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(Login Christoph33104) Missing-Lynx members from IP address 184.108.40.206
I am doing some research on Infanterieregiment "Grossdeutschland" in France May/June 1940. A book, first published in the sixties with the cooperation of "GD"-veterans, tells the story that the regiment was formed and named in summer 1939. In August 1940, for its performance in the Battle of France, it was awarded the then unique privilege to wear an armband with the unit name on the lower right sleeve of all uniforms. This is plausible in itself, and it was done that way in other instances (e. g. "Hitlerjugend", named spring 1943, armband September 1944 as an award for Normandy).
That would mean: no armband in May/June 1940. On the other hand, DRAGON got out its "Blitzkrieg"-set in 2007. The box art, by Ron Volstad no less, showed an officer wearing the armband. "OSPREY"-artwork from the nineties is another example.
The few fotos I was able to look at, again from the book mentioned above, are either too fuzzy to tell or show only the left arm or rolled up sleeves.
So what are your thoughts? Is there any hard evidence out there?
According to the book God, Honour, Fatherland the green cuff title was issued on 24th August 1940 while in Alsace and this was changed on 7th October to a black woven cuff title with slightly different lettering
(Login volstadart) Missing-Lynx members 220.127.116.11
October 28 2010, 9:03 PM
Well, I know for a fact that this Volstad guy makes lots of mistakes (perhaps choosing to be a military illustrator was his biggest one).
As for the artwork you've mentioned, that illustration comes from the 2005 Concord title "Blitzkrieg, The German Army 1939-41" (which was a really good idea when it was proposed and not so much in its execution). That particular painting was produced in 1994 (the title Bill mentioned was printed in 1997). In any event, the source that was most likely relied upon was Brian L. Davis' book; "German Army Uniforms and Insignia 1933-1945). This indicates that the first cuff title for Grossdeutschland was instituted on 15 September 1939 with silver Gothic letters and edging on a dark green material. In May 1940 this was to be replaced by a black cuff title with silver Gothic letters and edging reading INF. REGT. GROSSDEUTSCHLAND. For what must have seemed like a good reason at the time, the green cuff title was used in the illustration.
I've had no occasion to investigate further since, but would be interested to hear if fresh info has been presented.
many thanks for your responses! ("Mistakes", "choice of profession"?!! - come on Ron, your work has been inspirational for decades. Your colour plates for SQUADRON SIGNAL in the seventies are a big reason that I got interested in these things!).
The German book I mentioned, "Panzer-Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland and its sister units", tells the same story as "God, Honour, Fatherland". The latter book is a work of exemplary (and, unfortunately, rare) quality as it only prints photos of very high quality with correct captions.
Therefore, "God..." really starts with the workup to the summer offensive of 1942. Photography was still an expensive hobby in 1940s Germany, so most of the really good pictures were taken by professionals, i. e. war correspondents. Media interest, to use that modern term, in "Grossdeutschland" was low as long it was only a reinforced regiment. In the Battle of France, the "Verfuegungsdivision" and other SS-units were the stars of the show, as they were to be unveiled to the public. And the Wehrmacht, of course. Ironically, "Grossdeutschland" was a response by the traditional armed forces to the ominous growth of armed and militarily trained SS- and SA-units before the outbreak of war.
So I think that at the moment it is safe to assume that "GD" did NOT wear cuff titles in May/June 1940. Of course, may be tomorrow those blurry pics from grampa´s estate will be put up on eBay, showing him and his mates crossing the Meuse, proudly displaying their cuff titles...