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ONSV4955

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Original German WWII SS Shoulder Boards Grouping with Croatian SS "Handschar" Division Insignia

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Original Item: Only One Set Available. The SS (Schutzstaffel) was originally formed in 1925, ostensibly to act as a small, loyal bodyguard unit to protect the Führer, Adolf AH. Under the direction of the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the SS grew to be the most ruthless and feared organization of the 20th century. They were the vanguard of Germany eventually controlled nearly every function of German life and much of Occupied Europe.

This is a very nice set of German WWII SS Schulterstücken (Shoulderboards), along with some insignia from the 13th Waffen SS Mountain Division "Handschar" (1st Croatian). The SS used a rank and insignia system separate from the standard Wehrmacht ranks, which can sometimes make them difficult to identify. This very nice set consists of the following:

- One Panzer SS-Obersturmbannführer (SS-Senior assault unit leader) Rank Shoulderboard, a rank roughly equivalent to a Lt. Colonel. It has the correct black felt backing with an intact strap underneath, for securing around the shoulder loop. This is the more advanced of the officer design, with a single pips, and consists of 4 rows of interwoven silver bullion "Russia Braid" trim. The Waffenfarbe (corps color) around the shoulderboard is Rosa (Rose Pink) for SS Panzers (Armored Troops) and Panzerjäger (Tank Destroyers).

- One Pair of SS-Untersturmführer (SS-Second/Junior assault leader) Rank Shoulderboards, a rank roughly equivalent to 2nd Lieutenant. These have a black felt backing with intact straps underneath, for securing them around the shoulder loop. These are the simplest of the officer design, with no pips, and consists of 4 rows of silver bullion "Russia Braid" trim, that go around both sides. They are in very good condition, and appear to be fully matched, complete with a single button.

- One Panzer SS Enlisted Man Rank Shoulderboard, for ranks ranging from SS-Schütze (SS-Rifleman or Private) to SS-Rottenführer (SS-Squad leader or Corporal). It has the correct charcoal gray felt backing with an intact black strap underneath, for securing around the shoulder loop. The design is simply a black field with piping around the end, the simplest of al SS shoulderboards. The Waffenfarbe (corps color) around the shoulderboard is Rosa (Rose Pink) for SS Panzers (Armored Troops) and Panzerjäger (Tank Destroyers).

- One Artillery SS Enlisted Man Rank Shoulderboard, for ranks ranging from SS-Schütze (SS-Rifleman or Private) to SS-Rottenführer (SS-Squad leader or Corporal). It has the correct charcoal gray felt backing with an intact black strap underneath, for securing around the shoulder loop. The design is simply a black field with piping around the end, the simplest of al SS shoulderboards. The Waffenfarbe (corps color) around the shoulderboard is Scharlachrot (Scarlet) for Artillery Troops, including assault guns and flak.

- One 13th Waffen SS Mountain Division "Handschar" (1st Croatian) Stick Pin. This features the SS dual ᛋᛋ "Sig rune" marking, with the hand holding a sword insignia of the Handschar division.

- One Croatian SS Checkerboard Shield Insignia. This is the shield coat of arms of Croatia, and was worn by members of the 13th Waffen SS Mountain Division "Handschar" (1st Croatian) and 23rd Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Kama (2nd Croatian).

There is some light wear and color fading on some items, but this really is a nice set. These would be perfect to dress up some SS uniforms, or just to collect on their own. Ready to display!

The Allgemeine-SS, (General-SS), was originally formed in May 1923 as the Stosstrupp Adolf AH, (Shock Troops Adolf AH), and was redesignated Schutzstaffel, (Protection Squad), in April 1925 with the official acceptance of the name verified on the second anniversary of the failed Munich "Beer-Hall" Putsch on November 9TH 1925. On January 6TH 1929 Heinrich Himmler was appointed as Reichsführer-SS, (National Leader {of the} SS), and on July 20TH 1934 shortly after the, June 30TH 1934, purge of the SA, Sturm Abteilung, (Storm Troopers) on the "Night of the Long Knives", the SS was rewarded by AH by being granted the status of an independent organization under direct control of the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party). The SS developed the distinctive SS style cap skull and cross bones on October 6TH 1934 and introduced the SS pattern national cap eagle in February 1936. After their introductions the skull and eagle were to be worn on all forms of SS headgear. In 1944 the SS developed a single piece of cap insignia which incorporated both the skull and eagle on a one piece trapezoid base for wear on the M43 field cap. Originally these trapezoidal pieces of insignia were produced in a machine woven version until a final, embroidered version was introduced in late 1944. The first versions of the trapezoidal cap insignia featured dual rows of teeth in the skull while later versions only had a single row of teeth. Panzer personnel’s cap trapezoids were produced with a black base to match the color of the cap it was to be worn on.

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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