Question regarding SS division insignia/emblem

German SS and Waffen-SS 1923-1945.
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Question regarding SS division insignia/emblem

Post by Snorre » Thu Oct 03, 2002 4:44 am

Hi,

The SS Division insignia, have a bit "missing" in the upper left or upper right corner (se examples below). Why is that so, and is there a point in the right vs. left corner missing?

2 SS 11 SS
Image Image

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Post by Mark C Yerger » Thu Oct 03, 2002 6:23 am

I'd been told years ago by Jost Schneider that the shield design represented ancient Nordic traditions and the missing corner was that the owner's shield (the unit) had a piece broken off during battle, but have no document confirmation or similar comment from others. I also wondered who designed each of the emblems, knowing only that for the LAH was designed by Knight's Cross holder August Trabandt per Rudolf Lehmann and excahnges with Trabandt's children.

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Missing sheild portion

Post by Craig » Thu Oct 03, 2002 8:27 am

I may be wrong, but I am pretty sure that the segment missing was in order for the Knights lance to be kept close to his sheild whilst jousting, thus making himself as small a target as possible. This method was, I believe, used by many countries.

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Post by Mark C Yerger » Thu Oct 03, 2002 8:37 am

Craig

Makes sense to me, as I said just going by the only explanation I was given. Any ideas as to who designed the various divisional emblems ?

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Post by Snorre » Thu Oct 03, 2002 9:01 am

Hi,

Thanks for suggestions, but my Q concerned the emblem, not real shields :D

No (?) Heer emblems have a piece missing .... :?: :?:


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No sure why, but.....

Post by Chris » Thu Oct 03, 2002 10:15 am

...they are somehow connected to the type of division:

Missing Right corner: (SS-Panzer Division)

Leibstandarte (LSSAH)
Das Reich
Totenkopf
Wiking
Hohenstaufen
Frundsberg
Hitlerjugend

Missing Left corner: (SS-Panzer-Grenadier Division)

Polizei Division
Nordland
Reichführer-SS
G.v.B.
"Horst Wessel"
Nederland
Wallonien
"Nibelungen"

Missing middlepart: (SS-Gebirgs-Division + SS-Kavallerie-Division)
Nord (Geb.)
Prinz Eugen (Geb.)
Florian Geyer (Kav.)
Handschar (Geb.)
Skanderbeg (Geb.)
Maria Theresa (Kav.)
"Karstjäger" (Kav.)
"Lützow" (Kav.)

Full shield (No parts missing): Infantry, all other types: (SS-Division)
Galizische no. I
Lettische no. I
Landstorm Nederland
Polizei-Division (no. II)
Dirlewanger
Charlemange
30. Januar
"B.-M."
Esttische no. I
ETC.

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Chris

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Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » Thu Oct 03, 2002 10:33 am

Chris is right about the cutouts, though these full shields are a postwar development, probably by the HIAG. The designs were made by various people, as Mark indicated, the Dietrich design was originated by August Wilhelm Trabandt and his battalion of LAH during the western campaign of 1940, since they had been the "key" to force open several important defensive positions. Martin Kohlroser liked the design, and introduced it to his battalion in a separate color, and from there, it spread to the entire LAH.

Supposedly, Paul Hausser himself was sketching the matching Siegrunes as found on an SS collarpartch, and found that by making the base of one shorter, and then shortening the top of the other, he had created a design that resembled a traditional wolfsangel. This was the source of Das Reich's "kampf rune."

The symbol of the Hitlerjugend Division was designed by Rttf. Fritz Lang of the divisional staff. This is per Meyer's divisional history.

The 12-point Buck symbol of the 31. SS-Freiwlligen Grenadier Division was supposedly selected personally by commander Gustav Lombard, though I'm not sure if created the design. This is per Rudolf Pencz' research.

The famous helmet of the Nibelungen Division is a post-war creation, their wartime symbol was apparently a bird's head over SS Siegrunes.

