WWII German Waffen SS Italian Volunteers Sleeve Shield
Item #: WR58
This is a World War II German Waffen SS Italian Volunteer's sleeve shield. This sleeve shield is 65mm tall, 60 mm wide, has a flat top and rounded bottom. It is constructed of black wool that has a machine embroidered, golden yellow fasces bordered in red threads and encompassed by a golden yellow shield shaped border. This example is in overall excellent condition. As early as 1938 Heinrich Himmler and the General SS began recruiting volunteer Germanic personnel who were considered to be suitably "Nordic" to serve in the SS-VT and SS Special Purpose Troops. Originally these Germanic personnel were drawn from the Dutch, Belgian, Danes and Norwegians but with only minor success. In March of 1940 with the formation of the Waffen-SS recruitment of the Germanic personnel began to increase slightly and with the outbreak of WWII additional Germanic volunteers came forward to join the ranks of the Waffen-SS. The invasion of the Balkans in 1941 brought forward another pool of suitable ethnic German personnel available for voluntary enlistment in the Waffen-SS. The invasion of Russia on 22 June, 1941 and the war against Bolshevism resulted in the Waffen-SS experiencing another surge in recruits willing to serve with the Germans. As the war continued and man-power shortages became severe the standard criteria for acceptance into the Waffen-SS was decreased dramatically and numerous personnel who would have been unacceptable in 1939 were readily conscripted into service in the Waffen-SS. By the end of the war more than half of all the personnel serving in the Waffen-SS were non-Germans. With the arrest and imprisonment of Italy's Duce benito Mussolini on 25 July, 1943, Italy immediately became embroiled in a virtual civil war between the pro and anti fascist elements within the country. On 8 September, 1943 Italy officially ended hostilities with the allies and four days later Mussolini was rescued by the Germans and set up the puppet Italian Social Republic government in northern Italy. In October and November of 1943 the Germans began to enlist pro-fascist Italians and the 1st Italian Volunteer Assault Brigade of the Armed Militia in southern Germany. I January of 1944 this brigade returned to Italy and participated in the battle of the Anzio beachhead in the spring of that year. Originally Italian personnel of the brigade wore red collar patches with a silver fasces but in recognition of their service in the battle of Anzio a black tab with a silver fasces was introduced for wear on 5 June, 1944. In September of 1944 the 1st brigade was upgraded to Divisional status and eventually evolved into the 29th Waffen Grenadier Division of SS.
Your Price $87.50 USD
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