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photos of the Croatian Einsatzstaffel-early use of odal runic tab?

Article about: First many thanks to Herr Winkeler on the Feldgrau.net forum for uploading images of the Vermisstenbildliste DRK. Here is a link for those interested. Feldgrau.net • View topic - Ve

  1. #1
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    Default photos of the Croatian Einsatzstaffel-early use of odal runic tab?

    First many thanks to Herr Winkeler on the Feldgrau.net forum for uploading images of the Vermisstenbildliste DRK. Here is a link for those interested.
    Feldgrau.net • View topic - Vermisstenbildliste DRK WB III

    Many Croat-Volksdetusche who were in the Einsatzstaffel were taken directly into the Prinz Eugen division. Looking through the Vermisstenbildliste DRK photos of the P.E. division many wear the uniform of the Einsatzstaffel in the photos. My question is did the odal rune insignia predate the P.E. division?
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    The image below is one of my favorites.
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    Many thanks!
    Last edited by jHAM; 08-26-2011 at 08:12 AM.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: photos of the Croatian Einsatzstaffel-early use of odal runic tab?

    Now those are very interesting photographs, but I rather wonder whether the Odal-Rune collar patch really has anything to do with the Einsatzstaffel der Deutschen Mannschaft in Kroatien.

    So far, the only type of right-hand collar patch I have seen worn in period photographs of Einsatzstaffel men was the one with the twin "Wolf Hooks", while the only type of sidecap badges I was aware of was the combination of an SS-style national eagle above a cockade within a Soutache chevron.

    This is the combination of insignia as worn by Johann Kiefer (3rd photo from top) and (minus cockade) by Alois Feld (fifth photo from top).
    The "Wolf Hooks" collar patch is also worn by Leopold Fischer, Martin Bogner and Josef Blum (fourth, sixth and seventh photo from top)

    Now, Schirado and Ackermann (first and second photo) not only wear the unusual Odal-Rune collar patch (which is also of different proportions from the Prinz Eugen pattern) but also totally different cap badges than the others and that is why I wonder if they belong to a different uniformed organization altogether.

    Unfortunately, the photographs are not clear enough to make out any details, but the cap badges look like an inverted shield with something V-shaped below. (Personally, its overall shape reminds me a bit of the Reichsarbeitsdienst's symbol of an upward-pointing spade head flanked by ears of corn.)

    The Odal-Rune as such was used as a symbol by the ethnic German racial community (Deutsche Volksgruppe) in Croatia before the Prinz Eugen Division came into being, so there is not necessarily a connection to that formation. (For example, the symbol was used on the Volksgruppe's flags and its leader, Branimir Altgayer, also wore it on his collar patches.)

    (The man in the final photo, Johann Kraus, was surely photographed as a member of the Prinz Eugen Division and wears that division's conventional insignia.)

  4. #3

    Default Re: photos of the Croatian Einsatzstaffel-early use of odal runic tab?

    I cannot answer your question, but thanks for the excellent pics. Very interesting.

    Cheers, Ade.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: photos of the Croatian Einsatzstaffel-early use of odal runic tab?

    Quote by HPL2008 View Post
    Now those are very interesting photographs, but I rather wonder whether the Odal-Rune collar patch really has anything to do with the Einsatzstaffel der Deutschen Mannschaft in Kroatien.

    So far, the only type of right-hand collar patch I have seen worn in period photographs of Einsatzstaffel men was the one with the twin "Wolf Hooks", while the only type of sidecap badges I was aware of was the combination of an SS-style national eagle above a cockade within a Soutache chevron.

    This is the combination of insignia as worn by Johann Kiefer (3rd photo from top) and (minus cockade) by Alois Feld (fifth photo from top).
    The "Wolf Hooks" collar patch is also worn by Leopold Fischer, Martin Bogner and Josef Blum (fourth, sixth and seventh photo from top)

    Now, Schirado and Ackermann (first and second photo) not only wear the unusual Odal-Rune collar patch (which is also of different proportions from the Prinz Eugen pattern) but also totally different cap badges than the others and that is why I wonder if they belong to a different uniformed organization altogether.

    Unfortunately, the photographs are not clear enough to make out any details, but the cap badges look like an inverted shield with something V-shaped below. (Personally, its overall shape reminds me a bit of the Reichsarbeitsdienst's symbol of an upward-pointing spade head flanked by ears of corn.)

    The Odal-Rune as such was used as a symbol by the ethnic German racial community (Deutsche Volksgruppe) in Croatia before the Prinz Eugen Division came into being, so there is not necessarily a connection to that formation. (For example, the symbol was used on the Volksgruppe's flags and its leader, Branimir Altgayer, also wore it on his collar patches.)

    (The man in the final photo, Johann Kraus, was surely photographed as a member of the Prinz Eugen Division and wears that division's conventional insignia.)
    Thank you for your response HPL2008. I take it from what you have said that the odal-runic design was used by Croatian Volksdetusche community before the P.E. division came about.

    Any ideas what organization is represented in those two pics if it is not the Einsatzstaffel?

    (I like the last photo of Johann Kraus because of the camo tunic with collar insignia which isnt often seen for P.E. division)

  6. #5
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    Default Re: photos of the Croatian Einsatzstaffel-early use of odal runic tab?

