimental Master Saddler
Regimentsschreiber Regiment Headquarters Clerk
Regmentsveterinär Regiment Veterinary Doctor
Reichskreigsgerichtswachtmeister State Judicial Service Orderly NCO
Reichskriegsgerichtsrat Army Court Martial Councillor
Richter Judge
Richtkreisunteroffizier Gun Layer NCO / Gun Director NCO
Richtschütze Gunner
Sachbearbeiter Clerk
Sanitätsoffizier Medical Officer
Sanitätsunteroffizier Medical NCO
Sattelpferd Near Horse
Sattler Saddler / Harness Maker
Scherenfernrohrunteroffizier Scissors Telescope NCO
Schirrmeister Foreman / Harness Keeper / Depotkeeper NCO / Maintenance Technical Sergeant
Schleifer Polisher
Schlosser Mechanic
Schmied Smith
Schneider Tailor
Schreiber Recorder
Schumacher / Schuster Shoemaker / Cobbler
Schwadronführer Company Commander (Cavalry Arm)
Schwadrontruppführer Company Headquarters Section Leader (Cavalry Arm)
Schweisser Welder
Sekretär (technisches und nichttechnisches) Secretary in Technical and Non-Technical Trade
Senatspräsident beim Reichskriegsgericht President of a Court Martial
Spähtruppführer Scout Section Leader
Stabsapotheker Chemist
Stabzahlmeister Paymaster
Staffelführer Detachment Leader
Stellmacher Cartwright / Wheelwright
Stellungsunteroffizier Gun Position NCO
Steuermann Helmsman (driver of a boat)
Studiendirektor Army Senior Education Official
Studienrat Army Education Official
Tankwart Fuel Handler
Technischer Oberamtsmann Technical Administration Official
Tischler Joiner / Cabinet Maker
Trigonometer Trigonometric Official
Trossführer Train Leader
Truppenarzt Troop Doctor
Truppführer Team Leader
Unteroffizier NCO
Urkundsbeamter Document Clerk
Verbindungsoffizier Liaison Officer
Vermessungsamtmann Survey Official
Vermessungsdienst Measuring Service
Verpflegungsmann Rations Handler
Verpflegungsunteroffizier Rations NCO
Verwaltungsamtmann Administration Official
Veterinäroffizier Veterinary Officer
Vorgeschobener Beobachter Forward Observer
Vorhandwerker Leading Craftsman
Vorreiter Outrider (Escort on horseback of a horse-drawn vehicle)
Vorstand der Heeres-Plankammer Head of the Army Chamber of Planning
Vorwarner Advance Warning Man
Wächter Watchman / Guard
Waffenmeister Armorer
Waffenmeistergehilfe Assistant Armorer
Waffenmeisterunteroffizier Master Armorer NCO
Waffenoberrevisor Senior Armament Official
Waffenrevisor Armament Official
Waffenunteroffizier Armorer NCO
Wagenbegleiter Escort on foot for a horse-drawn vehicle
Wagenführer Leader of the horse-drawn vehicles in the Train
Wallmeister Fortification Official
Wehrmachtkriegspfarrer Chaplain
Wehrmachtoberpfarrer Senior Chaplain to the Forces
Wehrmachtpfarrer Chaplain to the Forces
Werferführer Launcher or Mortar Gunner
Werkführer Foreman
Werkmeister Foreman / Chief Technician (master at arms in charge of weapon repair)
Werkstättenvorsteher Official in Charge of Workshop
Wermachtdekan Senior Chaplain to the Forces, Army Dean
Zahlmeister Paymaster / Finance Officer
Zeichner Draftsman
Zimmermann Carpenter
Zugführer Platoon Leader
Zugtruppführer Platoon Headquarters Section Leader
Charles Warriner, "Official Numbers of German Naval Personnel", 2010

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Deutschland Erwacht Penknife

Two versions of the Deutschland Erwacht ("Germany awake") penknife, a reproduction which has been reputedly struck from the original dies of the Henckels firm, Solingen. The original emotive behind these knives was that they were sold during the years preceding and including 1933 as fund raising ventures providing income both for the manufacturer and the NSDAP who permitted usage of their emblems.

The private manufacture and sale of items bearing the swastika was forbidden by law,
following the establishment of the NSDAP government - the emblem being the official National Crest. The usage of it on badges, insignia, edged weapons, etc., etc., was only upon condition of government approval.

