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Luftwaffe

When it was originally founded in March 1935, the Luftwaffe's rank insignia and titles were modelled after those of the SA and SS. Thus, in addition to the ranks on their shoulder straps, members of the Luftwaffe wore a set of rank patches on the collars of their tunics as well. These were parallelogram-shaped, in the appropriate Waffenfarbe or arm-of-service colour (yellow for aircrew), with ranking in the form of silver grey "wings".

All pilots in the Luftwaffe were either of NCO grade or commissioned officers. Ranks from Unteroffizier (the lowest pilot grade) to Oberfeldwebel wore a sequence of one, two, three and four wings, but with silver Tresse round the collar itself, inside of the yellow piping.

The straps of company officers of were of ribbed backing of waffenfarbe (yellow for aircrew) which showed at the long and rounded edges; the straight outer edge of the strap was sewn down into the shoulder seam of the tunic. Two double strips of braid were led along the backing, round the button-hole and back along the strap, giving the effect of eight widths of cord. The junior commissioned rank, Leutnant, worn no additional insignia. The Oberleutnant wore a single gold pip near the outer end; the Hauptmann, two pips equally spaced. Senior officers wore more elaborate shoulder-straps of interlaced cord, giving a plaited effect. Majors wore them without additional insignia; the Oberstleutnant was marked by a single gold pip, the Oberst by two.

A stylized oakleaf spray appeared at the bottom of junior commissioned ranks' patches; above them appeared ranking in the form of the wings embroidered in silver. One, two and three wings identified the ranks of Leutnant to Hauptmann. Senior officers' patches bore a complete oval wreath enclosing the ranking – one, two and three wings for ranks from Major to Oberst.

As well, special rank patches were worn on both upper arms of all flight clothing. The symbols used were white bars and "wings" (the latter in imitation of the collar patch insignia) on drab light brown rectangular patches. The "wings" were 100mm wide and 20mm high at their highest point; the "bars" were 100mm wide and 10mm high. The "wings" and "bars" were in white cloth on a tan background

Mannschaften

Collar-patch



Shoulder strap


Chevron

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Rank

Flieger, Jäger

Gefreiter Fahnenjunker Gefreiter Unterofiziers- anwärter Gfr. Obergefreiter


Unteroffiziere ohne/mit portepee

Collar-patch




Shoulderstrap

 

 

Chevron

 

Insignia on special uniform pieces

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Rank
Hauptgefreiter

Unteroffizier

Unterfedlwebel, Unterwachtmeister, Fähnrich Feldwebel, Wachtmeister Oberfeldwebel, Oberwachtmeister, Oberfähnrich, Hauptfeldwebel, Hauptwachtmeister


Offiziere

 

Collar- patch




Shoulderstrap

 

 

Insignia on special uniform pieces

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Rank
Stabsfeldwebel Leutnant Oberleutnant Hauptmann Major


Generale

 

Collar- patch




Shoulderstrap

 

 

Insignia on special uniform pieces

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Rank
Oberstleutnant Oberst Generalmajor Generalleutnant General d.Flieger, Flakartillerie
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Generaloberst Generalfeldmarschall

 

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