Kriegsmarine Oberleutnant Epaulettes
Image courtesy of Hermann Historica Auctioneers, Munich
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The headgear, uniforms, and insignia worn by members of the Kriegsmarine were based upon the designs utilized by the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) and the Reichsmarine of the Weimar Republic. The official regulations governing the uniforms of the Reichsmarine were issued on April 5, 1921, and they were embraced, with a few alterations, as the Kriegsmarine uniforms in 1935.. New guidelines concerning rank insignia were issued in 1936.
The Epaulettes were worn as rank insignia by the Kriegsmarine Officers.
These epaulettes are composed of several main elements, including the field and tongue, the wreath (Kranz) and surrounding wreath cords, the fringe, the bridle (Epauletthalter), the career insignia, and the rank pips.
The underside of the field and tongue are covered in navy-blue cloth, and the cloth on the field is padded. The top of the field and tongue feature a woven cover fabric composed of metallic threads. The field and tongue cover fabric is silver-coloured for Admiral ranks and gold-coloured for all other Officer ranks. The tongue is bordered along the exterior edges in metallic tress that is gold-coloured for Admiral ranks, and silver-coloured for Officer ranks.
The wreath and its cords are located along the exterior circumference of the field, and they are composed of a combination of matte and bright metal threads.
The fringe is composed of gilt thread, and it hangs from the exterior circumference of the field. The thickness of the fringe varies depending on the rank of the wearer. Epaulettes for the rank of Leutnant have no fringe. Those for the ranks of Oberleutnant and Kapitänleutnant have thin fringe, and those for Korvettenkapitän to Admiral have thick fringe.
The bridle was used to attach the epaulette to the garment.
The career insignia are worn in the centre of the field. These insignia are gold-coloured for Admiral ranks and silver-coloured for other Officer ranks. They are as follows:
Administrative: a caduceus
Blocking Weapons Ordnance: a mine
Coastal Artillery: a winged flaming artillery shell
Communications: a downward pointing lightning bolt
Engineering: a large gear
Line Officer: a fouled anchor with chain
Medical: a rod of Asclepius
Ordnance: two crossed cannon barrels
Radio Operator: a gear with six bolts of lightning
Technical Communications: a gear with a downward pointing lightning bolt
Telephone Operator: three intersecting arrows with points at each end
Wireless Operator: eight bolts of electricity emanating from a central controller
The rank pips are gold-coloured for Admiral ranks, and silver-coloured for other Officer ranks.
The Oberleutnant Epaulettes feature one rank pip below the rank insignia, gold-coloured field fabric, and three layers of thin fringe.
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