Wearing Two TV Cuff Titles?
This pic, which I saw posted elsewhere on this forum, appears to show an Unterscharfuhrer wearing both a Danzig Home Guard and 2nd pattern skull (Oberbayern) cuff title. As had been mentioned previously, the Danzig unit was disbanded in 1939 and the men reassigned to other TK units. Now I was wondering what was the policy regarding the wearing of two cuff titles in the WSS? Also, does the positioning of the Danzig title over the Oberbayern title indicate the Unterscharfuhrer had served in the Danzig unit first and then was reassigned to duty at Dachau, or vice-versa? Finally, why do you suppose he's wearing a runic collar patch instead of a TK, which would seem more appropriate?
04-06-2016 03:43 PM
Some very good questions. I know that you could continue wearing former unit cuffbands if they had them. Also, you get double cuffbands for things like "SS-Kriegsberichter". I saw a strange portrait photo once. I forget what was wrong with it but it turns out it was a tunic made up by the photographer for men home on leave to have their photograph taken in uniform. I don't think this is the case here. Now he is probably still in the Totenkopfverbande versus the Waffen-SS, which wasn't created until something like September 1940. So what were the rules for the SS-TV in 1939? Come on members, let's work this one out.
This is interesting because the Danzig Home Guard was supposed to have seen service in the opening phases of the hostilities with Poland, which might explain what looks a Wound Badge in silver, Iron Cross 2nd Class(?) ribbon, and the cane.
The 3rd batt. of SS panzer gren., from the 4th SS-pol. Pz. Gren Div. was allowed to wear SS Heimwher Danzig cuff title as a commemorative distinction.
On the subject of wearing the unit cuff title of a former duty assignment:
The bestowal of a name and an associated cuff title to an SS unit was considered an honor. The prestigious cuff title contributed to the unit's esprit the corps in no small way and was proudly worn by all.
Upon transfer to a new duty assignment, the cuff title of the former unit was to be replaced by that of the new one; if the new unit had not - or not yet - been given its own cuff title, the old one was to be removed and none worn at all. (This was often the case with German cadre personnel for newly-raised foreign volunteer formations during the war.)
Naturally, the latter was an extremely unpopular rule, and the transferees frequently continued to wear their old cuff titles, which was generally tolerated. Eventually, this common practice was officially permitted by an order of August 1943. (In the case of re-assignment to a new unit that had a cuff title, the old one was still to be replaced by that of the new unit.)
Normally, only one unit cuff title was worn (current or previous assignment), but sometimes they were worn together. In the case of former members of the "Freikorps Danmark" who went on to serve with the "Danmark" regiment, this was even officially permitted, with the old one authorized as a traditions badge.
On the subject of wearing more than one cuff title:
In addition to unofficial practices, there were cases in which wearing more than one cuff title was correct. In addition to unit cuff titles, the SS also had branch cuffbands (such as those for military policemen and war correspondents) and school cuffbands (such as those for the officer schools at Bad Tölz and Braunschweig). Officer candidates undergoing training at an officer school wore the school cuffband in addition to that of their regular unit; personnel entitled to a branch cuffband also wore it in addition to their unit cuff title (In both cases, obviously only if they had a unit cuff title to begin with). This resulted in the wearing of two cuff titles, and I have even seen a photograph of a Norwegian war correspondent and officer candidate wearing three: Unit, branch and school title.
The simultaneous wearing of more than one cuff title in this way was prohibited by the August 1943 order.
As for the actual photograph in question (which, incidentally, is well known and has appeared on several websites and in print):
It is not easily interpreted and we will probably never know just what is going on here. He could be a member of the SSTV Oberbayern regiment who was re-assigned to the SS-Heimwehr Danzig (wearing his Oberbayern cuff band as a traditions badge), or a former member of the SS-Heimwehr Danzig serving with the newly-raised Totenkopf-Division (wearing his SS-Heimwehr Danzig cuffband as a traditions badge and the Oberbayern cuffband as an unofficial divisional cuffband).
(This happened: The Totenkopf-Division was raised in 1939, but only got its "Totenkopf" cuff title in 1942. Veterans of Oberbayern continued to wear their old cuffband; but divisional personnel who had never served with that regiment also tried to get their hands on this cuffband, which, after all showed a Totenkopf [Death's Head].
However, both the SS-Heimwehr Danzig and the Totenkopf-Division had the "Death's Head" collar patch, which makes the presence of the Sigrunen collar patch a bit odd.
Yet another re-assignment? Confused orders? Supply problems? An individual quirk in disregard for the regulations? We will never know for sure.
@HPL2008: Has the man in the pic never been identified?
No (as far as I know).
Right out of the Beaver/Bando book... The first post photo too, but has no reference to who he is.
In all likelihood the young man pictured started in service with Oberbayern and was then drafted into the SS-Heimwehr Danzig.
All 4 pre-war SS-TV regiments were allowed to retain their "honour" titles. Probably up to 1943 when, as HPL2008 has pointed out, the wearing of two cufftitles was forbidden as of August 1943.
The runic tab was most likely a consequence of the man being transferred into one of the 17 Totenkopf Standarten when Heimwehr Danzig was broken up. Most of these Standarten were disbanded or re-designated as Waffen-SS infantry regiments in 1940 and 1941 and their skull collar patches were replaced with the SS runes.
I should add that I find the style of lettering somewhat strange for such a short-lived unit. One normally sees gothic lettering for these bands.
I would have thought the Unterscharfuhrer here would have been sent to the TK Div. and not to one of the VT when the war broke out, especially given Eicke's mania for keeping TV/TK personnel together.