Charlemagne Division uniforms, weapons, insignia, etc.

Foreign volunteers, collaboration and Axis Allies 1939-1945.

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Bob from Accounting
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Charlemagne Division uniforms, weapons, insignia, etc.

Post by Bob from Accounting » Sun Oct 24, 2004 9:59 am

Does anyone know if there are pictures available on the internet of members of the Charlemagne Division? I'm trying to figure out if they were issued camoflage uniforms or the standard feldgrau ones. In addition I'm wondering if soldiers in that unit might have been issued Stg-44s, Gewehr 43s, etc. Also, is there anywhere that I can find an image of their unit insignia? This is for a 1/35 diorama i'm toying with putting together, and I'd rather make things as accurate as possible.

I apologize for any examples of my atrocious spelling.

Bob from Accounting
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Post by Bob from Accounting » Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:02 am

Forget about my question about insignia. I found it, and for the life of me, I could never try to reproduce that thing on 1/35 scale shoulder patch.

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J.P. Slovjanski
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Re: Charlemagne Division uniforms, weapons, insignia, etc.

Post by J.P. Slovjanski » Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:45 pm

Bob from Accounting wrote:Does anyone know if there are pictures available on the internet of members of the Charlemagne Division? I'm trying to figure out if they were issued camoflage uniforms or the standard feldgrau ones. In addition I'm wondering if soldiers in that unit might have been issued Stg-44s, Gewehr 43s, etc. Also, is there anywhere that I can find an image of their unit insignia? This is for a 1/35 diorama i'm toying with putting together, and I'd rather make things as accurate as possible.

I apologize for any examples of my atrocious spelling.
During the Battle for Berlin Charlemagne soldiers were issued a large amount of STG-44s, which they used to good effect. They were among the last of the city's defenders.

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Post by charlie don't surf » Fri Oct 29, 2004 4:39 pm

In Berlin the troops were equipped with MP44, Kar98k mit Scheissbecher and MG42. I think it was the thir company who in Berlin to a large extent wore pea pattern camouflage trousers with regular field tunics.

Best regards/ Daniel

Bob from Accounting
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Post by Bob from Accounting » Sun Nov 07, 2004 6:49 pm

Ok, so now I have a followup question. By "regular field tunic," do you mean the field grey or camoflage?

Helmut Von Moltke

Post by Helmut Von Moltke » Sun Apr 16, 2006 6:32 am

Here, about Unit insignias, etc, hope this helps. From http://www.soldat.com

Image

Image

Image

Cheers :D

helmut

Le Page
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Post by Le Page » Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:29 am

Just a slight clarification--the tricolor shield shown above was actually the LVF shield. A few were sported in the Charlemagne but not generally. The SS variant was issued.

The Joan of Arc collar patches were never worn. Most wore the double runes, especially those who already served with the Sturmbrigade. IIRC the flak battalion was issued the 'sunwheel' [l.e., celtic cross] collar patches, but this is unconfirmed.

The cuff title was worn by a very few, I believe some of the engineers sported it prematurely.

The majority of the Sturmbataillon in Berlin wore the full camouflaged uniform, which had just been newly issued.
Last edited by Le Page on Sat Apr 29, 2006 8:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

Helmut Von Moltke

Post by Helmut Von Moltke » Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:30 am

The majority of the Sturmbataillon in Berlin wore the full camouflaged uniform, which had just been newly issued.
you mean the M44 SS Camoflauge tunic?

Le Page
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Post by Le Page » Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:30 am

you mean the M44 SS Camoflauge tunic?


Yes, the "pea pattern". :up:

As somebody else mentioned, the 3rd company (formerly 6th Co/58th IR) typically had mixed dress e.g., feldgrau tunic and camo trousers (maybe vice-versa too).

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Post by Laurent Daniel » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:18 am

Hi Everybody,
Several pictures and info there:
http://waffen.bravehost.com/sommaire.htm
(In French).
For the Charlemagne armshield, see my avatar, Le Page is right, the other one shown here is the LVF.
Concerning uniforms and insignia, remember that the Charlemagne was created end 1944, at a time were the German logistic was more ore less in a mess. They got only 3 monthes training and the equipment was, well, what was available at that time. Remember the story of the so-called LVF with the W-SS at Bad Reichenhall. He was a LVF, was transfered as all of the LVF to the Charlemagne (Regt 58 in his case), but, that day, was wearing a Heer uniform. Why? because that'a what he had! Gone were the days were the IIIrd Reich troops were parading in immaculate uniforms and all the regular insignias...
Regards
Daniel Laurent

Helmut Von Moltke

Post by Helmut Von Moltke » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:23 am

thanks for nice site Daniel! :D But double post you made there again...

is this the LVF man? notice the Heer uniform....