It is possible that the sale of such penknives as these illustrated was curtailed after 1933, and that they were not manufactured again until the dies were re-set during the mid-1960s. Photos: David Delich

Frederick J. Stephens, "Deutschland Erwacht Knife", Reproduction? Recognition!, 1976

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Special Feldherrnhalle Insignia

In June 1937, the SA-Stabschef (Chief of Staff) ordered the institution of a special insignia to be worn by qualified former members of the elite SA-Standarte "Feldherrnhalle." His order
appeared in the “Veordungsblatt der Obersten SA-Fuhrung," 7. Jahrgang, Nummer 8, 7 June 1937, p. 52, para.149. It read as follows:

149. Re: Insignia for SA men who have left the Regiment "Feldherrnhalle." F 2b 13735.

1. SA men honorably leaving the Regiment "Feldherrnhalle” will join the SA unit of their prospective place of residence. However, during the time of the annual Reich Party Day, they are available to the Regiment "Feldherrnhnlle" for several days of training.

2. The commander of the Regiment "Feldherrnhalle" may award the SA men referred to in Number 1 the privilege of wearing the regiment’s insignia.

3. The insignia consists of an oval piece of material 7cm high, made of brown cloth, with the 5cm emblem of the Regiment "Feldherrnhnlle." It is worn on the left forearm of the SA service uniform.

4. The commander of the Regiment "Feldherrnhalle" will issue authorization to wear the insignia. The authorization is renewed annually, on the occassion of the Reich Party Day, by the commander of the Regiment "Feldherrnhalle."

5. The insignia is provided free of charge the first time. Additional insignia are to be obtained from the Regiment "Feldherrnhalle" administrative office upon payment.

Illustration [1] is a copy of the original order instituting this new insignia. [2] is an original unissued specimen of the insignia, with paper RZM tag. This example is machine—woven in aluminum thread in the so-called "BeVo" style. [3] shows a variant example which consists of a silver-colored metal "Feldherrnhalle" rune attached to a brown wool base. The metal rune is identical to those worn on the right-side collar tabs of active members of Regiment "Feldherrnhalle."

No original period photographs showing this insignia in actual wear have so far come to light. Since wear of the insignia had to be individually authorized by the "Feldherrnhalle" commander
(rather than automatically applying to all men who left the unit), it may not have been widely issued. Also, since the instituting order tied the insignia to annual reauthorization at the Reichsparietag rallies, and the last such Party Congress occurred in September 1938, it is
possible that the insignia may have been discontinued at that time. Aside from the cited original order, it was apparently never again mentioned in any subsequent SA or NSDAP publications.

Finally, [4] is a photograph showing an active—duty SA-Mann (Private) of the SA—Standarte "Feldherrnhalle" in the regimental uniform. Note the runic device on his right collar tab, identical in design to that on this virtually unknown insignia for former members.

Thanks are extended to W.P.B.R. Saris for providing a copy of the original SA order, to Philip B. Carson for making available the specimen shown in [3], to Wilfred Uhlmann Bradach for translating the order, and to Hugh Page Taylor for prividing photo [4].

Clyde R. Davis, Special Insignia for Former Members of the SA-Standarte "Feldherrnhalle", The Military Advisor, 2005

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Collecting Basics - Fake Nazi Cloth Items

The Nazi Regime in Germany, found that more manpower was needed, to prosecute their war of aggression.

The amount of forces they opposed as well as controlling the vast area of conquered territories, was simply too much for their own German teutonic supermen to handle unassisted.

Policies were enacted, which brought foreign legions into existence, composed of volunteers from other nations. These Legions often received insignias to identify them and give a sense of community as well.

In this article, we will look at some examples of the sleeve shields of various freiwilligen (Volunteer) Foreign Legions, of the German Army and the Waffen SS.

First up is a collection of various authentic, original shields. Every item pictured in this one photo is the genuine article. Some are fairly easy to locate and affordable. Other shields are extremely rare. Their availability compared to the demand for them, has caused their true value to reveal itself.

Many are approximately $250, but scarcer patterns can sell from $750 to $1250.

All Third Reich insignias, have been reproduced in counterfeits by forgers for decades, and sleeve shields are no exception. For instance here are 2 originals, under different lighting conditions and having seen different use and wear. Still it is obvious that the two insignias are the same pattern.

And here is a printed Fake. Many of the printed sleeve shields have been reproduced..

Original printed variations did exist of many shields, but Screen printed repros have been widely distributed throughout the hobby. They are inexpensive and if you do not know what real ones look like you may get stuck with fakes.

