German WWII Turkish (North Caucasians) Foreign Volunteer Unit “Bergkaukasien” (Caucasus Mountains)

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German WWII Turkish (North Caucasians) Foreign Volunteer Unit “Bergkaukasien” (Caucasus Mountains)-This is the Second pattern, a printed version introduced for wear in 1943. With the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 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 POWs and volunteers as laborers and supply personnel in the rear areas as early as the summer of 1941 against the express wishes of Hitler. Hitler finally allowed the formation of a Turkestan 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 Muslim Legion. In early 1942 the Caucasian Muslim 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. This is unissued and excellent.