Original German WWII Embroidered Waffen SS Italian Volunteer Shield Sleeve Insignia
Original Items: Very Few Available. These are some lovely textbook examples of WWII German Italienische Freiwillige Waffen SS Ärmelabzeichen (Italian Volunteer Waffen SS sleeve insignia). They are constructed with Gold and Red machine embroidery, showing the Italian "Fasces" insignia of the Fascist Party in Italy, with a border around it. The insignia measures approximately 2 1/2" x 2", and is embroidered onto black "Badge cloth. These were usually sewn to the sleeve of the uniform.
We have heard that many of these were made at the Dachau camp, and many unissued examples were recovered at the end of the war when the camp was liberated. There is however no concrete evidence regarding this.
These insignia are in excellent condition, most likely unissued, and were never attached to a uniform. Ready to add to your collection!
During World War II, the Waffen-SS recruited significant numbers of non-Germans, both as volunteers and conscripts. In total some 500,000 non-Germans and ethnic Germans from outside Germany, mostly from German-occupied Europe, were recruited between 1940 and 1945. The units were under the control of the SS Führungshauptamt (SS Command Main Office) beneath Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Upon mobilization, the units' tactical control was given to the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (High Command of the Armed Forces).
The Italian volunteer units were originally created in the puppet Italian Social Republic in 1943 as the Italian Legion, later renamed to a brigade. The unit was upgraded to division status on 10 February 1945, becoming the 29. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (italienische Nr. 1) (29th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Italian)). It was also referred to as the Legione SS Italiana (Italian SS Legion).
The Kingdom of Italy on 8 September 1943 signed an armistice with the Allies. In response, the German Army and the Waffen-SS disarmed Italian troops unless they were fighting for the German cause. The new Italian Social Republic was founded on 23 September 1943 under dictator Benito Mussolini. On 2 October 1943, Heinrich Himmler and Gottlob Berger devised the Programm zur Aufstellung der italienischen Milizeinheiten durch die Waffen-SS ("Program for the deployment of Italian militia forces by the Waffen-SS") which was approved by Adolf and Benito Mussolini.
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