Original German WWII Unissued 3rd SS Panzer Division Death's Head Totenkopf Collar Tab - Schutzstaffel
Original Item: Only One Available. The SS (Schutzstaffel - 'Protection Squadron') was originally formed in 1925, ostensibly to act as a small, loyal bodyguard unit to protect the Führer, Adolf H. 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 NSDAP and eventually controlled nearly every function of German life and much of Occupied Europe.
When WWII began in earnest, the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) (SS Dispositional Troops) became the Waffen-SS ("Armed SS"), an official military branch of the SS organization. Its formations included men from NSDAP ruled Germany, along with volunteers and conscripts from both occupied and unoccupied lands.
Here we have a very nice right side Collar Tab, with the famous SS-Totenkopf (SS - Death's Head) insignia embroidered on to the black base with silver thread. This is the unit emblem of the 3rd SS Panzer Division "Totenkopf" (German: 3. SS-Panzerdivision "Totenkopf"). The tab measures approximately 1 1/2" x 2 1/2". Known as Kragenpatte (Collar Flap) in German, these were attached to the collars to indicate the rank and branch of the wearer. This example is made of black fabric with silver thread and an internal fabric stiffener. We have examined it thoroughly, and the construction is absolutely correct for a WWII original.
The insignia is in very good condition, most likely unissued, and was never attached to a uniform. Ready to add to your collection!
More on the 3rd SS Panzer Division "Totenkopf":
This elite division of the Waffen-SS of NSDAP Germany during World War II formed from the Standarten of the SS-TV. Its name, Totenkopf, is German for "death's head" – the skull and crossbones symbol – and it is thus sometimes referred to as the Death's Head Division.
The division was formed through the expansion of Kampfgruppe Eicke, a battle group named – in keeping with German military practice – after its commander, Theodor Eicke. Most of the battle group's personnel had been transferred to the Waffen SS from KZ camp guard units, which were known collectively as SS-Totenkopfverbände; others were former members of Selbstschutz: ethnic German militias that had committed war crimes in Poland.
The division became notorious for its brutality, and committed numerous war crimes, including the Le Paradis massacre.
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