Anyone know what these Second World War German flags are?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Joe Roberts, Aug 2, 2013.

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  1. Hello, this is my first post to Arrse. I'm an Australian and I saw these three flags displayed in a local small town museum. I believe they were captured during the Second World War by Australian troops but other than that I have no information as this was just a local history museum. Here they are:


    The flag on the left of the pic resembles some sort of personal standard at a guess. I have absolutely no idea what the one in the middle is, but I believe there's an Edelweiss on the flag on the right, which would mean a Mountain Division or Gebirgsjager Division in German? (I don't speak German, I had to look that up.) If so, then as far as I know, if these flags were captured, that would have happened in Greece or Crete because that is the only place where Australians would have encountered such a Division? That is unless some man got these as a souvenir somehow? The flag on the right resembles a tactical sign in so far as it looks like stuff I have seen drawn on maps.

    Would appreciate any info.
  2. Right hand one,,German WWII SS Skull & Eagle Flag

    Left hand one,,DANZIG SS PARADE FLAG (With Eagle and Dharma Wheel).

    Middle one,,?
  3. Thank you. So the two smaller flags are SS? Would the Edelweiss on the right hand one signify an SS Mountain unit?
  4. I don't think so-certainly the left one looks more like a banner associated with the Reichsluftfahrtministerium: see here for a comparison with a banner for the Reichsluftfahrtminister The Luftfahrtminister Flag (Several Resolutions) by ~JPViktorJokinen on deviantART

    Banners of Heimwehr Danzig (and, later, SS Heimwehr Danzig) were totally different SS Heimwehr Danzig - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The banner to the right would seem to be a Divisional banner for SS Gebirgstruppen: the edelweiss denoting Mountain troops and the NSDAP eagle facing to the right as we view it.

    As to the one in the centre, that is a Fahne des Deutschen Soldatenbundes, an NSDAP organisation for WWI veterans. Veterans Association, Germany Empire 1933-1945
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  5. Well researched, FZC!

    Joe, as you don't speak German, the above translate more or less as follows:

    Reichsluftfahrtministerium = Imperial Aviation Ministry.
    Heimwehr = (local) militia, or Home Guard in UK parlance, in this case in the city of Danzig - these days, of course, the Polish city of Gdansk.
    Fahne des Deutschen Soldatenbundes = flag/banner of the Association of German Soldiers.

    I'm a bit surprised that the museum hadn't already done its own homework on these. Anyway, hope this helps. Oh, and a warm welcome to ARRSE!
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  6. The mountain troops of the SS lead a prticularly wierd existence. The 6th Division was attached to the Finns for a time and then fought in Russia. The other divisions (7 - Prinz Eugen, 13 - Handsjar, 23 - Kama and 24 Karstjaeger) were mainly involved in anti-partisan operations in Yugoslavia. Not all of them made Divisional size and many people don't like to openly discuss the history in the Balkans e.g the Handsjar was a Turkish sword and the division was made up of Muslims.

    Well worth a read, particularly about the brutality of operations in the Balkans and the political complications that hang on today as a result of WW 1 and WW 2.
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  7. Thanks for the welcome Democritus, and the others. This is a small town local museum which has lots and lots of stuff, not just military, but little information about quite a bit of what it has, including these flags. This was only my second visit there; the first time I was there I hadn't time to really take it all in, being in a bit of a rush. So I didn't even notice these first time, but this time I certainly did! Now it becomes rather intriguing. I know Australian Diggers were in North Africa, that was their first combat of the war. I forget exactly when it was, but I know several Australian units were withdrawn from North Africa for the defense of Greece and after that, Crete. They and their New Zealand colleagues put up a very stiff fight but they couldn't hold the Germans. I have read the only time Australians encountered SS troops in the war would have been in Greece and I was wondering whether the SS Division they encountered there would have had an SS Mountain Troop component. There is also mention of a Wehrmacht Mountain unit (not sure of its size) being involved in the battle for Maleme Airfield on Crete.
    Anyone who got out of Crete did so by the skin of their teeth I understand, so I am further wondering as to the source of these flags. Unless of course they were post war souvenirs.
  8. They are probably post was souvenirs as you say. No SS colours were takend during this fight.

    Waffen-SS: Yugoslavia and Greece

    BTW this is an excellent site overall.
  9. No, that will be from the ReichsVinceHillministerium I believe
  10. This room.jpg
  11. Joe, There were no SS units involved in the assault on Crete; the mountain unit was 5th Mountain Division of the Wehrmacht. On Day 1, the parachute assault had failed. The attack was saved by loading infantry of 5 MD onto transport aircraft that were then crash landed onto Maleme airfield. I concur with other comments that the flags are souvenirs.

    For an eye witness account from the German side: Daedelus Returned by a German Officer who took part is interesting reading (i'm afraid I can't find my copy)
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  12. Baron Friedrich von der Heydte, then CO of 1. Bataillon, Fallschirmjager Regiment 3.

    Friedrich August Freiherr von der Heydte - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  13. All three flags are modern made reproductions and/or fakes - not WW2 German made. Flags left/right with corner triangle supports are Japan made, circa 1970's, and retailed back then for ~$10 USD each. Center vet pattern flag with grommets is also a modern made reproduction.
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