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Hello,

It has been a long time since I posted a topic on police items.  Here I would like to illustrate the different types of insignia worn on the schirmmutze, ie; dress peak caps, of the waterways protection police.  The WSP was a very small branch of the consolidated German police force.  Most of the ranks were officer grades with some NCO ranks in the large jurisdictions such as commercial harbors.  All ranks wore a navy style blue topped cap with a fiber brim.  No braid was worn on the brim unlike the navy.  All ranks wore a police insignia consisting of a NS eagle encircled by a wreath on the band of these caps.

There were two types of insignia utilized, the common stamped gold finished aluminum and the unique to this branch embroidered gold bullion.  NCO ranks wore a metal insignia whereas officers had the option of wearing the metal or the hand embroidered bullion insignia.  The bullion insignia would have been significantly more expensive so I imagine only higher ranks and those in administrative positions would have chosen this option.  it is important to remember that most WSP officers were former navy junior officers forced into police service when the police was "purged" of undesirables in 1934.

The photo below shows the three types of metal insignia used.  The example on the right is the M1934 eagle which lacks the small wreath around the swastika and has an eagle facing right like early political insignia.  These were used until 1936 when the more robust M1936 insignia was introduced.  The middle insignia is an example of this, the most commonly used type.

The insignia on the left is a so called officer's grade metal insignia.  It is made with more detail and a deeper, more pronounced stamping.  These also have three prongs on the reverse.  Although most commonly used by officers these were a more expensive option available to any rank, and these insignia are seen being used by NCO's in period photographs.

 

2wpcap.jpg

This next photo demonstrates the differences between the standard and premium grade metal insignia.  It is easy to see the higher "standout" of the "officer" grade insignia on the right.

1.jpg

The more interesting WSP schirmmutze insignia was the bullion embroidered type.  Since the WSP officers came from the navy they were used to a high profile bullion badge on their caps.  They continued this tradition when they entered the police.  These officers had bullion police insignia made to order by naval insignia shops which produced insignia as shown below.  Each of these is different as they were all one off orders.  No templates were used because these are highly padded and vaulted, just like navy insignia. 

The two examples shown here are the only one I have ever seen.  The one on the left has a typical three wing feather execution while the one on the right shows six feathers.  The details and execution of the insignia on the right are very high quality.  The insignia on the left is more typical and uses synthetic "cellulon" to pick out the details on the eagle. 

A metal insignia is include to demonstrate the size of the bullion insignia.  They are approximately 30% larger.  This larger size is clearly seen in period photos where it almost appears like sleeve eagles are being worn on officer's caps.

wpcap3.jpg

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And finally here is a photo of the two types of cap insignia with a sleeve insignia to show relative size.

Metal gold colored cap insignia was also used by the traffic police of the Schutzpolizei.  Consequently it is impossible to tell if any given gold colored insignia was used by the WSP or not.  The bullion insignia however are unique to the WSP, and are quite striking.  They are some of the most complicated and beautiful of NS insignia.  They are also 100's of times rarer than an SS eagle, but sadly very, very underappreciated.  Whomever made these was extremely skilled.  Making the insignia with a vaulted shape and getting the lines straight in the finished product would not have been an easy thing to do.

3wsp.jpg

Finally here is a photo showing the vaulted shape of the bullion insignia, and a second photo showing such an insignia on mounted on a cap.

Thanks for looking, I hope some might find it of interest.

William Unland

 

wpolhat.jpg

wsp2.jpg

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Hi,

thank you for sharing your insight and collector items with us. All I have is a couple of photo of members of the WSP, some before 1933, some after.

GreyC

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34 minutes ago, GreyC said:

Hi,

thank you for sharing your insight and collector items with us. All I have is a couple of photo of members of the WSP, some before 1933, some after.

GreyC

Please post Your Photo on this Nice thread !

 

Cheers,Morten.

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Indeed, if anyone has photos, particularly of WSP wearing Schirmmützen pleas do post them.

 

regards,

W. Unland

 

 

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27 minutes ago, W.Unland said:

Indeed, if anyone has photos, particularly of WSP wearing Schirmmützen pleas do post them.

 

regards,

W. Unland

 

 

Hi W.Unland,

 

I have Some Photos!

 

Cheers,Morten.

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Hi,
 Here's my first contribution to this good and important thread. More photos to be scanned.

Cheers, Morten.

ujyjujuywasser.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

my WSP photos are not yet digitized, but maybe you like this one, too. It´s a booth from the Kiel harbour police, during a fair in 1931.

Note the substance they advertise to desinfect storage rooms and freight holds on ships. It became notorious a few years later (Cyclon B).

GreyC

WSP_Kiel1931_D.thumb.jpg.7399e0e1a7111461076ac403b077d01a.jpgWSP_Kiel1931_D2.thumb.jpg.5996a2d196ec35449c7b6fa3bf4ce725.jpg

Edited by GreyC

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I shoulda had a camera with me yesterday... I spent a couple of hours in my canoe on the Main river yesterday... A Wasserschutzpolizei boat overtook me (barely).... it was a small motorboot with a canvas roof... both of the guys were just in pants catching rays. One standing and steering, one guy laying in the front sunning himself... if there had not been a blue light and siren you would not have recognised them as cops! :-)

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Thanks for the great thread guys.  Bill, do you have more insignia or uniform bits from this branch?  I have some East German uniforms, which are pretty hard to find in their own right.  Morten and Grey, please keep the images coming. 

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2 minutes ago, Paul R said:

Thanks for the great thread guys.  Bill, do you have more insignia or uniform bits from this branch?  I have some East German uniforms, which are pretty hard to find in their own right.  Morten and Grey, please keep the images coming. 

Yes i want post more photos My friend!

 

Cheers,Morten.

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Hi,

   Another great Wasser Polizei photo from my Collection from 1938.

 

Cheers,Morten.

img375pooop.jpg

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What a magnificent photo Morten!

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And here is another one of mine. Could be Wilhelms- or Cuxhaven. The shed in the background is a nautical chart handout and swap-shop. Date late 1920s / early 1930s?

GreyC

xWSP_Seekartenberichtigungsstelle_D2018.thumb.jpg.eb70fb924837edb0c5f449137b6d4877.jpg

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Hi!
 Here are two pictures that are a bit unclear but hope that's fine. I have some more pictures I will post in the next few days.

Cheers, Morten.

IMG_5215posting.JPG

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12 hours ago, Paul R said:

What a magnificent photo Morten!

Thanks my friend!

 

Cheers,Morten.

Hi!
This picture shows Marineküstenpolizei Uniform in use and Wasserschützpolizei officer visord cap. Notice the Narvik sign on the left arm. Thinking this officer has been in WSP early in the war

Cheers, Morten....

img382 (2)Kusten.jpg

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