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Karl Giltsch - the man with the shining buttons

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I have this photograph of the later Musikmeister Karl Giltsch - here in the uniform of a Stabshoboist of the 1. Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 12

(is this the uniform of a Stabshoboist? How do they differ from a Musikmeister ones?)

What is very interesting about this picture is that one can see the camera it was taken with on the reflections of the buttons.




Edited by Utgardloki
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Utgardloki , The Musikmeister weared the same Uniform and badges of rank of a Stabshoboist but his shoulderboards of plaited cord in regimental colour have a golden kantille , extra thread interwoven . Musikmeister and Obermusikmeister weared also a special type of feldbinde 

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  • 4 months later...

If I may add some clarification to the subject of the Stabshoboist/Musikmeister. Herr Giltsch is wearing the pattern of uniform of a bandleader in use from 1898 to 1908. At that time the term "Musikmeister" was not in use. The band leaders were titled according to the arm of service to which they were attached:


Stabshoboist: Infantry/foot artillery

Stabshornist: Jäger/Schützen/pionier

Stabstrompeter: Cavalry/field artillery/train.


All had shoulder boards in the regimental shoulder strap colour. During this period, senior bandleaders could be further accorded the rank/title of a Militär-Musik-Dirigent and those even more senior, to that of a Königlicher Musik-Direktor. The first was distinguished by an extra interwoven row of gold or silver braid in the centre of the shoulder board. The latter had additionally an outer border of the same braid.


Following the cabinet order of 10 December 1908, the titles Musikmeister and Obermusikmeister were introduced. The NCO collar and cuff lace were abolished and a more quasi officer style uniform was introduced. New straps similar to those worn by wartime Offizierstellvertreter were brought into use with the Obermusikmeister wearing an additional 4mm golden braid in the centre of the board.


The former bandleaders in the rank of Stabshoboist etc. were titled Musikmeister and the former Dirigents and Direktors were accorded the insignia of an Obermusikmeister. No further appointments were made to the rank of Dirigent and the title fell into disuse, although further promotions to Direktor continued. 


Karl Giltsch held the rank of Stabshornist at the time of this photograph. Promoted to that rank on 1 April 1900, he was appointed Stabshoboist of Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 107 on 1 April 1901. Following the Prussian cabinet order of December 1908, the Saxon army followed suit with effect 5 January 1909 and Stabshoboist Giltsch accordingly became Musikmeister Giltsch. He was promoted to Obermusikmeister on 22 April 1911 and awarded the title of Königlicher Musik-Direktor on 21 May 1914.


It should be noted that a final insignia change took place per orders 26/29 May 1912 (10 July in Saxony) and shoulder boards not dissimilar to the 1898 pattern were reintroduced albeit all in the colour red with the Obermusikmeister being further distinguished by an interwoven centre braid.







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Below is an extract of a larger photograph that appeared in Kube's "Die Tradtion" edition no 32. It was taken on the occasion of the "Großer Zapfenstreich" of 29 August 1912 at Zeithain. Pictured standing in the centre is Obermusikmeister Karl Giltsch. He is flanked by Obermusikmeister Johann Capitain of Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 179 and Obermusikmeister Hermann Maßwig of Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 78. OMM Capitain appears to be still wearing the 1908 pattern boards.








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Thank You for explaining in such detail this very confusing topic. 


I have some issues of "Die Tradition", but not this one. It's an outstanding photo, having all those Musikmeisters together, with their very special uniforms.


Here is a picture of the late Giltsch:



Seems like they also didn't know about the different Stabshoboist/hornist/trompeter in this little biography, where he is called Stabshoboist



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The last semi-official document that I can find him listed, is as the Band leader of the Leipzig based II./11. Infanterie-Regiment in 1928. 


Although clearly he became a Stabsmusikmeister in the Wehrmacht - Heer as evidenced by the portrait photograph above, interestingly, he was always listed as "Musikdirektor" Giltsch in the Leipzig address book even in the mid forties.






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