An original Bevo Don Kossack, and a fake "Local made side by side.
The one on the right was made to fool a collector, and it did.
Someone bought a humped up tunic with this shield upon its sleeve.

Local Variants abound, and that reality is used to sell fakes, which are made up to seem local made.

Cloth Freiwillige Abzeichen came in several accepted forms. 1st is the machine woven or gewebt production type commonly know as Bevo.

Here is an original BEVO pattern Turkistan ( a unit that was involved in Normandy). Next to it is one of the new high quality woven fakes made specifically to fool a collector.. So Bevo is not foolproof and safe.

As far as I can determine the bevo models are safe to buy, if they compare favorably with a known original. The replica bevo patterns make several types of errors. Be sure and compare not only the design and stitching, but the rear details and also the base colors.

Charles Warriner, "Collecting Basics - Fake Nazi Cloth Items", Militaria Blog, 2009

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nazi Collecting... In Russia!

For the benefit of those collectors contemplating a trip to the former Soviet Union to buy German relics, I would like to relate some observations I had during a recent (1992) tour of duty in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

I had assumed the Russian collectors would be ignorant of western prices and demand, and on this point I was wrong. Most serious collectors had western reference books and pricing guides (a subscriber told me that when trying to buy Nazi items from an antique market in East Berlin, before the wall came down, the dealer pulled out a copy of Der Gauleiter to use in justifying his price! ed.) and asked top dollar for their items. On Sundays in St. Petersburg, a 75-100 table military collectors mart takes place, where you can buy anything from current Russian uniforms to Iron Crosses. The mart serves as a meeting place for serious collectors, who don’t bring their better items, but rather invite you to their homes to view their collections. They are very proud of their collections and justifiably so some of these collections looked like they were airlifted from the MAX show. Most of their buying trips are to the Baltic States, where friends and contacts locate and hold items for them. I saw beautiful helmet covers and uniform insignia, including nice cuff titles, most of which allegedly came from Estonia.

Replicas are common, mostly poor quality medals and badges. However, they make some excellent uniform upgrades, and they have the time and expertise to turn a standard Army tunic into an excellent SS. Be very careful when buying, they will not usually let you return an item even if arrangements were made, and they want absolute proof it’s a fake of has been tampered with. They are quick to point out many "variations" exists and many obviously re—worked helmets are “just like Ivan found in the bunker" or "Misha brought home. For me, the scariest replicas were "KURLAND" cuff titles. These were supposed to have been locally produced and were well made and embroidered on the silver/white strip. They were all dirty, aged and cut short about four inches on either side of the letters. They looked prefect... all 300 of them! Once again, they are keenly aware that WW2 was fought in their back yard and sometimes use that fact to their advantage when trying to justify a bad piece, i.e., "many of our SS daggers have leather scabbards, as the metal scabbards froze to the lower crossguards".

The bunkers and defenses around St. Petersburg are not completely picked over, and
the brave of heart can go hunting with local collectors. German divisional cemeteries are not off-limits and the Russians are not respectful in this regard, so don’t be surprised to see them popping the dogtags off fallen log crosses or digging in the area. The swamps have preserved large amounts of field gear and weapons and the Russians know how to retrieve it. You would not believe the condition of some of these items. I saw an MG-42 tripod with all the leather intact and a G-43 that you could not tell had been submerged. lf you do choose to go hunting in the woods, go with someone who had done it before and be careful! Landmines were never completely cleared and considerable ordnance is still around. Some museums will sell items outright, as they do not have the same custody restrictions we do.

Museums served as staging areas for much captured military material, sooften they have dozens or hundreds of the same item. The local collectors will know who sells what, but either way try to get a tour of the storage room(s) of the military museums. The museum staffs are friendly towards Western collectors who are doing research and will give you a tour.

Remember, any pre-1945 items you purchase is considered an artifact and can not be legally exported. However,the Russian customs agents do not open most suitcases. If they do find a relic and recognize it, they will seize it unless you bribe them, and I’m not talking cigarettes. Give them $10.00 (about a month’s pay) and they will usually close the suitcase. The bottom line is... Do not get into an argument with the Customs people... ask for a supervisor and explain that you did not understand the rules, then bribe HIM! If this all sounds a bit shady, remember this is the way the Russians have been making their crippled system work and it is the accepted way of conducting business.

