Today I like to show you a cuff title from the Grenadier Regiment “Großdeutschland” which grew up to Division size in May 1942.
Cuff titles from special units were worn on the right side of the uniform. Remember the combat cuff titles like Afrika, Kreta, Metz 1944 and Kurland were worn on the left side of the uniform sleeve!
This one you see here came from a soldier who died in 1944 on the eastern front. In his estate were only this cuff title and the letter to his father from the unit commander that his son died for the fatherland.
We see here a hand embroidered cuff title, black doeskin with aluminum thread letters in sütterlin writing on it. The upper and lower border is named soutache. This soutache is also made from aluminum thread and woven by machine in an opposite direction, meeting in the middle of the border / soutache.
The cuff title is about 32 mm high and 375 mm long. The soutache is 3 mm strong. The letters are in different sizes, so you cannot compare one and another Großdeutschland cuff title…hand embroidered make that impossible. On the backside the cuff title is closed by a up and down stiching with a black thread. This will prevent the backside to open up and it is easier to sew it to the uniform. If you carefully open the backside, you will see a fabric backing which stabilized the letters.
Introduced on October 11th, 1940 this is the most common version. There are several font types and production variants.
I would also like to lay an old fairy tale to rest. This variant is popularly dubbed as the „exemplary officer“ cuff title and is offered commercially as such to maximise profits. It was by no means only for officers…….the hand-embroidered version was worn by all ranks, as evidenced by a large number of examples either handed-down or shown in photos.
Here some facts about the wording in the institution which you can find in the excerpt from the Army-Prescription-Journal on 10.11.40 / 59th Issue:
Instead of the cuff title as described in H.-V.-Bl. (Heeres Verodnungs Blatt ) 1939, Part B / S. 179 No. 271 para. 1c2, a 3.2 cm wide cuff title of black cloth with GROßDEUTSCHLAND in German cursive hand embroidered with aluminium thread is introduced for the Großdeutschland infantry regiment and for the army units of the Führer-Begleit-Bataillon. A sample of the cuff title will be sent separately.
The cuff title shall be worn as before on the field jacket, tunic and coat.
After the troops have been supplied with the new cuff title, the previous cuff title must be removed.
I hope you got a little inside view of the field “cuff titles” and the next time you have a Großdeutschland CT in hand, you know how to look at it !
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