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Original German WWII Waffen SS Gebirgsjäger Mountain Trooper Cap & Sleeve Edelweiß Badge Set

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Set Available. This is a fantastic unissued German WWII Waffen SS Gebirgsjäger Mountain Trooper insignia set, showing the iconic flower of the Leontopodium nivale plant. Known as the Alpen-Edelweiß (Mountain Noble White) in German, this has been the symbol of the Gebirgsjäger of the mountain regions of Germany and Austria since their formation.

The set consists of both the Ärmel (Sleeve) and Mützen (cap) Edelweiß badges, both machine embroidered on black badge cloth. The cap badge measures about 2 3/4" by 1 7/8", and is definitely an SS version, as the regular army preferred to use the metal insignia. The sleeve badge measures about 3" x 2 1/4", and has the correct solid white oval border and white leaves of the SS version of the badge. The Army version has green leaves, and a border meant to look like the lines and pitons used when mountain climbing.

A great set that would be nearly impossible to improve upon! Ready to add to your collection!

Gebirgsjäger are the light infantry part of the alpine or mountain troops (Gebirgstruppe) of Germany and Austria. The word Jäger (meaning "hunter" or "huntsman") is a characteristic term used for light-infantry or light-infantryman in German-speaking military context.

The mountain infantry of Austria have their roots in the three Landesschützen regiments of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The mountain infantry of Germany carry on certain traditions of the Alpenkorps (Alpine corps) of World War I. Both countries' mountain infantry share the Edelweiß insignia. It was established in 1907 as a symbol of the Austro-Hungarian Landesschützen regiments by Emperor Franz Joseph I. These troops wore their edelweiss on the collar of their uniforms. When the Alpenkorps came to aid the Landesschützen in defending Austria-Hungary's southern frontier against the Italian attack in May 1915, the grateful Landesschützen honoured the men of the Alpenkorps by awarding them their own insignia: the edelweiss. Together with the Fallschirmjäger (Paratroopers) they are perceived as the elite infantry units of the German Army.

During World War II the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS raised a number of mountain infantry units. An entire corps was formed in Norway by 1941. Its divisions were lightly equipped, with much of the transport provided by mules. These mountain infantry were equipped with fewer automatic weapons than regular infantry, however the MG 34 or MG 42 machine gunners were provided with more ammunition than their regular infantry counterparts. Mountain infantry were identified by the edelweiss insignia worn on their sleeves and their caps.

Mountain infantry participated in many battles, including Operation Weserübung, Operation Silver Fox, Operation Platinum Fox and Operation Arctic Fox, the operations in the Caucasus, the Gothic Line, the invasion of Crete and the battles in the Vosges region of France. Special equipment was made for them including the G33/40 mauser rifle based on the VZ.33 rifle.

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