I request that senior members, with much collecting and research experience, will join this thread. Their ideas, thoughts, and related experiences are of tremendous value.
Industry & Factories:
The armaments industry was HUGE. Literally millions worked as part of the Third Reich war engine. Considering the huge number of people employed, one would think that identification badges, factory badges & pins, literature, etc. would be plentiful. However, the truth is that these items are surprisingly scarce. Furthermore, the relationships between civilian employees and the German military at the time is not well understood. Few books and original resource material is available. For example, General der Artillerie Emil Leeb's book "Aus der Rusting des Dritten Reiches" is one notable exception. There are also US Military Intelligence reports, but not much else.
I know of no photograph showing a civilian worker wearing a factory identification badge of any sort. There is scant coverage of such items in available reference texts. Like I said, considering the numbers of employees, it is astonishing.
The relationships, rules & regulations, and organization of technical schools, Heereswaffenamt Inspectors, factory management and a whole slew of matters along these lines are not well understood. These are topics that beg to be well researched - they are extremely important to understanding the Third Reich.
Factory Badges & Pins (abzeichen)
Ship Builders (Just try to find anything!)
Heereswaffenamt (He.Wa.A. - Army Ordnance Office) hereafter referred to as the HWA
Heeresabnahmewesen (Army Acceptance Organization), also known as the Abnahmeabteilung des Heeres Waffenamts (Wa.Abn. - Acceptance Section of Army Ordnance Office) hereafter
referred to as the Abnahme
Waffenamt Officer (Acceptance Inspector)
Abnahmemeinspizient (Acceptance Inspector)
Technische Lieferbedingen (TL’s)
Ballistische und Munitionsabteilung (Ballistics and Munitions Section of Army Ordnance [Ammunition]
Infanterieabteilung (Infantry Section of Army Ordnance)
Heeres Bezirk Aaabnahamestelle (Army Area Acceptance place)
Heereswaffenmeisterschule (Army Ordnance Armourers School) in Berlin at Spandau
Banking, Economics and Finance:
Economics, finance and banking were just as much a part of the Third Reich war effort as any form of armaments production. The size of economic and financial operations during the war was, quite simply, gargantuan. Yet try to find a Reichsbank stickpin or any form of Ministry of Finance identification or a Ministry of Economics award.
The only piece of uniform from the Ministry of Finance was a badly damaged cap. In fact, the wearing of uniforms in the Ministries of Economics and Finance is not well understood. Remember, although under the control of the government, these ministries were essentially civilian-run. An educated guess about uniform wear would be under the same rules and regulations as Gau leaders.
This is one area that is ripe for research.
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Economics
Medicine and Health Sciences:
This is another area that lacks serious study. I've included a photo of the only medically-related uniform (Pharmacist Officer) that I've seen in over 30 years of Third Reich research.
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Badges, pins, identification documents, awards, Urkundes, original contemporary literature, uniforms, insignia, shoulder boards, collar tabs, etc., etc. pertaining to any of the areas listed above need much further investigation. One can only imagine the discoveries to be made.
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Most of these items are going to be scarce to extremely rare. My advice here is to be careful with regard to what you pay for such items. Since they are so uncommon, the tendency is to price them very richly. Just because they are rare doesn't make them worth the "sky." Just like old doesn't automatically mean valuable, likewise rare does not automatically mean valuable.
One has to carefully analyze really obscure, rare items. I emphasize obscure. These type items are quite esoteric. If not careful, a collector could "create the market." This is not as unrealistic as you might think.
One therefore has to ask "How does one determine values?" The rule that applies is "Whatever the market will bear." It takes a combination of careful analysis, research and common sense.
Consequently, I must make this warning. CAVEAT EMPTOR!
The above is not an endorsement of investment potential. My advice is to collect militaria for its entertainment-value only.
This entire thread is only meant as my personal opinion regarding areas and topics related to the Third Reich era that appear to be particularly interesting, and potentially rich areas of "discovery."