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RAD armband for leaders

Article about: There has been some controversy regarding the authenticity of the RAD Leader armband in some quarters. For my money the issue has been solved, with a prototype example on Weitz website. They

  1. #1

    Default RAD armband for leaders

    There has been some controversy regarding the authenticity of the RAD Leader armband in some quarters.
    For my money the issue has been solved, with a prototype example on Weitz website. They have some great high
    detail shots of this armband in order to examine construction - good way to avoid repro by studying the prototype.

    RAD armband for leaders from the service Bevo woven metallic thread design on a brown background:

    RAD armband for leadersRAD armband for leaders

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  3. #2


    I have never heard of a controvery regarding these pieces as they have been around since I started collecting in the mid 1950's. I bought my first example in a small militaria shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1965. At that time, there was no need to fake such an item and what fakes were available were poorly manufactured, which is not the case with this piece. The purpose is undoubtedly for wear with civilian clothing. I always find it interesting that individuals will pronounce something fake when they have no evidence to back up their opinion. I can remember the same issue over the Balkan Cross vehicle identification flags.


  4. #3


    Thanks Mr. Coleman.

    I should have said 'disagreement' rather than controvercy. The discussion occured on another board - in sum, the poster mentioned that after many years reviewing RAD photos, he's not seen this armband in use in a photo - ever. That was the basis of his & others skepticism on the armband's authenticiy.

  5. #4


    Too many newer collectors have grown in collecting with the incorrect theory that only period photographs can prove the existance of an item. Many uniform anomolies have turned up in aince the war. I also have never seen a period photograph of this armband in wear. However, that does not prove anything. Consider how many pictures would have been taken of a RAD leader in civilian clothing wearing this armband. I am sure that some exist in old family photo albums whose pictures are not available to the collector market. Sometimes, older collectors, like myself, are a more reliable source for validating items like this than modern flawed theories.


  6. #5


    Hi , it looks a nice original piece for what my opinion is worth. Although it is obviously much larger being an armband , it looks to be constructed and embrioded in exactly the same manner as the Customs official cuff titles that I have seen in the past. Leon.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

  7. #6


    Quote by BOB COLEMAN View Post
    The purpose is undoubtedly for wear with civilian clothing.
    Beg to differ on that one.

    So far, there have been a number of different theories on the purpose of this armband, but if the above piece is genuine, that riddle is now solved:

    The tag actually identifies its purpose as being for the Führer vom Dienst, i.e. the officer on duty in a barracks/camp. This makes it a duty badge that would have been only put on during the wearer's shift in this function, but certainly with the uniform.

    Come to think of it, if it was only worn for unglamorous internal duty within RAD barracks, it is also not surprising that no photographs of it in wear are known: It wouldn't have been worn for the typical occasions/events when the vast majority of photographs were taken.

  8. #7


    I can agree largely with HPL2008. "Führer vom Dienst" is a function when in service and when in service the
    RAD uniform was to be worn. Practically always such person was an NCO. So civil is out of the question!

    But if the armband is meant for such a function at barracks or camps is the question. One should know the device,
    which is visible upon the middle, was officially introduced for Hierl first per order from May 11, 1942. Hierl did wear
    this symbol upon his shoulder-boards (Verordnungsblatt der Reichsleitung des Arbeitsdienstes, from May 27, 1942.
    Nr. 146: Schulterstück neuer Art des Reichsarbeitsführers: Das Symbol des RAD).

    RAD armband for leaders

    The sort of symbol may tell us the use for it at buildings of the RAD High Command (Reichsleitung). But it was never
    as such announced in any of the Verordnungsblatt - issues (available up through December 1944), the dress-regulations
    or the RAD-handbook or such).

    The worn cuffbands for the "Stabswache RAF" were abolished per April 1942. I would not be wondered when such armband,
    as shown, was worn instead during duty of the Reichsarbeitsführung-buildings. Remind also gorgets with this symbol are known
    to exist (photographs in wear are to be found in my gorget-book, pages 350, as well as 351).

    RAD armband for leaders

    RAD armband for leaders

    The gorget in wear (also shown the armband with paper tag); further shown a close-up from the gorget, also in wear by an NCO.
    The gorget with the symbol is extremely rare and has not shown up after the war. Anyway: many years of intensive research for
    my book did not learn me otherwise!
    "Wir sollen auch unser Leben für die Brüder lassen" (1.Joh.3.16):
    zum Gedächtnis Wilhelm Schenk. Er starb fürs Vaterland am 13. Juni 1916

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