SEE BELOW FOR DESCRIPTION

H070275 SMOKE TROOPS 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. Of Note: The Smoke Troops branch of service color was originated by combining the light blue of Transport troops and the bright red of Artillery troops. Although designated "Bordeauxrot" (wine red), it generally had a distinctive purple hue. Also Of Note: The term Nebeltruppen was actually a camouflage term utilized by rocket launcher troops.

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

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $179.00

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