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    Austrian Oak Leaf insignia

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    Does anyone know the story behind the Austrian troops attaching oak leaves to their head gear during the 18th century and the Napoleonic wars? I have always been curious as to the when and why as this symbol. Maybe a query for Rick Reasearch! Thanks gentlemen.


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    Sprigs of foliage & the like were stuck in headgear or coloured sashes etc were worn as identifying marks to show which side you were on back in the days before uniforms, but I think the oak leaf here does commemorate a particular battle?

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    Read somewhere that the oak or fir leaves worn on the head gear were actually replaced by metal badges on the caps. I think that says it all.

    Will try to find the link for you.

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    Here it is:

    "Many officers went into action in early 1914 in full parade gear, but soon bitter combat experiences, not least in the hands of serbian marksmen, forced most of them to drop their cherished distinctions, like sashes or sabres. Soon another Austro-Hungarian peculiarity also disappeared: the traditional field sign, which was either an oak leaf or a fir twig. But it?s place was soon taken over by a new peculiarity: the use of special metal badges on the left side of the cap. They were often connected either to special units or special campaigns or special commanders, and it was not uncommon for a soldier to wear several, plus war souvenirs, like bullets."


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