Original German WWII Heer Army Panzer Major's Uniform Cutoff Insignia Grouping
Original Item: Only One Set Available. This is a very nice set of German WWII Heer Panzer Major's Field Uniform Insignia, cut off from a uniform and taken back home by a returning USGI. Most of the insignia are attached to pieces of the uniform it was taken from, however mothing has unfortunately degraded the uniform pieces, and completely removed the wool from one of the insignia. There also is some damage from mothing and wear to most of the insignia.
This set consists of:
- One Officer's Silver Bullion BeVo machine embroidered Wehrmachtadler Breast Eagle. It still is attached to a piece of the uniform, and the bullion is well retained. There is some moth damage to the rear of the insignia, and do the attached uniform piece.
- One Pair of Stabsoffiziere Schulterstücken (Field Grade Officer Shoulderboards) for a Panzertruppen Major. They are constructed with two rows of fine silver flatware "Russia Braid" double piping, which are plaited together to form a loop around the buttonhole. They both have have Rosa (Rose-pink) backings with piping around the edge, which was the Waffenfarbe (corps color) during WWII for Panzertruppen (Armored Troops) and Panzerjäger (Tank Destroyers). They do not have any additional "pips", indicating the rank of Major, the lowest of the "Field Grade" officers.
- One Pair of Field & Service style Officer's Litzen collar patch insignia. These are woven from silver bullion thread with a dark green background. The two colored stripes on each are Rose-Pink bullion, matching the Shoulderboards. Both are pretty much just the bullion portion now, with one retaining some of the fabric and backing around the edges.
- A P41 Feldbluse inspection paper, noting various different parts and processes during the assembly.
A great complete set of a Panzer troop Major's uniform insignia, ready to display!
The Heer as the German army and part of the Wehrmacht inherited its uniforms and rank structure from the Reichsheer of the Weimar Republic (1921–1935). There were few alterations and adjustments made as the army grew from a limited peacetime defense force of 100,000 men to a war-fighting force of several million men.
These ranks and insignia were specific to the Heer and in special cases to senior Wehrmacht officers in the independent services; the uniforms and rank systems of the other branches of the Wehrmacht, the Luftwaffe (Air Force) and Kriegsmarine (Navy), were different, as were those of the SS which was a Party organization outside the Wehrmacht. The NSDAP Party also had its own series of paramilitary uniforms and insignia.
The Reichsheer's shoulder-straps to enlisted men (German: Mannschaften) were very similar to those of World War I, made of feldgrau uniform cloth with pointed or "gable" button ends. In December 1934 the material was changed to gray badge-cloth (Abzeichentuch) and in September 1935 changed again to dark bottle-green (flaschengrün). These "first pattern" shoulder-straps were not edged in Waffenfarbe piping.
In 1938, simultaneous with the removal of Waffenfarbe from field-uniform collar patches, new shoulder-straps were issued. These "second pattern" straps had round rather than pointed ends, and were edged on three sides with wool (later rayon) piping in Waffenfarbe. This pattern would be used through the end of the war, although in 1940 manufacture reverted to field-gray uniform cloth, and as usual alternate versions were made to go with the Panzer uniform (black), tropical uniform (olive cotton) and HBT summer uniform (reed-green twill). Schulterklappen were not worn with the fatigue uniform, nor with camouflage smocks and parkas which used an alternate system of rank insignia.
For junior enlisted men (Mannschaften), rank insignia if any was worn on the left sleeve. However the epaulets did indicate the wearer's unit (usually regiment or independent battalion) together with his sub-branch if any, machine-embroidered in branch-color. For example, a Schulterklappe with rose-pink piping and number "4" would indicate the 4th Panzer Regiment; but if it carried a pink number "4" and letter "A" it would indicate the 4th Armored Reconnaissance (Aufklärungs) Battalion. The German Army used a very large assortment of Latin initials, Gothic initials, script ciphers, Arabic numerals, Roman numerals and symbols to designate all its various service branches and installations. Before the war, shoulder-buttons were embossed with the number of the wearer's company as well, this practice was discontinued "for the duration."
Beginning in January 1940, shoulder-straps with unit insignia were (supposed to be) phased out as a security measure, and removable fabric loops with devices were issued instead. In May 1944 the embroidery was changed from waffenfarbe to light gray.
Officers' shoulder boards were constructed from "Russia" braid, an aluminum-thread double piping. Company-grade officers (Leutnant through Hauptmann/Rittmeister) wore epaulets constructed by wrapping two side-by-side lengths of braid around the buttonhole and back, giving the appearance of eight parallel cords; the whole was sewn to an underlay (Unterlagen) of Waffenfarbe badge-cloth. Until 1938 the underlay was of the same outer dimensions as the braid, and only visible edge-on; in that year the underlay was made wider, so as to create the impression of edge piping like the enlisted shoulder-strap. Rank was indicated by zero to two gilt-metal rank stars; unit designators were also of gilt metal.
Field-grade officer (Stabsoffizier) shoulder boards were made by plaiting together double widths of Russia braid and looping them to form a buttonhole, sewn to a Waffenfarbe underlay; rank again was displayed by zero to two gilt stars.
Once the war began, dull gray aluminum braids appeared, but bright aluminum continued in use.
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