H065981 TURKISTAN VOLUNTEER'S SLEEVE SHIELD. (Turkistan 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 POWís 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 Turkistans 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 the autumn of 1942 a specific identifying national sleeve shield was introduced for members of the Legion. The Turkistan Legionís national sleeve shield underwent modifications in September 1943 and again in mid-1944. Of Note: Although there are five distinct languages in the Turkistan region the Germanís elected to use, a grammatically incorrect, Arabic script on the first pattern Turkistan Legionís sleeve badges in spite of the fact that Arabic is not one of the spoken languages. The Germanís attempted to remedy this affront by altering the script on the third pattern badge to the ancient Turkic Jagatai script although it too was no longer spoken in the region.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: First pattern, machine woven, identifying sleeve shield is in the form of an ornate shield with a scalloped top edge with extended rectangular tips and a pointed bottom tip. The shield is divided horizontally in the middle with light red to the top portion and light blue to the bottom portion. The center of the shield has a white cocked bow and arrow. The shield has a black outer border and a horizontal black bar to the top edge with light blue script, "Turkistan".

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $357.00

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