Russians prefer hard currency to trade items and the years of bargaining just to eat gives them an edge in negotiations. Deals are best made in Russian, but they also know the German word for many items or details and "pointy-talky" will suffice. Depending on the collector, they will trade for U.S. items, but there appeared to be a lot of current Western gear around, so don’t expect them to jump for your old utilities.

Generally, Russian collectors are serious about their hobby,will informed on prices, and eager to deal with you. As withus, they have their share of dishonest individuals and it is hard to convince them of some of the basicrules of authenticity which we in the west believe to be true. Be flexible, don’t be startled by their business/collecting methods, and err on the side of caution before buying anything. Good luck!

Robert G. Ensley U.S.M.C, "Nazi Collecting...In Russia!", Der Gauletier, 1993

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just For Fun...

Season's Greetings To All!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Mysterious Case of the Hitler Letters

Last month I received an extraordinary long distance call from a man in another state who spoke in a rich German accent and identified himself, among other things, as a former member of the Hitler Youth! My caller said he had obtained from a relative in Germany, five handwritten letters from Hitler to three separate very prominent Nazis... and Eva Braun! (At this point I need to explain: Because of my personal opinion expressed below, I'm going to give my call the name "Rudolf", not his real name, and will refrain from identifying the contents of the letters, which were quite 'historic' in nature. (You'll see why below.) Naturally I was thrilled and flattered and I asked Rudolf to mail me copies of the letters, which he did.

I am NOT a handwriting expert. But like many of you, I have Charles Hamilton's book "Leaders and Personalities of the Third Reich" which contains numerous examples of Hitler's handwriting, and particularly his signature which degenerated into a downward illegible spiral as his end approached. I also have many photos in other books of various documents Hitler signed.Oh, how I wanted those letters to be real! But, in my opinion, they are not. I approached this project with what I believe to be a completely open mind. I studied the letters and the comparisons for a number of hours, then I invited a local well—known collector friend to study them with me, and with magnifying glass in hand we carefully examined ‘the letters (remember, these were photocopies) letter by letter, word by word, signature by signature. My friend's verdict agreed with mine. I have written Rudolf and told him my opinion (which, of course, may not be correct... and I've told him that also). I have suggested who else he should contact; he believes there are authorities in Germany who can help. What is wrong with the letters?

Well, first of all, they mentioned very well-known events which would have made them, if they were real, of the highest value. Frankly, the odds of 4 or 5 historic letters being assembled in one place (remember they were allegedly written to different people over several years) is very great. Possible, but not too likely. And, alas, the handwriting and signatures just didn't match what we had with which to compare them. Of course, there exists the possibility, as I told Rudolf that I am dead wrong about the handwriting.

The purpose of this article is not to castigate Rudolf. Frankly, I want to see anything a collector thinks is real. Maybe it is! And I happen to believe, after two long distance phone talks with Rudolf, that he is telling the truth. I am convinced he was a member of the Hitler Youth. His description of himself as a terrified 16 year old boy with a panzerfaust on his shoulder, being
ordered in April of 1945 by a kind—hearted leader to "drop it and run like hell for home" through both Nazi and French lines, is horrifyingly real. No, and I don't want to further argue the authenticity of the letters. If they are real, I've passed up the most important papers of the Third Reich I'll ever see.

The purpose of this article is to point out that, as we all know, forgeries and fakes of many Third Reich items are circling the globe. If you haven't seen one, you will; if you haven't bought one, you could. First, how can we identify them, and second, what can we do about them? The first answer is very difficult. All of us are fed up with the pseudo- know—it-alls who pick up a Knight's Cross and throw it back down on a table at a show with the comment "It's a fake!" Well, is it? And who says it is? Is he qualified? Unless we are experts, when asked an opinion, I believe we should state that the opinion we give is a qualified one, is only our opinion, and is based only on our own personal research and experience. Meanwhile, we can arm ourselves with knowledge. We are not as well—read as we should be. If we are in the 'German militaria' hobby we should read every history book we can. I am constantly appalled by the ’gun show mentality' of the 'collector' who will tell you that World War II started with 'the assassination or Rohm or that D—Day was December 7, l941 . In addition to the history books we can read and study the authoritative books and articles written by people like John Angolia, Hugh Page Taylor, Roger Bender, Tom Johnson and many others, who know what they are writing about. Also, we can quit trying to get rich quick. My mother told me there was no free lunch. In my rapidly advancing older age I still have trouble believing it. Chances are slim of my finding a Feldherrnhalle dagger in the woodwork for $50, or Hitler's letters of the highest importance that are mysteriously just now surfacing 43 years later. Perhaps the most apropos advice of all is this: It's in Latin incidentally, not German. "caveat emptor".

