Waffen-SS Wallonian Volunteer Arm Shield
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Foreign volunteers serving with the Waffen-SS were divided into ethnically based formations, although oftentimes several ethnic groups or nationalities were combined into a single unit. Arm shields were used to identify the nationality of a unit's members and they often incorporated a nation’s flag or a relevant cultural or ethnic symbol.
The shields were worn on the upper or lower left sleeve, although eastern troops often wore the shields on the right sleeve.
Initially, many of the shields were produced locally but the manufacturing process was later standardised by the RZM. All officially produced shields were machine-embroidered and the majority were produced by the firm Tröltsch & Hanselmann, Berlin.
There are often numerous versions or patterns of a sleeve shield.
There were around 40,000 Belgian volunteers in the Waffen-SS, and this number was divided between Flemings and Walloons.
Waffen-SS members from the French-speaking region of Belgium, Walloon, were issued arm shields that featured the Belgian flag and "WALLONIA” along the top. Members of the Walloon Legion generally preferred to wear the Army-style sleeve shield as opposed to the Waffen-SS version with thick black borders.
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