British Military Band Uniforms - The Household Division by WENDY SKILTON


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Its commander, Generalmajor Theodor Scherer, received the Oakleaves to the Knight's Cross for his conduct of the town's defence. The 1st Battalion of Police Regiment 25, which took part in the fiercest of the fighting, was duly awarded the honour title 'Cholm', and Dr Goebbels produced a propaganda book on the siege entitled Kampfgruppe Soberer - 105 Tage Eingeschlossen ('Battle Group Scherer - Cut Off for 105 Days'). Designed by Polizei Rottwachtmeister Schlimmer, a participant in the battle, the Cholm Shield was produced from stamped steel or zinc, painted silver or field-grey.

A unique example of this shield in hallmarked gold is reported to have been presented to von Kleist by his staff officers. All of the above five shields, the only ones verified from wartime photographs as having definitely been issued and worn, were supplied with backings of woollen or rayon cloth appropriate in colour to the tunics to which thev were attached. The reverse of each shield had prongs or edge tabs, generally four in number, which were pushed through the cloth and were then secured in place by being bent over a sheet steel or zinc backplate.

The war badge reflected participation in active service, rather than showing a particular skill which the wearer had mastered. Basically, the war badge con­ sisted of an oval wreath of oak or laurel leaves enclosing a symbol representative of the branch of service concerned. The whole badge was normally surmounted bv a stylised eagle and swastika, and different ranges of badges existed for all three ser­ vices, the Army/Waffen-SS, the Navy and the Luftwaffe. Most war badges were worn perma­ nently on the lower left breast pocket when in uniform, although the combat clasp, a senior form of war badge, was sported above the left pocket.

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