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freikorps von epp sleeve badage


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hi bolwerts58 ..

thanks for the confirmation on the sleeve badge , on a slow learning curve with the freikorps items . hard to find reference material on the subject . this one turned up on ebay at a give away price found it with 2mins left to run and took a chance after a quick look . for all its many issues you can still find a golden nugget in the dung on ebay. thanks again ....regards paul

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hi bolwerts58 ..

thanks for the confirmation on the sleeve badge , on a slow learning curve with the freikorps items . hard to find reference material on the subject . this one turned up on ebay at a give away price found it with 2mins left to run and took a chance after a quick look . for all its many issues you can still find a golden nugget in the dung on ebay. thanks again ....regards paul

You're welcome.

Reference books are few and far between and those that exist are not comprehensive nor perfect. Beside Ernst von Salomon's 1938 illustrated opus "Das Buch vom Deutschen Freikorpskämpfer" , which is in re-print for around 50 Euros (an original is about 180 Euros), there are two other small references: Deutsche Freikorps 1918-1923 by Lothar Bichlmaier and Lothar Hartung - a price-guide mainly of Freikorps awards (it has some glaring mistakes) and Katalog der Uniformabzeichen der deutschen Freikorps by Ingo Haarcke. The latter is the most comprehensive catalogue with prices on Freikorps unit insignia. But, it too has a few mistakes and makes some assumptions that aren't proven. The only English references are by Verkuilen Ager, both published in the 1970s and containing line drawings only: Awards of the German Freikorps 1919-1935 (1972) and Freikorps Insignia (1979). Both are out of print, but turn up from time to time. I knew Verkuilen pretty well, back in the day, but lost contact with him many years ago. He's still considered one of the leading experts. Although, I think some his information is now somewhat dated, as more accurate information has come to light. The most recent and by far best references are unfortunately in Russian. The Baltic Cross and other decorations of German volunteer units in the Baltic Republics, 1918-1919” and "The Silesian Eagle and other decorations of German volunteer units in Upper Silesia, 1918-1921”, both by Konstantin Nikolayev, considered the leading expert on Freikorps, at the moment.

The problem is that most of the original Freikorps records were destroyed in a March 1945 bombing raid. So, what's left has been pieced together from various sources over the last 65 years and has left as many unanswered questions as it has provided answers.

I would say that up until a few years ago, there were hardly any collectors compared to other areas of German Militaria because of this lack of reference material.

But, the open nature of Freikorps material and the fact that there has been a dramatic rise in interest in the last 5 years, or so has led to an increase in the number of fakes and spurious items appearing on the market. So far, the fakes are confined to a number of well-known, high-profile and in-demand items such as the Silesian Eagle, Baltic Cross, Bug Star, Loewenfeldt Crosses, Oberland Bund medals, Ehrhardt Brigade badges, von Epp badges and medals etc. But, I expect this will expand to include other items, as knowledge and demand grow.

There still needs to be a high-quality comprehensive reference written in English (or even German) ,on both the Freikorps awards and unit insignia.

Edited by bolewts58
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