Help with German Collar Insignia

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by RJCarr, Sep 27, 2022.

  1. RJCarr

    RJCarr Member

    Seeking help identifying the unit associated with German collar insignia in the attached photo.
    The insignia was "obtained" by my father-in-law while serving with the 702nd Maintenance Company, 2nd Infantry Division during WWII. After his death in 1986, the insignia was found in a collection of artifacts that I recently used to write a summary of his time on the northern shoulder of the Battle of the Bulge. The artifacts were relevant in researching his status as a POW for a period of hours or days during that hectic battle. Since he was not a line trooper, he most likely became one out of necessity/circumstances in that battle.
    Known German divisions in the vicinity of Rocherath and Krinkelt, Belgium were the 12th VG, 3rd Para, 277 VG, 1st SS Armor and 12th SS Armor - none seem to match the insignia. It is distinctly possible, although unlikely, that the item was obtained elsewhere.
    For those who might be curious, that story, "Butts on this Article - A Story Late Being Captured," can be found linked to John Edgar Scott at

    Attached Files:

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  2. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    This is a badge for an communications engineer officer in the Kriegsmarine.
    Cloth and Insignia – Page 3 (4th row)

    It is possible that a naval officer was "loaned" to the army because of the shortage of such specialists at the time.
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  3. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

  4. RJCarr

    RJCarr Member

    Thank you most kindly. I can't seem to wipe the grin off my face considering the number of days off & on that I have searched for that citation. Today I began to pick at the edges of websites with Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine insignia since I knew from recent reading that both services coughed up personnel to fill the ranks of a thin Fifth Panzer Army. Divisions were re-positioned from the eastern front as well for Wacht am Rhein.

    While the referenced insignia came from the area of the Bulge in front of the 2ID, the following citation is from my research of another relative who was with the 110th RCT, 28ID - and who ended up in Stalag IIA.

    Page 177 of Chapter VII The Fifth Panzer Army Attacks the 28th Infantry Division, CMH The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge, contains this line:
    "To the surprise of the division staff the task of re-equipping and replenishing the 26th went amazingly fast for the beginning of the sixth year of the war. Replacements, mostly from the Navy, were whipped into shape by the "Old 26th," and first-rate equipment replaced that lost in the east." (emphasis added)
    I can't locate my primary reference indicating manpower from the both Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine were siphoned.

    Can't thank you enough!
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  5. RJCarr

    RJCarr Member

    The link to the document has been repaired.
  6. RJCarr

    RJCarr Member

    A Wikipedia article provides this comment about reinforcing units on the western front (see the "Mobilization and movements" section:
    "The Wehrmacht suffered nearly 750,000 casualties between June and November 1944, forcing the German leadership to recruit from the Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe, and industry, while extending the call-up age to all males between 16 and 60 years of age.[102] This extension allowed the Germans to increase their manpower in Western Europe from around 410,000 on 1 December to just over 1.3 million on 15 December.[103] These new soldiers were poorly trained, and this was exacerbated by the fact that most did not know of the offensive until days before it was launched, meaning many were not even informed of their objectives."
  7. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    Fascinating stuff, thank you for posting. I know nothing about redeployment of Kriegsmarine personnel so excuse any obvious oversight - is the inference that they would have retained their original uniforms (and thus, shoulder titles)? I'm guessing that if they remained in the navy they would, but that if drafted in as reinforcements to an army/SS unit they wouldn't. Which, to me, would lend weight to Itdan's suggestion of an officer loaned for a specific role, rather than a man transferred into an army/SS unit as a replacement.
  8. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    At this point in the war, all available air force and navy personnel were integrated into the army.
    It will hardly be possible to break this down much more precisely. At the end of 1944, the situation was already so desolate that it was de facto no longer possible to comply with regulations. Uniforms and equipment were issued according to what was available.
    The Volksgrenadier divisions in particular were a mostly poorly documented collection of the most diverse sub-units, whose battalions often only existed for a few weeks before they were destroyed.

    It is very conceivable that the owner simply did not receive the appropriate army insignia and therefore continued to wear his navy insignia out of necessity.

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