H044276 ARMENIAN VOLUNTEER'S SLEEVE SHIELD. (Armenien Landeschilde)

BACKGROUND: With the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22ND 1941 the German army encountered large segments of the non-ethnic Russian populace that greeted them as liberators from the yoke of Bolshevism. Although Hitler was suspicious of the ethnic make-up and loyalty of these personnel the German commanders in the field quickly saw the advantage of utilizing these willing personnel in non-combatant roles. As a result of manpower restrictions the German army began employing non-ethnic Russian POW’s and volunteers as laborers and supply personnel in the rear areas as early as the summer of 1941 against the express wishes of Hitler. In an attempt to convince the Turkistanis to ally themselves with the German cause, Hitler finally allowed the formation of a Turkistan Legion in November 1941 which was to be attached to the German 162ND Infantry Division as a parent and training unit. In December 1941 Hitler permitted three more foreign volunteer legions to be formed from non-ethnic Russian personnel including the Armenian Legion. As with other foreign volunteer legions members of the Armenian legion were allocated an identifying sleeve shield insignia that was introduced in 1942. The Armenian sleeve shield utilized the colors of the Independent Armenian Republic which was only in existence from 1918 to 1921.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: First and only pattern, printed, (silk screened), identifying sleeve shield consists of a scalloped topped, pointed bottom, shield shape base with three horizontal bars in red, blue and yellow with a narrow black outer border. The top of the shield has an additional horizontal black bar with yellow script, "Armenien". The shield still has its original yellow cotton factory roll edging. Some light stains. Scarce. (Ex Philippe Gillain Collection)

GRADE *** 3/4                                                 PRICE $79.00

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