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Question about the Leibstandarte "Key" symbol

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Question about the Leibstandarte "Key" symbol

Postby Wolfkin on 04 Jun 2002 07:59

I am wondering about the "Key" insignia of the Leibstandarte. I know that during the war it changed from just a key, to a key in a crest/shield, to a key in a crest/shield and surrounded by leaves to finally a key in a crest/shield with a couple of leaves on the bottom.

The trouble is I am having difficulty pinpointing exactly when these changes took place. According to Panzer Colours III, the Leibstandarte had the one variation with the key, crest/shield and surrounded by leaves from 1942 to 1943, except during Kursk. They changed to the variation with just the leaves on the bottom of the key-in-crest/shield in 1944.

A few other sources say that they didn't have the leaves at all until 1944. But I thought that the division added the leaves to their symbol to commemorate the fact that their commander, Dietrich, was awarded the oak leaves to his Knight's cross, which would mean they added them in 1942.

So, is Panzer Colours III correct or are the other sources? Can anyone help with this? Thanks in advance!

Wolfkin
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Postby Andy H on 04 Jun 2002 11:59

In addition to Wolfkins query can anyone shed light as to why there is a variation on the actual shield shape itself. Normally the R/H quadrant would be cut back, but some pics show LAH vehicles with full shield?

:D Andy from the Shire
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Postby Christian Ankerstjerne on 04 Jun 2002 12:05

I wouldn't count to much on Panzer Colours - quite a lot of flawed information in them :(

I don't think you can set down one date. It would be hard to specify, for one, and it is highly unlikely that every vehicle change even within a few weeks...

I think that 'guessing' from pictures would be your best bet...

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Postby Starinov on 04 Jun 2002 14:30

As far as I know, the "key" symbol was chosen because the word in german sounds similar to the Sepp's last name. The shield was added when th 1st SS became a motorised unit. The leafs were added in 1942 when Dietrich got his Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross. During Kursk, the insignia changed to hide the the division from soviet intelligence.

In 1943, the Hitlerjugend division was created taking some officers and NCO's from the 1st SS. the 12th SS insignia was a mix of 1st SS and Hitkerjugend's Sieg rune. Also, when the 1st SS PzK was created in 1944, it gave birth to a new insignia: two keys in a shield with oak leaves. Meanwhile, the 1st SS still used its key, shield and oak leaves insignia...

The shield itself changed depending of the type of the division. When it was a motorised one, the shield was a regular one. When it became a PzGrD, the shield was dented on the right side and PzD, on the left side (or vice versa).
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Postby Christian Ankerstjerne on 04 Jun 2002 14:40

The German word for key (if my schoolar German does not decieve me), is Schlüssel...

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Postby Starinov on 04 Jun 2002 14:56

Ferdinand Porsche wrote:The German word for key (if my schoolar German does not decieve me), is Schlüssel...

Christian


how do you call a master key that opens all doors?? I meant that word... sorry about misleading you..
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Postby Loki on 04 Jun 2002 15:04

Hi to every one. I am from the Military History Board.

The german word for a key which is useful to open a couple of doors is "Dietrich".
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Postby Birgitte Heuschkel on 04 Jun 2002 15:33

Loki wrote:The german word for a key which is useful to open a couple of doors is "Dietrich".


Yep, that's the one I heard too, that the LSSAH -- or rather, at that time, LAH -- got their insignia from Sepp's name.
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Postby Christian Ankerstjerne on 04 Jun 2002 15:41

OK, me better understand now ;)

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Postby Marcus Wendel on 04 Jun 2002 15:43

Loki,

Welcome to the forum.

/Marcus
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Postby Radar on 03 Aug 2002 19:20

The name comes from Sepp Dieterich. A "Dieterich" in English is a Skeleton key. This symbol you can find in the shield from the 1st and 12th Panzer Div because Dieterich was the commander.
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Postby Mark C. Yerger on 04 Aug 2002 03:58

The original design was created by August Trabandt, later KC winner and commander of 18SS. He had great artistic skill and did a number of military related designs according to his family who contacted me during research of "Waffen-SS Commanders."

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Postby Requin Marteau on 06 Aug 2002 08:27

Mark Yerger wrote:The original design was created by August Trabandt, later KC winner and commander of 18SS. He had great artistic skill and did a number of military related designs according to his family who contacted me during research of "Waffen-SS Commanders."


The basic badge of the LAH was "3 intersected letters L.A.H.", after the battle of Holland, "the dietrich" is raised by the vehicles of division :
- White "dietrich" for the I./LAH,
- Yellow "dietrich" for the II./LAH,
- Red "dietrich" for the III./LAH.
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