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information required about Polish badges & polish highlanders?

Article about: hi guys this is my first post and i am asking for help. as part of a big collection i just purchased there was these two badges. i have no idea if they are good or bad or what they are but i

  1. #1
    badgecollector
    ?

    Default information required about Polish badges & polish highlanders?

    hi guys
    this is my first post and i am asking for help.
    as part of a big collection i just purchased there was these two badges.
    i have no idea if they are good or bad or what they are but i am assuming one is airforce.
    the other badge is interesting. a little note with it says, "2nd rifle battalion polish highlanders" dec 4th 1940. (worn on fourage cap and helmet). came with 2 pieces of tartan.
    were there polish highlanders?
    are they genuine?
    what are they worth?
    thanks
    bc
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  2. #2

    Default Re: information required about Polish badges & polish highlanders?

    Hello badge collector, and welcome to the forum.

    You are correct about the air force badge. It is a Pilot’s eagle. Although the images you posted are small it’s clear that this is a post war Soviet occupation era version. They are quite common and not particularly sought after.

    The other badge is correctly identified as the 2nd Rifles Battalion. This unit holds the distinction of being the first infantry unit organized on British soil and was pressed into service as early as July 1940 in the Loch Lomod region of Scotland. The badge with the Royal Stewart tartan backing was displayed on the left hand side FS caps and also painted onto helmets. It was also supposedly worn with the backing on the traditional four cornered ‘rogatywka’ caps, although I’ve yet to encounter an example of this. The badge without the tartan backing was also worn on the left breast pocket of the uniform tunic.

    The badge along with its backing tartan appears genuine. I’ve seen these badges complete with the backing sell for upwards of $200 US.

    Regards,
    Tony
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    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  3. #3
    badgecollector
    ?

    Default Re: information required about Polish badges & polish highlanders?

    hi tony
    thankyou very much for the information you have given me.
    i must admit, i thought it was a joke when i read about the polish highlanders, but you have put me straight
    cheers mate
    bc

  4. #4

    Default Re: information required about Polish badges & polish highlanders?

    Quote by badgecollector View Post
    . . . i thought it was a joke when i read about the polish highlanders, . . .
    No joke bc. Before WW2 the Polish highlander units were mountain infantry units originating in the Podhale region of Poland. These soldiers were considered amongst the elite of the pre-war army.

    When the Polish exiled Armed Forces in the West were being assembled in France the Podhale units were recreated and named the Independent Highland Brigade. The unit played an important role in the Battle of Narvik, where the Poles would face the Germans for the first time since September 1939. The Poles along with the Norwegians, British and French were getting the upper hand on the Germans but were ordered to retreat when France fell to Germany.

    Here’s a short film clip with some great footage. Well worth watching:

    YouTube - Decoration of the Highland Brigade - 1940 - Dekoracja Brygady Podhala

    Pictured below is the commemorative badge of the Polish Independent Highland Brigade.

    Regards,
    Tony
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    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  5. #5
    badgecollector
    ?

    Default Re: information required about Polish badges & polish highlanders?

    hi tony
    thanks for all the info.
    i really interesting badge and fascinating subject.
    thanks again
    bc

  6. #6

    Default Re: information required about Polish badges & polish highlanders?

    The back is repaired - poor craftmanship. The screw does not belong there - it is soldered with tin. Looks ugly. There are remnants of the needle attachments on both sides. I suggest to remove poorely soldered screw (it would melt on the oven plate) use sand paper or give it to a jeweler to polish the surface and remove the remnants of needle attachment. I would try to find brass needle from inexpensive vintage brooches and hard solder it with silver solder. Or, if you want to save the screw, attach it again after ugly remnants of tin are removed. I hate the back of the badges looking like this. Fortunately, there is no enamel and you can solder it using hard soldering process. The patina will be lost during soldering but it is easy to restore by applying acid or sulphur powder.
    Ivan

  7. #7
    GFC
    GFC is offline
    ?

    Default Re: information required about Polish badges & polish highlanders?

    it looks like an original wartime conversion....

    Why fix something that isn't broken ?

  8. #8

    Default Re: information required about Polish badges & polish highlanders?

    Quote by gfc View Post
    it looks like an original wartime conversion....

    Why fix something that isn't broken ?
    it is obvious that my criteria are different: The screw is not genuine because needle attachments are clearly visible on both sides.
    Besides, the screw was soldered with a lot of tin. If you can accept this condition it is ok with me.

  9. #9

    Default Re: information required about Polish badges & polish highlanders?

    Thank you for your suggestion. I agree that the conversion to a threaded post fastening is not visually appealing. GFC is correct - this was not an unusual period modification to these badges. See below for another example.

    The pinback style fastening that these badges were originally fitted with was foreign to the Poles. The threaded post with spinner was the standard for badges issued to pre-WW2 Polish armed forces. Some of the recipients of this badge evidently preferred to convert their badges to a more familiar system.

    It’s best to leave the badge as is, and in my opinion would be a serious mistake to try to somehow restore the original pinback fastening. And then to play a risky game on a rare badge with acid or sulphur powder to restore 70 year old patina – not a chance!

    Regards,
    Tony
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    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  10. #10

    Default Re: information required about Polish badges & polish highlanders?

    Quote by a.j. Zawadzki View Post
    thank you for your suggestion. I agree that the conversion to a threaded post fastening is not visually appealing. Gfc is correct - this was not an unusual period modification to these badges. See below for another example.

    The pinback style fastening that these badges were originally fitted with was foreign to the poles. The threaded post with spinner was the standard for badges issued to pre-ww2 polish armed forces. Some of the recipients of this badge evidently preferred to convert their badges to a more familiar system.

    It’s best to leave the badge as is, and in my opinion would be a serious mistake to try to somehow restore the original pinback fastening. And then to play a risky game on a rare badge with acid or sulphur powder to restore 70 year old patina – not a chance!

    Regards,
    tony
    i agree to leave it like this for the sake of old patina. You may be right regarding old conversion because there is a layer of old tin visible (dark patina) and also some recent tin solder (still bright).
    It takes decades for tin to tarnish under normal circumstances.the badge, being rare, there is but very little chance that you would ever seen one with original pinback fastening. Tin is not a strong solder for a screw with a narrow base, needs quite large surface to be attached, therefore in modern repros and fakes ``coffin`` fastening is used - it is easily soldered with tin.
    Ivan

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