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    Luftwaffe Judicial Officials

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    Luftwaffe Judicial Official

    The Luftwaffe Supreme Reich Court Martial was constituted on 01October1936 and introduced two weeks later.

    Luftwaffe Judicial Officials wore the basic Luftwaffe uniform, with insignia designated for the Luftwaffe Judicial Officials. These men were included in a14Oct1936 order that required the wear of the uniform, as Soldiers were, while on duty. However, unlike soldiers, while off duty civilian clothes could be worn without permission.

    There were two different branch colors used within the Luftwaffe Judicial System:

    Bordeaux Red- Luftwaffe Supreme Reich Court Martial (Reichskreigsgericht)

    Wine Red- Luftwaffe Justice Officials(Justizdienst)

    The rankings were published on the 30th of November 1936 as follow:

    Lower Career(no piping):

    Feldwebel- Reichskriegsgerichtswachtmeister

    Oberfeldwebel- Oberbotenmeister beim Reichskriegsgericht(changed to Reichskriegsgerichtsoberwachtmeister between 1937-8)

    Medium Career(broken blue/silver piping, replaced in Jan40 with dk green and silver piping):

    Leutnant- Reichskriegsgerichtssekretar

    Oberleutnant- Reichskriegsgerichtsobersekretar

    Elevated Career(Silver piping):

    Oberleutnant- Reichskriegsgerichtsinspektor (Changed to Kanzleivorsteher beim Reichskriegsgericht on 09Aug1938)

    Hauptmann- Reichskriegsgerichtsoberinspektor

    Major- Amtsrat beim Reichskriegsgericht (Changed to Amtmann beim Reichskriegsgericht on 09August 1938)

    Oberstleutnant- Burodirektor beim Reichskriegsgericht

    High Grade Career(Gold piping):

    Oberstleutnant- Reichskriegsgerichtsrat

    Oberst- Oberkriegsgerichtsrat beim Reichskriegsgericht

    Generalmajor- Reichskreigsanwalt, Reichskreigsgerichtsrat

    Generalleutnant- Oberreichskreigsanwalt, Senatsprasident beim Reichskreigsgericht

    In April, 1944, in an effort to offset manpower shortages within the Luftwaffe, the Luftwaffe TSD (Truppensonderdienst) Administration and Judicial Services were instituted. Please see the below link for the discussion on the TSD, for more details.


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    Collar tabs

    The collar tabs used the embroidered wreath/Triangular pip system of ranking, like the standard Luftwaffe Administrative Officials. The difference was in the branch color. As stated above, the Luftwaffe Judicial system had the two branch colors. Bordeaux Red for the Luftwaffe Supreme Reich Court Martial (Reichskreigsgericht) and Wine Red for the Luftwaffe Justice Officials(Justizdienst)The collar tabs had an outer piping to correspond with their career level.

    As stated before, the career level was determined by the level of education and experience held by the Official.

    Lower Career- No Piping- Grade school education without further education/qualification was required.

    Medium Career-green/silver twist Piping- High School Diploma and an apprenticeship of a trade was required.

    Elevated Career-Silver Piping- Educational level between High School and College, with an addition two-three years of practical training required.

    High Grade Career-Gold Piping- University degree is required.

    NOTE: In accordance with page 45 on "The Luftwaffe", by Roger James Bender, 1972-

    There is mention on a table that both the Luftwaffe Supreme Reich Court Martial and the Luftwaffe Justice Officials also wore dark green tabs with the shoulder boards noted below as well. There is no explanation on whether this was for some specialties within the judicial organizations or if this was a service wide change(either from or to the red tabs). Nothing like a little mud to make things clear!

    Below, please see my examples.

    The first is for an Oberstleutnant- Reichskriegsgerichtsrat. Notice the High Grade Career piping.

    The second is for a Oberleutnant- Reichskriegsgerichtsinspektor. Notice the Elevated Career piping.

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    Shoulder boards

    The Judicial Officials utilized the standard Luftwaffe Administrative shoulder board system.

    Officers- The base layer had the Administrative Dark Green color. The specialty color(nebenfarbe) was one of the two fore-mentioned colors... Bordeaux Red for the Luftwaffe Supreme Reich Court Martial (Reichskreigsgericht) and Wine Red for the Luftwaffe Justice Officials(Justizdienst). The board was topped with the typical LW Russian braid. The use of pips was the same as that of the Regular Luftwaffe.

    NCOs(lower Career only)- The shoulder boards are identical to those used by the other officials with the Oberfeldwebel ranking. The base color was that of the branch color(dark Green) and the center color was that of the nebenfarbe. The upper layer consisted of a blue/grey cord, twisted to loop at the buttonhole. Pips were used to differentiate between Feldbwebel and Oberfeldwebel.

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    After reviewing all of my references, there remain some huge questions for me...

    1. What is the difference between the duties and roles of the Reich Supreme Courts Martial and the Justice Service. It must be significant as it requires separate branch and nebenfarbe colors.

    2. What were the various jobs of the differing career levels I am guessing by stating:

    Lower Career- Bailiff/Courtroom Guard, file clerk

    Middle Career- Secretary/Field Investigator

    Elevated Career- Paralegal

    High Grade Career- Attorney/Judges.

    Can anyone add any clarity?

    As usual, anything pertinent to the topic is welcome... period photos, insignia, uniforms, documents... anything pertinent to the topic!

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    This is an original set of insignia for a Kriegsgerichtsrat (Judicial Major) of the h?herer Dienst (High Career) of the Kriegsgericht der Luftwaffe (Luftwaffe Judicial Corps). Only insignia of this branch I've ever been able to get my hands on.

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    Thanks for posting your great LW collar tabs for:

    Major- Amtmann beim Reichskriegsgericht


    Oberstleutnant- Reichskriegsgerichtsrat

    They look to have that "wine red" look to them!!


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    • 3 weeks later...

    Here is a scan of Luftwaffe Justice Official with the ranking of Amtsrat beim Reichskriegsgericht (Major)

    Notice the green Highest Grade Career level tabs. As per post two, it seems as if both the green and redish tabs were used. I do not know if one was replaced by the other, or if there was some sort of organizational significance between the tabs.

    The photo is courtasy of "Airborne Steve"

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    • 1 month later...


    I hope my middle-age eyes aren't playing tricks but the admin "major's" boards look brown to me. Are you sure he isn't in a signals related profession?

    The colour isn't anything like that of the tabs posted by Gary B.


    Mike S.

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    Dear Leigh,

    I believe there were 2 different red colors, one for Courts martial officials and one for other judical services. I dont have my books at work so hopefully Paul can elaborate on this.

    Gary B

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    Dear Leigh,

    I believe there were 2 different red colors, one for Courts martial officials and one for other judical services. I dont have my books at work so hopefully Paul can elaborate on this.

    Gary B

    As per my books, the stated is correct, Gary.

    I too would like to see these two side by side. I have the darker of the two hues. Judging by the photos, Gary seems to have the light waffenfarbe.


    I think that the discoloration is due to the fact that the image is a scan of a photo. I would love to have that tunic in hand!

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    • 8 months later...
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    • 3 months later...

    Congratulations Paul!

    This is a very interesting subject.

    You pot Luftwaffe objects.

    What is the difference between those and the other german armed forces insignia?

    Edited by Galdino
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