Ärmelschild Demjansk

SS-Oberscharführer Köchle
Hitler authorised the institution of a special campaign decoration in commemoration of the defensive battles around Demyansk in 1942. It took the form of a silver-washed zinc shield, topped by an eagle and swastika over a field bearing crossed swords and an aircraft over the date 1942, with the legend Demyansk above and was to be worn on the upper sleeve of the left shoulder of uniform. It is estimated that over 100,000 Demyansk shields were presented. Image: The Austrian volunteer SS-Oberscharführer Ludwig Köchle served as an Stoßtruppführer and Zugführer with SS-Totenkopf Division in the Demyansk Pocket. Köchle, also known as Bunkerknacker, was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for his actions in the pocket on February 28 1942. He was killed on June 9 1942 near Polizo southwest of Lake Ilmen. The basic SS rune collar patch was standard for all German and Germanic Waffen-SS formations except Totenkopf units, whose men wore the Death's Head throughout the conflict. Commons: Bundesarchiv.

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