German WWII Don Cossacks Volunteer's Sleeve Shield-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 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. Of all the eastern peoples the Cossacks were the most favored by the Germans and when Reichsminister für die besetzten Ostgebiete, (National Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories), Alfred Rosenburg discovered they were of German, (Ostrogoths), not Slavic descendant the Cossacks were readily accepted to serve with the Germans. This resulted in assorted Cossack units being formed until May 1943 when the 1ST Cossack Calvary Division was formed from Don, Kuban and Terek Cossacks. As with other foreign volunteers Don Cossack personnel were allocated an identifying sleeve shield insignia that was introduced in 1943. This patch displays the Cyrillic letters for Voysko Donskoye, (Don Tribe/Clan). Scarce patch. We have a few, and the one you receive will be in as good if not better condition than the one pictured.