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Two German Soldiers' Rings
By Eric Tobey


The following was taken from the Die Neue Feldpost newsletter & was done so with permission of the publisher.  We would like to thank him for his generosity as well as thank all those who have contributed to this article.  It is with their efforts, we are able to share this valuable research with the rest of you.

One popular souvenir of the Landser was the finger ring.  These were purchased in a myriad of materials and styles, a few of them instantly recognizable to collectors and militaria buffs: the death's head ring, and the "Afrika" ring to name a few.  One particular ring, the SS honor ring, was not really a souvenir at all, but rather a sort of decoration for meritorious service in the SS.

The typical soldier's ring would not fall into any of the above categories any more than the typical soldier was a member of the Afrika Korps or the SS.  Some of their rings carried rather mundane military designs on them like soldiers or aircraft.  Some bore political emblems or miniature facsimiles of medals.  Many rings do not have any outward appearances of being military at all: there were school rings, rings with city and regional crests on them, and souvenir rings from every place that the German Soldier found himself.  Signet rings were also popular.

One ring illustrated here combines the characteristics of the last two types.  The other is the typical commemorative signet ring.  Made from a flat piece of silver, they have the soldier's initials and at least the date engraved on the inside.  Ring "A" also has the name of a place which the Landser wished to remember engraved on the inside.

One rather interesting note to keep in mind is that in Germany, wedding rings are worn on the right hand.  If you are engaged, the ring is worn on your left hand.

 


Sources:
- Rommel's Army in Africa by Dal McGuirk
- Uniforms and Traditions of the German Army by J.R. Angolia and A. Schlicht
 

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