M42 army (Heer) field blouse ‘Turkistanische Legion’ for NCO


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SKU: U1077 Categories: ,


Interesting M42 pattern ‘Feldbluse’ that was tailor converted to a M36-style jacket by changing the green collar to a M36 dark green collar. The collar itself has a tresse for NCO ranks machine applied. Period machine applied ‘upgraded’ flatwire eagle on the chest and hand applied legion shield for the Turkistanische Legion (late ca.1943 printed example). The jacket remains in very good, light worn condition and the silk liner is bright and in good condition. Maker marked by Auschutz & Co. dated 1942. Void of major damages. Shows some awards loops as well. Stunning volunteer jacket!

The Turkestan Legion was the name for the military units composed of the Turkic peoples who served in the Wehrmacht during World War II. Most of these troops were Red Army POWs who formed a common cause with the Germans (cf. Turkic, Caucasian, Cossack, and Crimean collaborationism with the Axis powers). Its establishment was spearheaded by Nuri Killigil, a Turkish theorist of Pan-Turkism, which sought to separate territories inhabited by Turkic peoples from their countries and eventually unite them under Turkish rule.

Turkmen volunteers in France.
Although Asian peoples had been perceived as “racially inferior” by the Nazis they were ready to use them for war effort.

The first Turkestan Legion was mobilized in May 1942, originally consisting of only one battalion but expanded to 16 battalions and 16,000 soldiers by 1943. Under the Wehrmacht’s command, these units were deployed exclusively on the Western Front in France (Normandy) and Italy, isolating them from contact with the Red Army.

The battalions of the Turkestan Legion formed part of the 162nd Infantry Division and saw much action in Axis-occupied Yugoslavia (especially modern-day Croatia) and Italy.

A large portion of the Turkestan Legion was captured by Allied forces and repatriated into the Soviet Union after the war’s end, where they faced execution or incarceration by the Soviet government for having collaborated with the Nazis. Notable members of the legion include Baymirza Hayit, a Turkologist who after the war settled in West Germany and became an advocate for Pan-Turkist political causes.