Badge of the Croatian/German ES Units
Badge of the Einsatzstaffel (ES) der Deutschen Mannschaft, in die stamped bronze, with characteristic Croatian style pin on reverse, 32.2mmx42.82mm, unmarked, in very fine condition; rare. Established in July of 1941, this force comprised of ethnic German minority was officially part of the Croatian Ustasha Army, although led by local German Officer cadre. After fall of Jugoslavia, in July 1941, Einsatzstaffel (ES) der Deutschen Mannschaft was established as part of Deutsche Mannschaft (main organization of ethnic Germans in Croatia). Most of the soldiers of Einsatzstaffel (ES) were from north-western part of Croatia (and northern part of Serbia), namely Slavonia and Srijem. First commander of this unit was local German Jakob Lichtenberger, appointed by the leader of ethnic Germans in Croatia Volksgruppenfhrer Branimir Altgayer. Initially this unit was equipped with locally made (in Osijek) uniforms similar to uniforms of Croatian Home Guard, however at the beginning of 1942 Waffen SS style uniforms were introduced. Many members of these units served on the Russian Front in 1941-42; however in 1943 this entire unit was incorporated into 7.SS-Freiwilligen-Gebrigs-Division "Prinz Eugen".