Army Aserbadschan volunteer's sleeve shield
First pattern, printed, (silk screened), identifying sleeve shield consists of a scalloped topped, pointed bottom, shield shape base with three horizontal bars in blue, red and green with a narrow black outer border. The top of the shield has an additional, black, horizontal bar with red script, "Aserbaidschan".
Overall excellent, unissued condition
With the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22ND 1941 the German army encountered large segments of the non-ethnic Russian populace that greeted them as liberators from the yoke of Bolshevism. Although Hitler was suspicious of the ethnic make-up and loyalty of these personnel the German commanders in the field quickly saw the advantage of utilizing these willing personnel in non-combatant roles. As a result of manpower restrictions the German army began employing non-ethnic Russian POW’s and volunteers as laborers and supply personnel in the rear areas as early as the summer of 1941 against the express wishes of Hitler. In an attempt to convince the Turkistanis to ally themselves with the German cause Hitler finally allowed the formation of a Turkistan Legion in November 1941 which was to be attached to the German 162ND Infantry Division as a parent and training unit. In December 1941 Hitler permitted three more foreign volunteer legions to be formed from non-ethnic Russian personnel with one legion being formed as the Caucasian Moslem Legion. In early 1942 the Caucasian Moslem Legion was divided in two to create the North Caucasian and the Aserbaidschan Legions. Shortly after formation personnel serving in the North Caucasian Legion were issued an identifying national sleeve shield to be worn on the upper right sleeve of the field uniform. The first pattern sleeve insignia was replaced in mid-1943 with a second pattern insignia.