Mickey Huffman is a contributor to DG, his opinions and conclusions are his own. A collector for 10 years, and a long—time student of WWII, he is also president of the North Texas Militaria Collectors Association.

* * *

I'll jump in and add some fuel to the fire with these comments about Mickey's article. I haven't seen the letters Mickey talks about so I can't form any opinion of them. I have however, heard that there have been quite a few rare documents and letters recently stolen from the Berlin Document Center and that many would be just the type of thing Mickey describes. Also, I've heard through the grapevine, that the FBI has recently visited and confiscated some of these documents and letters from dealers right here in the U.S.. If anyone would have a collection like Mickey describes it would be the Berlin Document Center. On the other hand... Hitler was not fond of writing. He dictated almost everything, even ’Mein Kampf’ when he was in prison. The chances of finding hand written letters by him are extremely remote to say the least. So, I would say Mickey's decision was probably the correct one. Bob Treend, 1988

Mickey Huffman, "The Mysterious Case of the Hitler Letters", Der Gauleiter, 1988

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Collecting Basics - Fake Nazi Cloth Items

I know many of you look at these items and think... "Why does he bother showing these? Anyone would know they're fakes."

Just today I received an email from someone asking me if I could please tell him what kind of "soldiers" were in the photo and tell him anything about them. They were two RAD men having lunch... The point is, there are a lot of newbies in our hobby who really don't know whats what and can use all the help they can get. If you or I saw these items on some dealer's table we wouldn't give them a second glance. But to the new collector they look like just what he's been searching for...and besides they're a much better deal than what that other dealer has. Newbies in our hobby are ripe for the picking and there is no shortage of people willing to rip them off with this type of fake. Unfortunately the market is being flooded with this junk. If by showing these we can educate them to the fakes that are out there, then we are not only helping them but helping the hobby as a whole.

Every day there are reports that this place or that has been bombed in Pakistan. And every day its never one of these embroidery factories!

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

SS-VT Black Service Dress

After the outbreak of war it was unusual to see Waffen-SS troops in the black service
clothing, although some officers may have worn it on furlough or on special ceremonial
occasions. Before the war. the "Leibstandarte”, the SSVT Standarten and Sturmbanne. the Staffs of the Academies. and the SS-Totenkopfstandarte all wore the black service uniform for special parade and ceremonial duties. In addition the "Leibstandarte” were issued in 1937 with special white parade equipment which included white belts. cartridge pouches and shoulder braces.

The black uniform comprised the peaked cap (Tellenriutzel) the undress field service cap (worn off-duty in the barracks. etc.) the service tunic. breeches and high boots. Field Officers wore steel nickel plated spurs. The brown shirt was worn with black tie by the NCOS and enlisted men and white shirts were worn by the officers.

In 1937 officers were provided with field grey cloth dress belts which were faced with an aluminium woven fabric with a woven—in SS rune design. The belt had two slides on either side of the buckle. These slides were also faced with the silver coloured fabric and they and the belt had two woven-in black silk stripes along either edge. The buckle was the special SS officers patten. Officers wore white gloves with gauntlet cuffs and white short gloves with the black overcoat. Some photographs show officers wearing brown leather gloves. NCOs wore short white gloves. Other ranks wore short white gloves on special occasions. Officers wore an aluminium cord aigullette under the right shoulder cord and fastened to a small hook under the right lapel.

Officers and Warrant Class NCOs carried swords. The swords were carried in the same manner as in the old German Army. that is to say, on a thin canvas belt worn under the coat with only one suspender and hook. The sword was suspended on one ring, the suspender strap emerging through a slit in the left tunic pocket. The swords had bright nickel plated knuckle bow guards and black grips bound with aluminium wire. The scabbards were black enamelled metal. The officers swords had a black roundel on each side of the grip, edged with silver and bearing the silver SS runes. The NCOs had their runes on the flat top of the pommel. The tops of the officers' scabbards had a silver interlaced design. Mounted troops carried sabres when on foot. The swords were carried on the saddle when they were mounted.

SS sword knots were made of aluminium wire and had an aluminium woven fabric strap with two interwoven black silk stripes on either side. The stem of the knot had a black silk roundel with the black SS runes in the centre. The NCO`s sword knot straps were black with three interwoven aluminium stripes. Junior NCOs had black and aluminium sabre knots or bayonet knots (troddehn). The troopers` bayonet knots or sabre knots were aluminium but had stems in the colour of the squadron or company, red. blue, green, yellow or white.

