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Freikorps Epp Ärmelabzeichen

Arm badge of Freikorps Epp

This badge was a distinctive insignia of one of the most famous Bavarian volunteer corps – Bayerischen Schützenkorps, widely known as Freikorps von Epp named after its commander, Franz Xaver Ritter von Epp (16.10.1868 – 31.12.1946) who formed it on February 08, 1919 in Ohrdruff.

Arm badges were worn by the former military personnel of Freikorps von Epp on the uniform of the Provisional Reichswehr (Vorläufige Reichswehr) and that of its successor, i.e. Reichsheer.

No official order introducing this badge for wear within Weimar Republic Armed forces is known to exist but it seems that the absence of objection from military authorities was due to the fact that Franz Xaver Ritter von Epp still played a significant role in post-war democratic Germany. In 1922 he was promoted to the rank of Major-General and held the post of the Higher Infantry Commander VII of the 7th (Bavarian) Infantry Division.

Arm badge of Freikorps Epp consisted of a black diamond-shaped fabric or velvet cloth on which a  stamped bronze-colored round medallion was sewn. Medallion had an image of a roaring lion’s head facing left.

In individual cases the arm badge had colored edging indicating the units of Freikorps.

Military personnel serving in the Bavarian Rifle Regiment No.2 (Bayerisches Schützen Regiment 2) carried unofficial distinctive insignia of their unit on a badge. Arabic numeral “2” most probably removed from old shoulder boards was fixed to the cloth diamond just below medallion by means of two thin long prongs. Horizontal cloth stripe in Bavarian national colors, blue and white, can be found sometimes sewn to the lower part of the badge. In that case Arabic numeral was fixed over it.

Freikorps Epp Ärmelabzeichen was worn on the upper left sleeve of the tunic sewn on above the elbow, but sometimes in the middle of a sleeve. Its wear on the overcoat is quite rarely seen.

Photographic evidence shows that the badge was generally worn until 1923 though no decree prohibiting its further wear seemingly didn’t exist. However, certain stormtroopers continued wearing arm badge at least until 1933.

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Freikorps Epp 1