Recommended reading on military insignia

Discussions on military insignia (for example squadron emblems).
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Marcus Wendel
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Recommended reading on military insignia

Postby Marcus Wendel » 16 May 2009 21:04

The idea of this sticky is to collect recommandations on good books and websites dealing with military insignia.

Please post the title, author and a short (or long) explenation as to why you feel that particular title deserves to be included.


If you buy through the below links you not only get the books you want but you also support the forum while shopping!
* (UK, Germany, France, Canada)
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Re: Recommended reading on military insignia

Postby Tyskaorden2 » 17 May 2009 17:04

US Army Heraldic Crests - A complete Illustrated History of Authorized Distinctive Unit Insignia by Barry Jason Stein and P.J. Capelotti, University of South Carolina Press 1993. An mammoth work on Unit DUI:s of the US Army as of 1993. Included are date of approval, explanation of symbolism, a picture of the actual Insignia and a Campaign credit of the Unit (following the style used on Army Battle Streamers).

As teaser is to be found at Google Books:,M1

John in Tronna
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Re: Recommended reading on military insignia

Postby John in Tronna » 08 May 2013 08:48

Almost anything by Guido Rosignoli. His books have numerous colour plates with detailed hand-drawn illustrations, and very detailed and well-researched text notes that include historical background and explanations. The best thing before the invention of the internet. I have two of his books on insignia:

Badges and Insignia of World War II — Air Force, Naval, Marine (Jun 1982). Covers the major players and some of the overlooked ones: US, UK, USSR, China, Poland, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Finland, Germany, Japan, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria.
World Army Badges and Insignia Since 1939 (Sep 1983). This is actually a compilation of 2 books, one covering WWII and the other the post-war years. Covers: UK, US, Germany (Third Reich, BRD and DDR), Italy, USSR, Belgium, and Poland.

Mr Rosignoli also authored

Ribbons of Orders, Decorations, and Medals (1979). Not an insignia book per se, but shows the medal ribbons (and some of the medals) of many of the above-mentioned countries, from before WWII to the publication date — for example, the section on the USSR also includes some czarist decorations.

I would also recommend:

→ F.R. Tripp: Canada's Army in World War II: Badges and Histories of the Corps and Regiments (1983). Black-and-white photos of the cap badges of the Canadian Army, including the infantry and armoured regiments, the various support corps, the university officer training corps units, and even outfits like the Veterans Guard of Canada and the Canadian Foresters. "Histories" is a bit broadly used here, the book generally confines itself to when the unit was stood up and/or stood down during the war, where it was deployed, etc. It also lists the battle honours for each combat unit, if applicable.

Also an official publication:

→ Government of Canada: The Insignia and Lineages of the Canadian Forces: (incomplete) link
Volume 2, Part 1: Extant Commissioned Ships link pdf
Volume 3: Armour, Artillery, Field Engineer and Infantry Regiments link
Part 1: Armoured, Artillery and Engineer Regiments (pdf)
Part 2: Infantry Regiments (pdf)
Volume 4: Operational Flying Squadrons link pdf

The above are official publications of the Canadian Forces, through their Department of History and Heritage, and are not yet complete as you can see (personnel branches, paid-off ships, former units, commands and formations, etc, are yet to be represented). Try to get your hands on an old copy of CFP 267 (CFP means "Canadian Forces Publication"), the paper predecessor to the above: many were discarded when the publication was superseded by a new one that never really materialized.

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