SS-Nachrichtensturmbann Cuff Title
Image courtesy of Angolia, "Cloth Insignia of the SS"
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Cuff titles were a distinct part of the SS uniform that were used to identify the wearer's unit. Cuff titles were worn by all ranks in the SS on the lower left tunic sleeve and were produced in different materials and styles depending on rank.
In late 1934, the manufacture of items produced for NSDAP formations came under the control of the Reichszeugmeisterei (RZM, National Quartermaster's Office). The insignia produced by the RZM were marked with an RZM approval tag.
Originally, all SS members wore cuff titles that featured the name of the unit hand-embroidered in aluminium wire. Hand-embroidered cuff titles were produced by hand-embroidering wording and/or numbers onto a blank cuff title. Fine aluminum wires were generally used in the production of these cuff titles, although, silver and gold thread, as well as yellow or white synthetic thread, were also used. These cuff titles are generally found with RZM paper or woven labels. This style of manufacture was popular until 1939/1940 and fell out of favour due to the cost.
In 1939/1940, Officer grade cuff titles began to be machine woven instead. These woven flatwire cuff titles were produced using aluminium, silver, white celleon, and gold/yellow celleon to create wording and/or numbering. The term ‘flatwire’ refers to the fact that the fine threads lay flat, unlike hand-embroidery which is raised. There are two types of flat wire weave cuff titles, Form 1 and Form 2.
Form 1 cuff titles feature a salt-and-pepper reverse and Form 2 cuff titles feature an all black reverse with a protective cloth backing sewn over the wording. The inscription on Form 2 was produced using much finer aluminium thread than Form 1.
As of 1936, cuff titles for Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and Enlisted Men (EMs) were machine-embroidered in cotton/silk thread. Machine-embroidered cuff titles were manufactured by machine-embroidering wording or numbers onto a strip of blank cuff title material. The embroidery was usually done in white/silver/grey thread and the thickness varies. The average length of this style of cuff title is 49cm, with the shortest being 41cm and the longest at 50cm.
The cuff titles were first produced in Gothic script, but in December of 1939, cuff titles with Latin script were introduced.
Members of the SS-Nachrichtensturmbann (Signals Battalion) originally wore blank cuff titles, but in 1937, members of the unit were issued cuff titles embroidered with "SS-NACHRICHTENSTURMBANN" in a gothic script. This cuff title was abolished in May of 1940, as it was believed individuals wearing this cuff title would be a security risk.
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