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H060071 MEDICAL EM'S SHOULDER STRAP. (Schulterklappen für Mannschaften)

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. The first pattern shoulder straps utilized by EM/NCO’s during the Third Reich period, (Circa 1933-1945), were a carry over from the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), era. On November 26TH 1938 the first pattern, pointed tip, shoulder straps without waffenfarben, (Branch of Service Color), piping, utilized by EM/NCO’s were replaced with a rounded tip shoulder strap that included the branch of service waffenfarben. Originally these second pattern straps were manufactured in blue/green badge cloth until regulations in May 1940 altered their construction to field-grey wool. These second pattern shoulder straps were worn for the duration of the war although a slightly modified, third and final pattern was introduced in September 1944. The different branches of service within the German army were allocated a specific, identifying, waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), with cornflower blue being chosen for Sanitäts, (Medical), personnel which was generally displayed as piping on the shoulder straps. Of Note: Enlisted Medical personnel’s shoulder straps signify the ranks of, Sanitätssoldat, Sanitätsobersoldat, Sanitätsgefreiter, Sanitätsobergefreiter and Stabsgefreiter inclusively, with the ranks of Sanitätsobersoldat and above utilizing specific, sleeve rank insignia. Also Of Note: Military medical personnel were legally classified as non-combatants and as a result were to be unarmed and were to be recognizable by wear of the internationally accepted, neutrality insignia consisting of a red cross on a white background. Although the medical personnel, (theoretically), fell under the protection of assorted articles of the Geneva Convention of July 27TH 1929, this was not always the case in the field and many instances of armed medical personnel, and attacks on medical personnel have been recorded by all belligerents during WWII.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Later, second pattern, (Circa May 1940-May 1945), field-grey wool construction, slip on shoulder strap with cornflower blue wool waffenfarbe piping.

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $??? Value $49 plus

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