Image

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Post by panzermahn » Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:36 am

Helmut Von Moltke wrote:Here, about Unit insignias, etc, hope this helps. From http://www.soldat.com

Image

Image

Image

Cheers :D

helmut
Hi Helmuth.

The Charlemagne cufftitle did exist but the photos shown above are fakes. The late Christian de la Maziere and some French volunteers who attended SS training schools were provided with some of the cufftitles. Those who got the the cufftitles in late 1944 are those who were still in training and did not participate in the Pomeranian battles in 1945. The story about some of the Frenchmen finding some of the cufftitles in a factory during the Battle of Berlin is a fake.

The Charlemagne cufftitle is the holy grail of all existing Waffen SS cuff title. It is extremely rare that there is only one known authentic example in the entire United States which were authenticated by several well-known researchers in German Waffen SS militaria.

Regarding the Joan d'Arc kragenspiegeln, it is the only a project which existed in the drawing board of the Waffen SS. Although it was shown in the famous European SS map of February 1945, it still remains on the drawing board as the Frenchmen of the 57th Regiment (the Sturmbrigade veterans) protested of the Catholic meanings of the Joan D'Arc kragenspiegeln. Most of the French volunteers in the Charlemagne Division only wore the siegrunen spiegeln and blank spiegeln (which indicates that some of them were transferred to the Charlemagne from the Darnand's militia and were not considered true- SSers. I had a series of two pictures sent to me by a Polish comrade that shows a captured group of French Waffen SS men in Poland. The photo was taken by the grandfather of my Polish comrade who was in the Polish army army at that time. It shows one Waffen SS Oberscharfuehrer wearing SS spiegeln and the man beside him wearing a blank kragenspiegeln and a Polish woman translating for them from French to Polish.)

However, there is another interesting kragenspiegeln that is known to exist but there are no known photos to document it. It is the holy grail of all kragenspiegeln of the foreign units of the Waffen SS. It is the Celtic Cross kragenspiegeln which were worn by members of the 33rd Flak Batterie of the Charlemagne Division (which was not more than a company strong - even less I believed so) that were based at Munich and di not fight in the Eastern Front. Me and a French author is currently researching for a book on kragenspiegeln of all the Waffen SS foreign units and SD foreign auxilliaries unit. According to veterans testimony interviewed by my French friend during the 80s, the Celtic Cross kragenspiegeln did exist. Another interesting fact to back up the assertion of that the Celtic Cross kragenspiegeln that when the American intelligence were documenting the foreign units serving Waffen SS, they made a list of drawings of all known kragenspiegeln insignia of them. They included the Celtic Cross but not the Joan d'Arc kragenspiegeln. Why? It is because the Charlemagne Flak Batterie is the only Charlemagne unit to engage the Western Allies. I corresponded with the late Jean Mabire last year and enquiring him about the Celtic Cross but he told me (via a French comrade) that there are no photos he known of the Celtic Cross although he believed that it existed.

The story behind the existing Celtic Cross is that when the veterans of the Sturmbrigade (the true-SSers) protested the Joan d'Arc design because of its Catholic meanings therefore another insignia for the Charlemagne had to be designed. This happens when the bulk of Charlemagne division were sent to the Eastern front as a reserve for the Army Group Vistula facing the Bolshevik assault at Oder. The Celtic Cross was accepted because it was a Catholic symbol in France and also a pagan symbol which is a suitable compromise for the Catholic and the SS faction in the Charlemagne Division.

Regards
Panzermahn

Helmut Von Moltke

Post by Helmut Von Moltke » Sat Apr 29, 2006 6:09 am

thanks for the info Panzermahn, of course the ones shown above are fakes, they are repros for reenactors, they look far too new. :D btw, how did Celtic cross look like?

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Post by panzermahn » Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:23 pm

Helmut Von Moltke wrote:thanks for the info Panzermahn, of course the ones shown above are fakes, they are repros for reenactors, they look far too new. :D btw, how did Celtic cross look like?
It is a circle with a cross inside ( O and + inside). Those Celtic Cross kragenspiegeln shown at militaria websites with a circle and an X inside (O and X inside) is a post-war fake.

Regards
Panzermahn

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Post by Laurent Daniel » Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:39 pm

Hi, Helmut,
The Celtic cross is originally a French Britanny insignia, extensively used in religious symbols all over Britanny:
Image
(And also, I guess, in Ireland and Wales, i.e. countries of Celtic origin)
The symbol has been a bit "hi-jacked" by the Breton Nationalist movements and then by the French Nationalist movements.
After the war, it has been for quite a long time the insignia, logo of extreme-right groups such as "Ordre Nouveau" (New Order).
Image

Today in France, the image isn't welcome. Sort of same fate than the svatiska who was originally a religious symbol in Asai and elsewhere but that is nowadays always assimilated to a Nazi insignia.
Regards
Daniel Laurent

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