H051476 GEORGIAN VOLUNTEER'S SLEEVE SHIELD. (Georgien 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 with one legion being formed from the Georgian region of south west Russia. Shortly after formation, personnel serving in the Georgian Legion were issued an identifying national sleeve shield to be worn on the upper right sleeve of the field uniform.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 1 5/8", (4cm), tall, 2 1/4", (5.7cm), wide, woven white cotton base with the official, screen printed, pattern consisting of a red, ornate, shield with a scalloped top edge with extended rectangular tips and a pointed bottom tip with a fine, black, outer border stripe and small, horizontal, black and white bars in the top, left hand, corner. The top edge of the shield has a black bar with white, capitalized, Latin script, "Georgien". The shield is still on its original white cotton/rayon factory roll and is in overall excellent, unissued condition with minor age toning and minimal fraying to the outer edges of the factory roll.

GRADE ****1/4                                                 PRICE $59.00

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