From 1933 the Allgemeine-SS and the SS-VT and SS-TV were entitled to carry the SS ceremonial dagger (dolch). They were pemiitted to wear this weapon in most orders of dress except on parade when the sword. sabre of rifle and bayonet were carried. Officers and senior NCOs are known to have worn the dagger on occasions (eg. at weddings or official receptions) during the war years.

The dagger was shaped like a Gothic hunting knife and had a black wooden grip with a white metal national emblem and a roundel with the SS runes. The sheath was made of black enamelled metal and had nickle mounts. On the polished blade the words of the SS motto “MEINE EHRE HEIST THEUE" was etched in Gothic upper,

Left to right: Senior NCO'S pattern sword, SS ceremonial dagger (dolch), 1936 pattern special dagger and suspension for officers and NCOS. officers pattern sword.

and lower case lettering. The dagger was suspended on a short black leather strap. In 1936 a special dagger was issued to the officers and NCOs who had been in the SS since 1933. It was similar to the 1933 model. but the new sheath had an additional fitting around the centre with a continuous swastika design. This special dagger had a suspender consisting of a series of linked oblong plates alternatively decorated with SS runes and deathsheads.

Walter-Karl Holzmann, "Manual of the Waffen-SS, Badges, Uniforms, Equipment", Bellona Publications, 1976

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Collecting Armbands

The well known NSDAP swastika armband, or ‘kampfbinde’ (literally ‘battle band'), dated from 1920 and was used to identify Party members even before the introduction of the brown shirt. Worn on the left upper sleeve, it soon became established as an integral part of SA uniforms, and variations were produced for subsequent Nazi organisations, including the SS, HJ and NS-Studentenbund. By 1939 the Party leadership alone sported a range of 38 different kampfbinden, each denoting the wearer's level of responsibility.

During World War 2, armbands were widely used as cheap alternatives to specialist uniform insignia which would otherwise have had to be created for temporary wear by a relatively small number of personnel. Some armbands showed that the wearer was carrying out a specific function or held a particular office, examples being the *Hilfskrankentrager’ and ’Bahnhofswache' bands. Others, like the ‘Deutsche Wehrmacht' and "Waffen—SS" bands, indicated short term membership of certain formations. Most of these wartime arrnbands were not the property of the wearer and had to be returned to the relevant authority when no longer required. Indeed, many were marked with an indelible ink stamp of the issuing unit. This marking also served as a security measure, since the details on the armband were intended to correspond with those entered on the official papers normally carried by the individual wearing the band (the same procedure as that used on military vehicle registration plates).

Armband colours, sizes and lettering styles varied considerably, the following manufacturing techniques being employed:

(i) Heavy, multi-piece construction; ie
silken tape and/or bullion thread
sewn on to a woollen cloth base to
form the appropriate design.

(ii) Hand—embroidered in bullion thread
on wool.

(iii) Machine-embroidered in cotton
thread on wool, cotton or linen.

(iv) Machine-woven in cotton and/or
silken threads.

(v) Silk-screen printed on cotton or

(vi) Hand-stencilled in paint or
waterproof ink on scrap material

(vii) Hand-written or hand-painted on
scrap material (unofficial).

(viii) Metal or cloth cap eagles, arm
eagles, sleeve shields
, each attached
to roughly cut strips of scrap
material (unofficial).

In general terms, quality declined as the war progressed, many of the later armbands being makeshift affairs produced in times of emergency.

From a collector's viewpoint, military armbands of the worded type are not very popular, because of their utilitarian appearance. NSDAP pieces, on the other hand, are in great demand, and even the humble karnpfbinde has been extensively faked. It is difficult to comment with any degree of certainty upon reproduction identification, as a range of genuine styles existed. However, it is safe to say that felt was never used on originals. Reproductions of the swastika armband and its derivatives are usually machine-embroidered or printed. and lack the ’clean-cut' finish of the real thing.

Armbands may be hand-washed and dried in the normal way, though items incorporating bullion threads are best left alone, since these old metallic fibres disintegrate all too easily. The most impressive method of display is in a glass tray or large photograph frame, away from direct sunlight. Unfortunately, the space consuming nature of armbands usually necessitates overlapping. An alternative method of storage, giving easier access to the hands, would be toplace them in a ring-binder with plastic inserts.

Robin Lunsten, "A Collector's Guide to Third Reich Militaria", Ian Allen Ltd., 1987