• An Introduction to the Afrikakorps Cuff Title
    by @DAK

    The “Afrikakorps” cuff title became an official award from the 18th July 1941 (Prior to this date the various locally made black unofficial Afrikakorps cuff titles had been worn by some German soldiers from all branches of the Wehrmacht) Criteria for the award was a minimum of two months service in North Africa, before the award could be worn on the tropical blouse, or woollen greatcoat.  However, many German soldiers decided to keep their titles as souvenirs and many of these titles were taken from German POW’s by allied soldiers throughout the Desert Campaign and in Tunisia.

    The "Afrikakorps" cuff title was to be worn approximately 15cm from the bottom of the lower right sleeve on the tropical field blouse and the woollen tropical greatcoat. The wearing of the cuff title was permitted when wearing the field-grey tunic on leave in Europe, and on the tropical uniform in the summer months when on leave in Europe.

    With the introduction of the "Afrika" campaign title on January 15th 1943 the“Afrikakorps” cuff title was ordered to be removed, but this order was probably ignored in the frontline by some soldiers, as the official Afrika title was slow to be awarded and it is doubtful that any actual titles made it to Tunisia before the surrender in May 1943.

    The "Afrikakorps" cuff title is very well known to collectors of Third Reich militaria and the three offical versions are easy to find at a good price. However, these titles have been copied for many years now, with the Diamond back tartan weave being the most infamous copy

     

    Rare original, locally made black DAK cuff tilte.These rare black variants were probably locally made in Tripoli, or Naples whatever the case these original non - official versions are very hard to find and there are some fakes on the market.There a few different black DAK titles, but I will not be covering all of them in this thread for now.

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    Reverse of the black "Afrikakorps" cuff title, showing typical rubbing and wear for a uniform removed title.

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    Reverse inside showing the back details and the letters

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    The standard original factory manufactured "Afrikakorps" cuff title. This is the most common version and is easy to find in Europe

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    The reverse of the standard Afrikakorps cuff title showing the construction and lettering.

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    This is the variant original "Afrikakorps" cuff title : note the inside shape of the top part of R & P are the same size. This version has been questioned by some novice collectors. However, it is a fine original variant title. This title is also fairly easy to find in Europe.

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    The reverse of the original variant "Afrikakorps" cuff title, showing the construction of the letters and title. Note the R&P on this one.

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    Late original Tan/ Ginger variant of the "Afrikakorps" cuff title, there is no evidence these were ever issued to German soldiers serving in North Africa. These are the most common Afrikakorps cuff titles found in the USA today.

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    The reverse of the Tan/Ginger Varient, showing the construction of the title and lettering.

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    This is a typical "Tartan Weave" fake Afrikakorps cuff title, that is also known as the "Diamond Back fake"

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    The reverse of the tartan weave fake

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    A close up view of the reverse

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    Points to look at on the front of this well known fake.

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    Points to look at on the back Note : the diamond back shape to the "O" and typical tartan weave.

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    The rare black version being worn. (This is a still from a DVD) Copyright History Films Germany

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    This interesting photo shows German soldiers in North Afrika wearing the offical version of the Afrikakorps cuff title.

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    Words and Pictures © @DAK D 2016

    You can discuss this article at the forum:

     



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