H003861 INFANTRY EM/NCO'S SHOULDER STRAP SLIDE. (Aufschiebeschlaufen)

BACKGROUND: Although military ranks and rank designations can be traced back to the mercenary armies of the 17TH century it wasn’t until the creation of standing armies in the early 18TH century that distinguishing insignia of rank began to be developed. Originally the shoulder straps were functional items designed to secure the saber and ammunition shoulder cross straps and the larger, metal trimmed epaulettes were a throw back to the protective shoulder pieces worn on medieval armor. By 1800 the epaulettes had lost their protective function and were retained as a badge of rank. Generally military shoulder straps would indicate the rank, branch of service and the unit of the wearer. Slip on shoulder strap slides for wear by EM/NCO’s were originally introduced on January 24TH 1940 for economic and security reasons. The slides were cheaper and easier to produce then full shoulder straps and could be exchange easily if an individual was transferred or removed in the field to conceal unit designations. The shoulder strap slides generally had a unit numeral or specific designation letter chain stitched in the appropriated waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color). The different branches of service within the German army were allocated a specific, identifying, waffenfarbe with white being chosen for Infanterie, (Infantry), personnel, which was displayed as piping on the shoulder straps or as a unit designation on the shoulder strap slides.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The roughly, 1" tall, 3 3/4" wide, field-grey wool construction slip on shoulder strap slide has a machine stitched seam to the reverse and a white, chain stitched, cotton numeral "246" to the obverse. The slide is in overall very good condition with minor age and usage toning. The slide indicates that the owner was attached to the 246TH Infantry Regiment which was an integral component of the 88TH Infantry Division.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $30.00

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