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I am looking at trying to collate any pictures of insignia relating to the various Freikorps that existed in Germany post WW1. Can anyone help please ?

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German Uniforms Insignia & Equipment 1918-1923 by Charles Woolley is a pretty good pictorial reference book although not cheap!

A cheaper option well written and researched although in my opinion there is no doubting the authors viewpoint on the subject is "The Birth of the Nazis: How the Freikorps blazed a trail for Hitler" by Nigel Jones. This has a good reference section listing many of the Freikorps (although listing all of them is nigh on impossible). :(

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  • 9 months later...

Were you interested in the actual insignia, or in period "in wear" photos?

Here is the sleeve insignia of Freikorps Reinhardt.

I've got a few period photos, some used in Charlie Woolley's book, and a few loose insignia like this one.

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Most of these were sewn on. It doesn't show well on the obverse, but there are pairs of holes at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock for attaching to the sleeve. Here's the back of the Reinhardt insignia

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These oakleaves were common to a variety of Freikorps-- and indeed were worn into the Third Reich by various sorts of "woodlands-outdoorsy" sorts.

I can't show the hollow stamped reverses, because these have great nasty prongs for jamming them completely through the collar, and my scanner can't manage that. I don't dare bend them flat-- they're at right angles to the leaves now.

These are the same "generic unit" leaves worn by the young private in my photo at lower right of Charlie's book on page 70.

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In a bit of international recycling, the Austro-Hungarian mountain troops edelweiss worn in mirrored pairs on the collar and on the left side of caps (stem forward) was ALSO used by Freikorps Bergmann and J?ger Bataillon Kirchheim.

This is an enlisted ranks left collar/cap insignia which I have "magically" flipped to show a matching collar pair, and show the reverse for construction. The yellow lacquered center piece is held on to the rest of the insignia with bent tabs, and then the whole insignia was sewn on.

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Although often lumped in with the "Freikorps," I don't actually think those mercenary, uniformed fighting units can be accurately compared to Home Guard organizations.

This is the armband of the M?nchen Einwohnerwehr, or Munich Home Guard. Middle aged bourgeois with no uniform but this, armed with rifles to keep the Red hordes up the other end of their street are NOT quite the same as the Silesian and Baltic combat units, in my opinion.

Although these shields were obviously intended for individual serial numbering, I've never seen one that was not blank. The Bavarian colors printed armband duplicates the striping pattern of Bavarian army long service awards.

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Cheers Rick

I really like the Minenwerfer Sturmdetachment Heuschkel badge. The design really matches the ethos of the Freikorps.


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