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SS piece of metal, meaning unknown to me

Article about: Thanks Matt, it was just a try in the middle of the night… Maybe a better explanation will "fall" someday. And yes, the big number does not make sense in any way.

  1. #1

    Default SS piece of metal, meaning unknown to me

    Hello everybody,
    This tag is kind of a "moon shape" more than "classic", I don't know exactly how to express it in English, but if the second half were there, it would not be as "round" as "classic" EKM, but more oval.
    And it is slightly bigger (few mm) than the "classic" EKM.

    Could somebody here help me with the meaning of the letters : is the "SCHTZ" for "Schützen"? What about the others letters? Does those letters here make ANY sense at all?
    I would like to thank in advance for any opinion about meaning of the letters or the authenticity. Any chances of being pre-1945? Has anybody ever seen something similar?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2

    Default Re: SS piece of metal, meaning unknown to me

    Hi Gazal,

    Judging by the indeed slightly odd shape and the perimeter of the single hole (that appears to have been drilled or hand-punched), I'd expect this is a field-made disc, or supposed to be one. Unfortunately, by their very nature, they're extremely difficult to authenticate since it's even easier to make a fake one.

    You have it right that 'SCHTZ.' is 'Schütz' or 'Schützen'; 'SCH.' can be those tool and also 'Schule'. 'GR.' is often 'Grenadier', but can be 'Große' or 'Grenz' as well. 'B.' is most commonly 'Bataillon' but can be 'Bau' or 'Beobachtungs' among others.

    It's a matter of looking at possibilities and trying to find ones that can go together. It's unlikley SCH is Schütz or Schützen since 'SCHTZ' obviously is and it wouldn't be marked two different ways on the same disc- plus it doesn't really make sense to be. Now 'GR. SCHTZ.' makes sense as 'Grenz-Schütz', which would make 'SS-SCH.B.' something by itself- at the moment I can't find anything that works though. There's no 'SS-Schule' that works, no 'SS-Schützen-Brigade' or 'Bataillon' or anything that fits with 'Grenz-Schütz'. I even thought maybe it's 'SS-Sicherungs' (Batailon) but no joy there either.

    Now the font isn't one I can directly match to a known fake type but it's VERY similar- only slightly more narrow than some; the sans-serif, all capital, straight-sided, font is a very dubious one at best and should always be suspect. The numbers too, particularly that form of '4', are reminiscent of fake types as well. So even not being able to match anything exactly, the 'field-made' nature of the half, the text that doesn't seem to make sense, and the suspicous font would make me very wary of this piece.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  4. #3

    Default Re: SS piece of metal, meaning unknown to me

    Thanks very much, Matt, for your answer.
    I know that it is extremely difficult to say if the piece is real or not, as there is nothing to compare with, and the inscription is rather obscure.
    The fact that the number is so high (4036 - even if it is made with a different font) may be also suspicious, isn't it? Such a big number for a small, obscure unit that no one heard of?
    I read that that kind of numbers were suspicious even for a Brigade - such as Dirlewanger: I read that there were people doubting the possibility that the Dirlewanger EKM could be numbered up to 4.000 or even 5.500. Here, if it is a bataillon, 4.000 people is even stranger…
    Thanks !

  5. #4

    Default Re: SS piece of metal, meaning unknown to me

    That's right Gazal- I'd meant to mention that too but I guess in searching for possible 'trasnslations' of the abbreviations, it slipped my mind. The disc also appears to be steel? There was a late-war form that was ferrous, and not the Nirosta stainless steel type from the mid-war; it was as thick as a regular zinc ro aluminum type, but is notably heavier and magnetic. If the corrosion on this one is rust and it is ferrous, that would suggest it's supposed to be late; and there were many mixed groupings late in the war so it's not unreasonable to think there might be one that just massed men and had a long roll, but it'd have to be a normally sizable type- a Bataillon indeed wouldn't ever have nearly so many men. Considering that most units had a fraction of their authorized strength, it is a bit difficult to see 4000+ for anything like this one. Unless it's like the Landesschützen or other not really front line military that took men with much wider a range of ages and ability levels. But to me those possible reasons to excuse some of the oddities aren't terribly strong and overall it still seems likely it simply isn't real.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  6. #5

    Default Re: SS piece of metal, meaning unknown to me

    Thanks Matt !
    I am not an expert in metals either, but yes, it appears to be like steel – under the rust, it looks like sort of gray-blue steel anyway.
    And it is heavy magnetic: I put a little magnet on it (from my fridge), and it sticks very hard.
    It is thiner also than an "ordinary" EKM: it is like 0,5-0,7 mm thick, while the "classics" seems to be rather 1-1,2 mm thick.
    It "feels" heavy and solid tough, for such a thin metal.
    Although it is so thin, there is no trace of stamping on the other side, so it must be solid metal. It is nearly "cutting as a knife" on the edges.
    I will be looking around for the meaning of the text, but without much hope – I think you said everything that could be said so far.
    Thanks !

