Koppelschlösser beim Kampfverbände

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This photo is showing a rare appearance of the painted Waffen SS steel buckle (The member of the Waffen SS to the left). To the right a speciment of the more common encountered early type aluminium belt buckle, isssued for general service.

The german army belt buckle bearing the inscription "Gott Mit Uns" (may god be with us) is carrying a long tradition. World War I belt buckles are bearing the very same inscription and the design has only slightly changed. As Hitler came to power and Nationalsocialism began to influence uniform and appearance of the various arms and military organisations, the eagle and swastika became a part of the new design on the army, airforce and navy belt buckle. The new SchützStaffel (SS) was formed out of the fragments of Röms Sturmabteilung also became their own belt buckle bearing a modified eagle, the swastika and an inscription, based on the sworn oath to Der Führer: "Meine Ehre Heisst Treue" (my honour is loyalty). It is remarkable, that not even Hitler nor his Nationalsocialism dared to remove the somewhat religious inscription on the army buckle (Gott Mit Uns). The end of the war and the fall of The Third Reich did, however, put a definitive end to the inscription......

The Showcase: WSS, WH and WL belt buckles, 1937-44

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German army belt buckles were evidently a souvenir even before the war ended. This photo holds a lot of symbolism:

(from left)
Corporal 'Chick' Weir and corporal Johnning Humphries, British Airborne, are here seen posing in front of the Arnhem bridge, September 17 - 20, 1944.

During centuries, the conquerers of battles and wars wore personal items from defeated opponents - a tradition still alive during World War II: Both corporals mentioned are wearing the german army enlisted man's web belt and steele buckle.

(Courtesy Cornelius Ryan, A Bridge Too Far, 1974)

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