I believe that in many units, as with Hitlerjugend, contests were held to choose the symbol, based on designs submitted my members. I recall that Vopersal's Totenkopf history included several designs considered for the title page of the IV. SS-Panzerkorps newspaper, along with the names of the designers. However, the above are the only cases I could specifically identify at this moment.

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Elite troops and sheilds

Post by Craig » Thu Oct 03, 2002 11:20 am

It's starting to make sense now. :idea:

With the pre-occupation of all things knightly and crusader-like it in the Third Reich, it seems that the Panzer divisions etc. had the segments missing, a tie-in with medievil knights.
As we move to the 'lowly' infantry, there is no missing segment, which makes sense as the infantry or mounted soldiers were not allowed to joust therefore not requiring the notch.
It may seem to some a tenuous link but I am pretty confident that this was the case. Keeping in mind Hitlers fascination with Medievil Knights and the Crusades etc. it ties in with the thinking of the day.

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Post by Snorre » Thu Oct 03, 2002 12:18 pm

Thanks for great replies!!! :D :D :D

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Post by Snorre » Thu Oct 03, 2002 12:29 pm

Marc Rikmenspoel wrote:Chris is right about the cutouts, though these full shields are a postwar development, probably by the HIAG.
Hi Marc,

What do you mean by post-war development?

... and what is HIAG ....? :oops:

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W-SS divisional insignia on shields

Post by Paul Hanson » Thu Oct 03, 2002 2:53 pm

HIAG is the Waffen-SS veterans organization.

The earliest I've run across W-SS divisional emblems in shields were in the Ballintine's and Purnell's stuff from the late 60's early 70's. Most that I've seen are just painted directly on vehicles with the exception of LAH, GvB, and possibly Fründsberg for a while, using a shield background.

PH

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Post by Mark C Yerger » Thu Oct 03, 2002 8:19 pm

HIAG was rather liberal in its early research days within "Wiking Ruf" and "Der Freiwillige", such as with imagined SS badges that then appeared in medal books and some non-existing units. Walter Harzer was the historian at that time and was serious though started with nothing and accepted a lot of incorrect recollected or unsupported data. The divisional and corps histories written were done by individuals with little overall HIAG contribution, the person or units vets obtaining or providing the research material, diaries, etc.. I know in several cases the author was considered a contributor and not paid. From older issues of DF and VR in the 50s and 60s, many emblems were probably created to represent the individual unit associations that existed at the time.

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Post by Marc Rikmenspoel » Thu Oct 03, 2002 11:13 pm

As Mark indicated, many unit insignia were postwar creations, used to represent the various veterans' groups. Only some were authentic wartime insignia, and few of those ever appeared on a shield during the war (though I have seen photos of LAH and Wiking insignia within shields).
Harzer pioneered the study of this field, but inevitably, many mistakes were made along the way. And other authors used their own imaginations, which is how the alleged "SS at Kursk" symbols spread. Das Reich DID use the "TT" upside down, but LAH did NOT use "T" upside down, and Totenkopf simply used "III" without any bars. LAH had an upside down "TTT" with the right-most bar at only half height, but this does not seem to have been used in practice.
This remains an interesting field, as little photographic documentation exists for the use of symbols by the more obscure formations.

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hiag

Post by HaEn » Fri Oct 04, 2002 6:48 am

Sorry to say so, but HIAG WAS the aid organisation of te Waffen SS. It is now defunct, because there was not enough membership of veterans. It was getting lonely at those meetings. :( Anyway, onlyat the very most 20 years, and we'll all be in Walhalla. HN.

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"Dietrich" is the Key

Post by lennardg » Fri Oct 04, 2002 6:56 am

I once read (in "Panzer Colours") that the reason the LAH had a key in it´s shield was a referral to their commander Sepp Dietrich´s name, "dietrich" meaning "key" in german.

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