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SS storm leader (lieutenant) (untersturmfuhrer) collar tab

Article about: bought this today for very very little money. I belive it to be a possibly authentic collar tab. shows signs of age and wear but overall in solid shape. to my understanding this came from a

  1. #11


    With great respect to Dave and the others, I tend to disagree with the opinion expressed regarding the rank tab. To me, it appears the original owner was of the rank SS-Hauptscharführer when he first had his uniform constructed. Obviously, during the period he could've been promoted to the rank of SS-Sturmscharführer and would've had to apply the extra silver/aluminum tress to the exterior of the tab. It's possible he could've left the tab on the tunic when applying it, for the simple reason of convenience, thus it wouldn't of been stitched to the reverse such as the first one. Then once promoted to SS-Untersturmführer, he would've removed all of the tress from the tab leaving the space on the left we see today and only the remnants of one strip of tress on the backside. The fact remnants do remain only adds to the validity of the idea this tab is not only correct, but also a period promoted/altered example.
    (Please consider this as well) If this was upgraded postwar by a collector, you'd assume that person wouldn't add tress to the reverse only, or, at minimum, would've spaced the pips out further. Now that being said, the above is only a theory, even though in my personal opinion it's the most plausible scenario.
    Now I do, however, agree with Dave that the runic tab is a poor reproduction and even if it was original, it would possess glue on its reverse too.

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  3. #12


    That's an interesting theory! I do agree that the tress was likely removed with the tab still on the tunic, which accounts for the remnants on the back. Either that, or the person didn't want to go through the hassle of trying to remove the whole tress with the piping in the way (in the case of a demotion). This might explain why the pips weren't re-positioned. However, the theory of multiple promotions has a couple of problems for me... The pips don't appear to have ever been moved, and the outer two seem a little far apart to have been in that configuration originally for the ranks of SS-Hauptscharführer or SS-Sturmscharführer. Given where the remnants of the first tress are, it seems like the second tress for SS-Sturmscharführer would have been crowding the first pip, but who knows. Also, if we consider a promotion from SS-Sturmscharführer to SS-Untersturmführer, this person would have been removing the tresses, attaching the piping, and adding a third pip at the same time. He would have had to remove the tab to bend the prongs into place for the third pip and add the piping, so he could have completely removed the first tress at this point if he chose (without having to deal with the piping). The theory has a lot of moving parts: multiple promotions, the addition of a second tress on the front side only, the removal of the tresses upon promotion, the removal of the tab to add the middle pip and piping for the rank of SS-Untersturmführer, etc. We could also consider the possibility that this man was in the Allgemeine-SS (rather than the Waffen-SS), where a promotion would have taken him from SS-Hauptscharführer directly to SS-Untersturmführer, which would negate the need for a second tress at all. However, I tend to use the "Occam's Razor" approach, and a simple tress removal due to demotion seems more likely to me. The tress seems to have been removed after the officer's piping was added, which makes a demotion from SS-Obersturmführer to SS-Untersturmführer plausible. If the tress was removed with the tab still on the tunic, it explains why the pips were not moved. It could also be something as simple as an SS-Untersturmführer procuring an SS-Obersturmführer tab somehow and modifying it to suit his actual rank... However it happened, I agree that it's doubtful that the modification was made post-war by a collector. We may never know the true circumstances, but it's fun to speculate anyway!

  4. #13


    very nice pair! I really like your tabs great condition! I especially enjoy the tags on the backside. Im going to let you guys in on a little secret... I paid $10 for my tab, went with my gut, thought I seen age and thought it looked good, guess this time my choice paid off!
    Thanks for all the help!

  5. #14


    Well, congrats on a great deal, Beau!

  6. #15


    I love the theorys as well definetly an item that makes a great conversation piece! if anyone wants to jump in and state any other possibilities I would definetly be amused

  7. #16


    stay tuned, definetly getting some better photos up in the next little while. my most likley explination is demotion, due to whats on the back I would also agree it was removed while on the tunic. I see no reason for a collector to remove it in this way or remove it at all. Also If he was out on the fron lines or somewhere resourses such as collar tabs wouldnt be the main import or focous, this could have been a quick solution to even temporarly show rank. once tabs were available it could have been removed from the tunic durring the war and a propper tab be placed on the tunic... just another of the many theorys,
    thanks again,

  8. #17


    Hi Dave, thank you for the response. I, again, have to somewhat disagree. There would've certainly been space to add a pip in the center and hypothetically speaking, the prongs could be bent into place without removing the tab. As for the tress crowding the pip, I've seen many period photographs were this exact anomaly has accrued, as well each strip of tress crowding one another.
    Your point about the outer piping was a great rebuttal, however, and something I didn't think about. My guess...again, this is only a guess, when promoted from the rank SS-Hauptscharführer to SS-Sturmscharführer he decided to leave the tab on the tunic and only add the newly required strip of tress to the exterior. Then, once promoted to the rank of SS-Untersturmführer, he removed the tab from the uniform, removed the two strips of tress from the tab-leaving remnants of the "correctly" first tress applied, added the center pip and exchanged the piping. Why not remove the tab both times? Probably because it wasn't necessary to the first time, yet it was the second. The pictures are also very poor so we can't be sure at this point how the silver/aluminum piping was applied.
    A question if I may, David; what are your thoughts with this tab? Do you feel as if it's postwar upgraded? Why do you think the tress still remains on the reverse?
    All this, of course, is speculation on our behalf and we probably will never be certain, but with the right debt we should be able to limit our options. By the way, it's nice to see your set came in, Dave. It's quite lovey.
    Going back to my first post, I forgot to mention last time that a thousand dollars for this example is not even close. 350-450 dollars is much more realistic, but seeing you only paid 10 dollars, it's a homerun regardless.
    Sorry, one last could be that this tab was for a SS-Obersturmführer and after 70 plus years the front tress was ripped off, but due to the stiching used to attach the tress, remnants remain where the thread was sewn.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #18


    I think we've both made some interesting points, and without the proper documentation, I don't think we'll every be sure of how this tab "came to be." As I said earlier, I don't think this tab was modified after the fact. It makes no sense for a collector to add two pieces of tress to the backside, and it makes even less sense for him to have removed the tress, because it could easily have been displayed as an SS-Obsersturmführer tab. Your last comment goes back to what I originally suggested: that the tress may simply have come off over time (although I'm not sure how much I believe that). I think we'll just have to be satisfied with the fact that this is an interesting (and authentic) tab.

  10. #19


    Agreed, and I must have misinterpreted your original stance...sorry about that. It's always fun to have a healthy debt with these situations though.

  11. #20


    Agreed! I was telling my wife earlier, "Man, my fellow collectors and I are really geeking out over this one collar tab!"

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