    Quote by Adrian Stevenson View Post
    I cannot answer your question, but thanks for the excellent pics. Very interesting.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Thank you Ade! for this forum and the opportunity to ask these questions!
    The whole community is in your debt!

  7. #6

    Default Re: photos of the Croatian Einsatzstaffel-early use of odal runic tab?

    Quote by jHAM View Post
    I take it from what you have said that the odal-runic design was used by Croatian Volksdetusche community before the P.E. division came about.
    Yes. Unfortunately, only very little reference material is available on the subject.

    According to Vol. III of David Littlejohn's "Foreign Legions of the Third Reich", the Political Leaders of the National Socialist German Community in Croatia (N.S.D.G.K.)...

    "[...]wore a uniform which appears to have been modeled on that of the N.S.D.A.P. The red brassard had an elongated black swastika on a white lozenge. The Volksgruppe leader, Altgayer, wore on both collars an Odal rune within a wreath of oak leaves. Other rank insignia for political leaders is not known, but designs may have incorporated the Odal rune. A black Odal rune on a white circular background on a red field was the flag of the Volksgruppe."

    (The book also has an illustration of the flag, but unfortunately no photograph.)

    Please see here for two images of Altgayer wearing Odal-Rune collar patches:

    Axis History Forum • View topic - Unknown uniform
    Axis History Forum • View topic - Unknown Obergruppenfuhrer

    (Notice that the Runic devices have an ornamental wreath in one image but not in the other.)

    The Odal-Rune also featured on the special Sports Badge of the German community in Croatia, taking the place of the Swastika on its German equivalent. (An example that is currently on offer: GERMAN-CROATIAN SPORT BADGE - German Reich Civil/Political )


    Quote by jHAM View Post
    Any ideas what organization is represented in those two pics if it is not the Einsatzstaffel?
    Due to the lack of reference material, the graininess of the images (and, of course, the fact that this is not my area of expertise)... Very difficult to say.
    If I absolutely had to make a guess, I would suspect a Labor Service connection. Like I said, the overall shape of the cap badge reminds me of the RAD's device. There was a Croat State Labor Service (DRS), but it had its own national type of cap badge which looked different from its German equivalent (examples can be found here: eMedals - World Orders for Croatia ) There was, however, a German-speaking DRS unit composed of Volksdeutsche. Perhaps they had special insignia?

    Please note, though, that this is just pure guesswork on my part; I cannot make a positive ID.

    For more Einsatzstaffel photographs, please see here:

    Axis History Factbook: Gallery: Einsatzstaffel der Deutsche Mannschaft (ES d. DM) (Croatia)
    http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/photos...ar-tabs-10942/
    http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/3850/62508400.png
    Last edited by HPL2008; 08-26-2011 at 02:38 PM.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: photos of the Croatian Einsatzstaffel-early use of odal runic tab?

    Quote by HPL2008 View Post
    Yes. Unfortunately, only very little reference material is available on the subject.

    According to Vol. III of David Littlejohn's "Foreign Legions of the Third Reich", the Political Leaders of the National Socialist German Community in Croatia (N.S.D.G.K.)...

    "[...]wore a uniform which appears to have been modeled on that of the N.S.D.A.P. The red brassard had an elongated black swastika on a white lozenge. The Volksgruppe leader, Altgayer, wore on both collars an Odal rune within a wreath of oak leaves. Other rank insignia for political leaders is not known, but designs may have incorporated the Odal rune. A black Odal rune on a white circular background on a red field was the flag of the Volksgruppe."

    (The book also has an illustration of the flag, but unfortunately no photograph.)

    Please see here for two images of Altgayer wearing Odal-Rune collar patches:

    Axis History Forum • View topic - Unknown uniform
    Axis History Forum • View topic - Unknown Obergruppenfuhrer

    (Notice that the Runic devices have an ornamental wreath in one image but not in the other.)

    The Odal-Rune also featured on the special Sports Badge of the German community in Croatia, taking the place of the Swastika on its German equivalent. (An example that is currently on offer: GERMAN-CROATIAN SPORT BADGE - German Reich Civil/Political )



    Due to the lack of reference material, the graininess of the images (and, of course, the fact that this is not my area of expertise)... Very difficult to say.
    If I absolutely had to make a guess, I would suspect a Labor Service connection. Like I said, the overall shape of the cap badge reminds me of the RAD's decive. There was a Croat State Labor Service (DRS), but it had its own national type of cap badge which looked different from its German equivalent (examples can be found here: eMedals - World Orders for Croatia ) There was, however, a German-speaking DRS unit composed of Volksdeutsche. Perhaps they had special insignia?

    Please note, though, that this is just pure guesswork on my part; I cannot make a positive ID.

    For more Einsatzstaffel photographs, please see here:

    Axis History Factbook: Gallery: Einsatzstaffel der Deutsche Mannschaft (ES d. DM) (Croatia)
    http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/photos...ar-tabs-10942/
    http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/3850/62508400.png
    Thank you again HPL2008 for your further info and links to great images. I have also been reviewing the Littlejohn text and I think you are correct those two photos do not show members of the Einsatzstaffel der Deutsche Mannschaft. The cap insignia does remind me of the RAD design also. The young age of the two with the odal rune insignia makes me wonder if they belong to some youth labor organization like HPL2008 suggested.
    thanks again!
    Last edited by jHAM; 08-27-2011 at 08:14 AM.

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