H046779 MEDICAL ACADEMY OBERSTARZT'S SHOULDER BOARD. (Schulterstücke)

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. In 1866 a new system of rank distinguishing Officer’s shoulder boards were introduced to replace the previously worn epaulettes although the epaulettes were retained for the parade and dress uniforms. Although the officer’s shoulder boards underwent numerous minor modifications they remained basically the same right up until the end of WWII. The different branches of service within the German army were allocated a particular identifying waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), which was displayed as the base on the shoulder boards with cornflower blue being chosen for Sanitäts, (Medical), personnel. The German armed forces utilized a wide variety of shoulder board/strap cyphers that indicated numerous specific, assorted trades, careers, functions and/or units. Regulations decreed that the shoulder board/strap cyphers were embroidered in the branch of service color for EM’s and Junior NCO’s, in silvered metal for Senior NCO’s and in gilted metal for Officer’s ranks. Originally the shoulder board/strap cyphers for Senior NCO’s and Officer’s used during the Third Reich were a low, flat pattern that had been utilized by the Weimar era Reichsheer until regulations of September 10TH 1935 introduced new Wehrmacht pattern cyphers that featured a horizontal ribbed interior and raised outer edges.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Sew on shoulder board of interwoven, matte silver/aluminum Russian braid with a gilt washed, stamped alloy, caduceus, (Serpent intertwined on a staff), Gothic letter "A" and double rank pips. Tough one to find.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $359.00

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