German Army Foreign Units Gefreiter Shoulder Straps
Image courtesy of Angolia, Schlicht, "Uniforms and Traditions of the German Army 1933–1945, Vol.2”
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Shoulder Boards for foreign units serving in the Wehrmacht were introduced on May 29, 1943. There may have been different shoulder boards specifically made for foreign troops before this date, but more information on this is needed.
They have a dark blue-green backing and come with coloured piping. The lower ranks, Volunteer to Feldwebel, wore shoulder straps with a triangular point at the button end. They have silver-grey transversal rank bars. Officer ranks wore shoulder boards, which are slightly stiffened, with a three-sided straight edged-point at the button end.
Turk units used different piping colours to determine their individual regions of origin: piping for Turkistan units is in light blue, light green for Azerbaijan units, pink for Georgian units, golden-yellow for Armenian units, and brown for units from North Caucasus. However, it is unknown if the center stripes were of the same colour as the piping, or if they were red, in the same colour as the one for Cossacks, the Russian Army of Liberation, and the Ukrainian Army of Liberation.
Cossack units, members of the Russian Army of Liberation, and members of the Ukrainian Army of Liberation all had red piping and red center stripes. Cossack insignia only differed in the collar tabs and arm shields, while the Russian Army of Liberation and the Ukrainian Army of Liberation only differed from each other in arm shields, but had the same shoulder boards and collar tabs.
Lance Corporals wore one transversal rank bar on their shoulder straps.
There is limited information regarding this item.
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