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S16953 SS OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOL OFFICER'S SHOULDER BOARD CYPHER. (Schulterstücke Ziffer) 

BACKGROUND: The SS utilized a variety of assorted cyphers on their shoulder straps and boards as a means of identification. The cyphers for enlisted personnel were to be embroidered directly on to the shoulder straps while NCO ranks were to utilize silver metal cyphers and officer’s ranks used gilt metal cyphers. Originally the cyphers were done in Gothic script until regulations of December 19TH 1939 altered the Gothic script to Roman script. Further regulations of April 1ST 1944 discontinued the use of the identifying shoulder straps/board cyphers for all personnel excluding those serving with the Leibstandarte SS-Adolf Hitler. In 1932 SS-Sturmbannführer Reinhard Heydrich established the first SS-Führerschule, (SS-Leader School), in Bad Tölz to train future officers for the SS. In April of 1934 the school was reformed and the first course for, SS-VT, SS-Verfügungstruppe, (SS-Special Purpose Troops), personnel began under the command of SS-Obersturmbannführer Paul Lettow. On October 1ST 1934 the school was officially recognized and was renamed SS Junkerschule Tölz (SS Officer Candidate School Tölz). A second school was established in Braunschweig in December 1934 under the command of, (then), SS-Standartenführer Paul Hausser. It also was originally designated as a SS-Führerschule until February 1ST 1935 when it too was renamed as a SS Junkerschule. The courses at these schools were based on the Army Officer Candidate courses but with more political indoctrination and ideology. The courses were ten months in duration and the schools originally had classes of roughly one hundred ten students with a staff of eighty. Later courses enrolled roughly two hundred forty students. Originally staff of both of the SS Officer Candidate Schools were issued with distinctive scripted cufftitles until regulations of May 1940 discontinued the cufftitles and introduced identifying shoulder strap/boards cyphers. Of Note: An additional three SS Officer Candidate Schools were established during the war but were not issued and special identifying insignia.  

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 5/8" tall and 7/8" wide, stamped alloy construction Officers shoulder board cypher with a gilt wash. The cypher is in the form of the Roman letters, "JS", indicating Junkerschule, with a raised outer edge lip and internal horizontal ribbing. The cypher retains about 95% of its original gilt wash. The reverse of the cypher is a mirror image of the obverse. Only one of the original four soldered attachment prongs is remaining.

GRADE ***1/4                             PRICE $230.00

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