H070363 TRANSPORT 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 light blue being chosen for Transport, (Transport), personnel which was generally displayed as piping on the shoulder straps. Of Note: Enlisted Transport personnel’s shoulder straps signify the ranks of, Schütze, Oberschütze, Gefreiter, Obergefreiter and Stabsgefreiter inclusively with the ranks of Oberschütze and above utilizing specific sleeve rank insignia. Also Of Note: Although the Transport branch of service may sound like a mundane assignment it was of the utmost importance as they were the personnel responsible for the control of all supplies to the forward troops including all vehicle fuel, and lubricant requirements as well as ammunition, animal feed and rations.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Later, second pattern, (Circa May 1940-May 1945), slightly mottled, field-grey wool construction, slip on shoulder strap with light blue wool waffenfarbe piping. The bottom of the strap and the slip on retaining tongue are also in slightly mottled, field-grey wool and the reverse of the slip on tongue has a green cotton/rayon blend reinforcement panel machine stitched in place. The shoulder strap is in overall very good condition with minimal age and usage toning and a small, purplish stain to the waffenfarbe piping.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $65.00

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