BACKGROUND: The origins of the 3RD SS-Panzer-Division "Totenkopf" can be traced back to the formation of the SS-Wachverbände, (SS-Guard Units) in March 1933 which was re-designated, SS-Totenkopfverbände, (SS-Death’s Head Units), on March 29TH 1936. The SS-Wachverbände began to wear the distinctive Death’s head collar tabs on both collars sometime in 1935 with the death’s heads positioned horizontally on the collar tabs. In October 1939 personnel from the SS-Totenkopfverbände were recruited to compose the cadre of the newly forming SS-Totenkopf-Division and continued to wear the death’s head, positioned vertically, on the right collar tab. In May 1940 personnel of the SS-Totenkopf-Division altered the positioning of the death’s head from the vertical position to the horizontal position while personnel remaining with the SS-Totenkopfverbände did the exact opposite by exchanging the horizontal positioning for the vertical positioning, on the same date. Generally Officer’s Totenkopf collar tabs were hand embroidered while EM/NCO’s collar tabs were machine embroidered. Of Note: A machine woven Totenkopf collar tab was introduced in 1943 and was utilized by both Officers and EM/NCO’s.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Natural tan cardboard right hand side, Totenkopf base for use as a template for a hand embroidery. The template features a skull with eyes, nose and mouth cut-outs superimposed over dual crossed bones. The skull template also has fine impressed lines for the cranium detailing. The template is in overall excellent condition. Note; This piece comes from a tailors shop in Germany where this and many other original unterlags where found after the war. Interesting piece for the advanced insignia collector.

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $495.00

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