  7. #6


    Well it's definitely steel if a weak refrigerator magnet sticks well- that does kind of fit with it being a field-made disc since likely thin sheet steel was quite easy to obtain. The fact that there's no trace of the stamping on the reverse suggests that it's softer steel- Nirosta discs, which are fairly hard, have to be struck quite forcefully on a hard surface so there's often distortion on the back. The softer the metal though, the less force that is necessary. Just plain mild steel is a good choice for fakers too- since a more 'exotic' metal would be less-easy to explain being used in a field setting. There was surely less sheet aluminum or anything else around that could be cut up and used to make an Erkennungsmarke.

    It's not impossible that somewhere you might find information that makes the text make sense- that'd be brilliant so I wish you luck!
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  8. #7


    Thanks again, Matt !
    If I happen to find any info, I will post.

  9. #8


    New idea in the night, nearly in my sleep : could the "B" stand for "BÄRWALDE"?
    and "SCH" for "Schule".
    SS-Unterführ. Schule Lauenburg unit of the Division "Bärwalde" (Pommern 1945)?

    I thought about the SS-Schule Lauenburg, because I don't know if SS-Schule Bärwalde even existed…
    But "Bärwalde" seems to be a division set up in hurry from different mixed units, maybe there were some bataillons from the guys from SS school (Lauenburg?).
    I will have to keep looking, although I don't even know if it goes anywhere…

  10. #9


    Or could maybe the "SCH" has something to do with SCHEIDER Kampfgruppe / Bataillon?
    (I am just "fishing"… – it is not trying to prove at any cost that the letters make sens and the disc is OK, but it crude form could match with the period: "hard times" of Pomerania in february-march 1945)

    Found on :
    Am 10.2.1945 erfolgt die erste Nennung der Kampfgruppe Scheider in den Einsatzgliederungen der HGr. Weichsel, bei der Korpsgruppe von Tettau werden nach wie vor beide Einsatz-Divisionen geführt, nur bei der Division „Köslin“ wird die SS- und Waffen-Unterführerschule Lauenburg neu angeführt:
    - Eins.Div. Bärwalde mit
    Rgt. Kopp (4 Alarm- und 3 Volkssturm-Bataillone)
    Rgt. Wolff (3 Alarm- und 2 Volkssturm-Bataillone
    Rgt. Böhmer (2 Alarm- und 2 Volkssturm-Bataillone)
    Sperrverband Fierbandt mit 3 Alarm-Bataillonen und Versprengten
    Rgt. Freund (2 Alarm-Bataillone)
    Rgt. Jaeckel (2 Alarm- und 2 Volkssturm-Bataillone)
    Sperrverband Hellermann mit 2 Alarm-Bataillonen
    Rgt. Klotzsche (2 Alarm-Bataillone)

    - Eins.Div. Köslin mit
    Rgt. Jatzingen (2 Alarm-Bataillone und Versprengte)
    Rgt. Karnkewitz
    SS-Waffen-Unterführer-Schule Lauenburg
    1 Alarm-Bataillon Bau-Pionier-Ersatz- und Ausbildungs-Bataillon 2 (handschriftlich)
    7 Volkssturm-Bataillone im Arbeitseinsatz
    (T 311 R 170 Gliederungen der HGr. Weichsel 24.1. – 22.2.1945)

  11. #10


    Well normally bits of formal titles aren't just left out, so whatever 'SS SCH B' is would have to be all there is to the title- and you'd have to fit in the 'GR. SCHTZ.' as well; the whole thing has to make sense together and account for the high roll number.

    Mixed units and ad hoc formations wouldn't normally issue their own discs to thousands of men who already had them; and I'm not sure a school would often either since new recruits would also already have one from their training units. Specialist schools are rather later in training and even for men already with front experience, who return for further leadership training, for example.

    I looked at the list of all the SS-Schulen and none worked with those abbreviations in any way that I could see...
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

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