Kriegsmarine Officials' Elevated Career Nautical Service Insignia
Image courtesy of Angolia, Schlicht, "Die Kriegsmarine - Uniforms & Traditions, Volume 2"
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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 and the Reichsmarine. 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.
The original form of the Official’s sleeve insignia was established in 1933, and it featured a Weimar pattern eagle without any additional swastika or career insignia. The Officials within the Reserve branch of service were identified via two oak leaves branches below the eagle. Both the eagles and oak leaves were silver-coloured, except for the Kriegsmarine paymasters, in which case the eagles and oak leaves were gold-coloured. These early examples of the Officials sleeve insignia were hand-embroidered. In 1935 the regulations were altered, allowing only Officials who were in the Judicial or Paymaster branches to wear the sleeve insignia.
In 1936, new guidelines were established for the Officials’ sleeve insignia. The design of the insignia was changed to that of the Wehrmacht eagle pattern, and icons identifying the branch and career grade of the wearer were added below the eagle. The wearer’s career branch was indicated via the shape of the icon below the eagle, while their career grade was reflected in the number of icons. These sleeve insignias were only worn by Officials with the rank of Officer, and they were located directly above the sleeve rank stripes.
The insignia worn from 1936 until 1945, continues to be embroidered in silver-colour bullion or aluminum wire for all Officials except Paymasters, which are gold-coloured. These sleeve insignias were generally hand-embroidered, but they were also machine-embroidered in wartime. The wartime insignia may also feature additional cord piping along the circumference of the insignia’s cloth backing.
The Ship Operating Service was formed as a unique branch in 1936, and separated into the two sub-branches, Nautical Service and Machinist Service, in 1938.
The Nautical Service Insignia were only awarded to low/medium and elevated career grades, and they feature anchor icons below the eagle. Firstly, for low and medium grade careers there is a single anchor. Secondly, for elevated career grades, there are two crossed anchors.
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