WW2 German Army Afrika Korps Sonderverband 287 / 288 Patch, embroidered in yellow rayon thread on DAK Tropical Brown overcoat wool. A handful of these patches were found in the pocket of a DAK overcoat in Nuremberg, circa 1999. NO reaction to UV. Passes the thread burn test. Extremely rare! Exc.
Sonderverband or Special Unit 288 was formed in Potsdam, Germany on July 1, 1941. The special unit was drawn from units located throughout Germany and also had a special contingent of German personnel who had lived or had served in what is now South West Asia. The unit was created for a special purpose and as such was not organized along the line of a regular German brigade. In total the Sonderverband consisted of 7 to 12 companies with each company having a specialized duty.
Part of the unit were highly specialized personnel. Among these were a company comprised of linguists who were fluent is several Arab and Persians dialects, as well as Urdi, Hindi, and Sanskrit. Most of the people in this company had spent time in the areas (Syria, Iraq, Persia, and India) where the unit was to be deployed. Other non-combat companies included a print shop, a water testing unit, and Brandenburg (commando) Company. The Brandenburg company were to infiltrate enemy lines dressed as the enemy and commit acts of sabotage, gather information and cause other types of havoc.
The other companies were more standardized units. This was also the majority of the personnel. All of the combat companies were crossed trained so that personnel could be shifted from one combat company to another if the need arose. The following companies comprised the rest of the unit.
Gibirgjager (Mountain Infantry) Company
Flak (anti-aircraft) Company
Artillery company with an SP platoon.
Anti tank gun Company.
The entire unit was motorized using trucks for transportation. The only tracked armored was found in the SP platoon. The reconnaissance company possessed wheeled armored cars.
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