John Angolia and Adolf Schlicht wrote an excellent piece of work on uniforms along with their traditions within WW2 german ranks. This excerpt is focused on the wehrmacht eagle, which is also called the eagle of the third reich, and it points out an interesting piece of history regarding the eagle patch.
“Initially, the black/white/red escutcheon on the steel helmet (introduced by order HV 33, No. 121, dated 14 March 1933) was termed the “national emblem” (hoheitsabzeichen). However, after the introduction of the eagle emblem (sometimes referred to as the national eagle (Hoheitsadler), this was exclusively termed as the “national emblem.
The official introductory order (Chef der Heeresleitung No. 440/34 WehrA. Allg.IV -Az.64) dated 17 February 1934, stated that the national emblem was to be worn on all steel helmets, peaked caps, tunics, and field blouses no later than 1 May 1934. The earlier state cockade was abolished by this same order.
On 30 October 1935, order HV35, No. 646, required that the national emblem be worn on all field caps and the black panzer beret. The following month, on 11 November, order HV 35, No. 690, required it for the athletic uniform and the black panzer jacket. On 11 February 1936, order HV36, No. 190, authorized it for wear on the mountain cap.
It was characteristic for a national emblem to be worn even from Imperial days, so it would not have been unusual for a national emblem to be worn by the Wehrmacht, albeit bearing the swastika. It did serve a purpose as a visual reminder of the subjugation of the army to Hitler.”
German WW2 Uniforms – Wehrmacht Eagle
The wehrmacht eagle was worn on several different uniforms such as
- Field Blouse
- Service Tunic
- Field Gray Field Jacket
“The machine woven national emblems measuring 8.3-9.2 x 3.6-3.9 cm were worn by privates and NCO’s on the field blouse, service tunic, and field gray field jacket with the backing that of the tunic. The regulation pattern national emblem blended with the dress worn. However, some were distinctive, e.g. Panzer and tropical”
Eagle of the Third Reich – 1935 Pattern
“The 1935 pattern enlisted /NCO eagle was woven in an off-white on light gray background. Although machine woven, this is a heavier pattern weave with the accents more pronounced. This pattern eagle came in a multitude of shades of gray for the base/background material.”
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