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filfoster

Post 1942 Field Marshal insignia: Who and Why?

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As a student of German uniforms, I'm glad the Germans tweaked the collar and shoulder insignia for the field marshal rank in April, 1941, but I'm curious about why and even more, who?  Someone had to come up with this idea of a little extra bling for the field marshals, a little ego boost (as if this lot suffered self-esteem issues), that cost them tailoring money and gave workers and valets a couple of projects.  It would be fun to identify exactly who woke up one day and just had to get this ball rolling.  It's not as if the Germans didn't have more pressing concerns by mid-1941.  So, Who and why?

I don't know if Hugo Boss, often credited with the design of the Wehrmacht uniforms, decided to pad his commission but I would guess someone in the armed forces high command got this wild hair.

Edited by filfoster
date correction

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I doubt there's any source for this information but it's amazing to consider. On the eve of a two-front, total war for the triumph (soon to be just survival) of the Reich, some particular individual of sufficient importance thought it necessary to add more gold to the uniforms of field marshals. Only the Germans!

I do hope someone with better researching skills or at least a hunch and a better database can point to  the someone we can credit this idiocy.

Edited by filfoster

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There is only one person who might know that answer, but I lost track of him...

He was a former member on WRF and had a great "signature"( related to the "theatrical" uniforms of the TR), I can't remember either...:speechless:but give me some time!

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It'll be worth the wait.  The Germans were so incongruous; fighting a world war but not too busy to create and amend uniform details that arguably didn't need to be done at all. I read somewhere that von Leeb was annoyed at the extra expense of changing these collar patches and shoulder cords. Clearly he wasn't the one lobbying for the sartorial enhancements.

Edited by filfoster

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Gentlemen , Its an interesting point . To my point of view the creation of a special collar patch for the use of Field Marshalls in April of 1941 was not a idiocy . was the natural consecuence of the state of the situation with a Third Reich on the peak of his power. thats for one side .on the other, the ever present antagonism between Army and Luftwaffe . estimulated mainly by the bombastic attitudes of Herr Goering specially about uniforms titles and honours . Apart not all the Marshalls changed to the new patch . As anecdotic i want to relate some that i read many years ago . A episode of the last day or so of the General Paulus command . It happened that Hitler promoted Paulus to FM but also a number of colonels to general . well , the taylors applied inmediately to the task of provide the new badges of rank. and managed to complete the affair .

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It is still incongruous to me that in the midst of a world war, someone (still unidentified!) thought these added distinctions were necessary.  The insignia for field marshals had included the same collar and shoulder cords as for generals since 1870, granting the collar patches began about 1900 and that many generals entitled wore regimental distinctions. The WW1 field marshals, when not wearing regimental distinctions, wore shoulder cords and collar patches in common with lower grades of general, but with the shoulder devices of field marshal.

I hope someone can identify the father of this brainchild.

Edited by filfoster

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Dear filfoster , Probably not was someone the brain who imagined the brainchild .knowing the nature of the German military machine and their officials the thing had many fathers. remember that during the Empire existed the four stars General in the rank of a Field Marshall .but not a Field Marshall. Remember too the nearly obssesive practice of the German Army during Empire or TR about the assignation of various types of shoulder boards to mark clearly the position ,class and rank of the wearer .

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Still, some one individual first had the idea. That idea obviously found enough agreement to get it done.  I think it would be fun/rewarding to identify who first had this idea, although I am resigned to the fact that it is probably lost to history.

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It's an interesting question and we will probably never know for sure...

But what we tend to forget is - as time goes by - historical events (like WWII) are sometimes thought of as a constant, uninterrupted chain of 'action' (invasion->war->defeat), but if you think of the actual time span in minutes, days, weeks, surely - even when it was clear that the TR was doomed - for some civil servants or military administrators it was business as usual for days, weeks and even months. The best way of denying the inevitable outcome is to concentrate on the more manageable bureaucratic job right in front of you...

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11 hours ago, Great Dane said:

It's an interesting question and we will probably never know for sure...

But what we tend to forget is - as time goes by - historical events (like WWII) are sometimes thought of as a constant, uninterrupted chain of 'action' (invasion->war->defeat), but if you think of the actual time span in minutes, days, weeks, surely - even when it was clear that the TR was doomed - for some civil servants or military administrators it was business as usual for days, weeks and even months. The best way of denying the inevitable outcome is to concentrate on the more manageable bureaucratic job right in front of you...

Hello You catched well the sense .

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On ‎02‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 14:03, Laurence Strong said:

Here is the order HV 41B, No 207.

 

Cheers

Larry

HV41b 207.jpg

Thanks much for this.  Although it doesn't answer the question of who first thought it needed to be done, it is very satisfying to see the regulation itself.

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