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Does anyone really know what style shoulder boards Von Richthofen wore on his uhlanka?  Colorized photos are unreliable and there are no examples of his uniforms that I have found online that are surviving. There's 'what he should have worn' subdued pattern silver/gray on white underlay  and subdued 'Alexander III' monogram and crown plus rank pips, and the possible pre-war bright silver on white, with gilt ciphers and rank pips.

And...He could have worn the gilt insignia on the subdued boards.

And...he could have swapped out the 'Alexander III' cipher and crown for the winged propeller device, although the photos aren't clear enough to support that.

Can't tell from any sources I've found what he, in fact, wore. Any information on this? 

da4ca8db11380ffb89a086a6b64d1536.jpg

Edited by filfoster
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Hi,

In page  110 of his last book, Neal O'Connor has shown one pair of shoulderboards and it is said that those belonged to Richthofen. They are now in the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin.

 

Christophe

20210317_222224_copy_864x864.jpg

20210317_222206_copy_864x864.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Yes I just found these today on another forum. Your photos are larger and very clear. It's a shame these are black and white pictures, although the field uniform pair appear to be the subdued cords on white underlay and a secondary underlay (red?) which does not show readily on most photos of him. These would have been before his promotions, which raises some issues of the subdued cords on his early uniform, as these may not have been available then?

One reference (Osprey WW1 German Air Service) has a color plate that purports to show Von Richthofen attending a friend's wedding wearing a nicer version of his Uhlanka which is described as having the regimental ciphers, the airservice propeller cipher AND his two rank pips. A lot of devices all crowded on that small 'real estate'. 

Not helpful, really, in trying to discern what he wore on his field uniform. 

I remain hopeful that the answer is out there....

Edited by filfoster
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Given his fame and popularity even today among WW1 historians, airplane modelers, etc. it's surprising that accurate depictions of his uniform details are so hard to find. Can't even find his date of promotion from Lieutenant to First Lieutenant (Oberlieutnant). Sometime between 1912 and April 1917 when he made Captain (Rittmeister).

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Hi,

In the Francks, Above the line's book, on page 188, von Richthofen was promoted Oberleutnant on 23 March 1917 and Rittmeister on on 6 April 1917.

 

Christophe

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Deruelle: Yes, for the peacetime blue uniform.  Can you find a Sanke portrait of his uniform, with similar detail, with his field gray uniform? I have not been able to, with my searches and books that I have.

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Hi,

In my archive, I have found this. It's not easy to see exactly which shoulderboards he wore, but we can see some details.

 

Christophe

Richthofen 1 - copie.jpg

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Deruelle: That is a good photo. Wish it was larger. To me, it's clear he's wearing a device besides rank pips but can't make out if it's the 'Alexander III' cipher or the winged propeller air service device.  He has the Pour le Merite and is evidently wearing a bandage on his scalp, held on by cords under his jaw, behind his ear, so it's after the date of his severe wounding in July, 1917.  Since April of that year, he was a Captain (Rittmeister) so would be wearing two rank stars/pips.

Edited by filfoster
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