BACKGROUND: Formed in late 1932 the Deutscher Luftschutzverband (German Air Protection League), was a voluntary organization designed to provide civil air raid protection in large civilian centers. Shortly after Hitler ascension to power the Deutscher Luftschutzverband was restructured and placed under the supervision of the RLM, Reichsluftfahrtministerium, (National Ministry of Aviation), under the control of Hermann Göring. On April 29TH 1933 the Deutscher Luftschutzverband was renamed RLB, Reichs Luftschutz Bund, (National Air Raid Protection League) and was given status as an official national organization tasked with all aspects of civil air raid defence. The RLB remained a voluntary organization with a small cadre of paid, full-time uniformed officials to oversee the organizations functions until June 1935 when obligatory service was introduced. RLB uniform regulations were first addressed in 1933 and included a box belt buckle and a blackened leather belt for all EM/NCO ranks. The first pattern, (Circa 1933), belt buckle was replaced with a second pattern in May 1937 and in January 1939 a third and final pattern EM/NCO’s belt buckle was introduced. Although the newer belt buckles were intended to replace the earlier patterns all three were worn through-out the war. All three RLB EM/NCO’s belt buckles were also worn by enlisted personnel serving with the SHD, Sicherheits und Hilfdienst, (Security and Assistance Service), and the Wasserstrassenbeamten, (Canal and Waterways Officials). Of Note: The first pattern RLB EM/NCO’s buckle was almost identical to the buckle worn by personnel of the DLV, Deutscher Luftsport Verband, (German Air Sports League), which was established on March 25TH 1933 by incorporating all civilian flying clubs into the one organization. Both the DLV and RLB buckles featured the early, (Circa 1927-1934), NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), style national eagle with the DLV eagle having straight wings and the RLB eagle having slightly downward angled wings. Also Of Note: In September 1933 the DLV was further enlarged by incorporating the SA and SS Fliegersturm groups. The DLV was utilized as a camouflage civilian organization to train personnel for the future Luftwaffe. As a civilian organization it was able to circumvent the restrictions imposed by the Versailles Treaty, which prohibited a German military air service. The DLV was divided into two distinct groups with the main group consisting of civilians and a second group, entitled the Fliegerschaft, (Pilot Base), which was the secret military branch of the DLV. With the official unveiling of the Luftwaffe on February 26TH 1935, the DLV lost a substantial amount of its manpower and its previous function as a secret training ground for future pilots was rendered redundant. As a result the DLV was disbanded on April 17TH 1937 with its remaining membership being absorbed into the newly reconstituted NSFK.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Rare badge for the Wasserstrassenluftschutz. Machine woven silver/white on a blue background.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $495.00

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