Original German WWII Croatian 13th Waffen SS Mountain Division "Handschar" Collar Tab - Unissued
Original Item: Only One Available. Here we have an excellent unissued right side Collar Tab, used by the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS "Handschar" (1st Croatian). The tab measures approximately 2 3/4" x 2 1/4". Known as Kragenpatte in German, these were attached to the collars to indicate the rank and branch of the wearer. This example shows a Swas (Swas), next to a hand holding a sword, and is made of black fabric with silver thread and an internal lacquered buckram fabric stiffener. We have heard that many of these were made at the Dachau camp, and many were recovered at the end of the war when the camp was liberated. There is however no concrete evidence regarding this.
The insignia is in excellent condition, most likely unissued, and was never attached to a uniform. Ready to add to your collection!
Notable history of the 13th Waffen SS Mountain Division "Handschar" (1st Croatian Division) include:
- Approved to form as an SS unit February 13, 1943, as the first non-Germanic SS foreign volunteer division. These men were not authorized wear of the SS runic emblem, and they wore this distinctive collar insignia instead.
- Prior to the formation of the division, approval also had to be granted by the Croatian government
- 26,000 men were recruited by mid-1943.
- In February 1944, the division served in Bosnia, Serbia, and Sirmium completing anti-Partisan operations.
- Late 1944, the Division served in southern Hungary in front-line fighting against the advancing Russians.
- May 8th 1945 the division surrendered to British troops.
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