Kriegsmarine Female Auxiliary Jacket
Image courtesy of Hermann Historica Auctioneers, Munich
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Within the Kriegsmarine, women were only permitted to serve as civilian employees. After the Second World War began men in clerical roles were moved to the front line and women were moved into clerical and office duties, as well as non-combative roles. Even within these new roles, the women were still considered civilian employees.
When the initial mobilization order was issued on November 1, 1938, there was no consideration for female auxiliaries. This lack of concrete provisions for female auxiliaries resulted in a marked lack of standardization in the uniforms worn by Kriegsmarine female auxiliaries until 1943.
To start, in 1940, there were members of the Luftwaffe’s Female Aircraft Reporting Service Personnel (Weibliches Flugmeldedienst-Personal) who served within the Kriegsmarine. In 1941, these auxiliaries were given their own division, which was renamed the Aircraft Reporting Service Auxiliaries of the Navy (Flugmeldehelferinnen der Kriegsmarine). The Aircraft Reporting Service Auxiliaries of the Navy wore the Luftwaffe female auxiliary’s service uniform. From that point forward several focused divisions of Kriegsmarine female auxiliaries were established, inducing the Air-Warning Service Auxiliaries (Luftschutzwarndienst-Helferinnen) in 1941, the Navy Auxiliaries (Marinehelferinnen) in 1942, and the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Auxiliaries of the Navy (Marine-Flakhelferinnen) in 1943.
A general service uniform was introduced in January 1943, it included a blue-coloured jacket, skirt, long trousers, overcoat, and overseas cap. The design of these garments was slightly altered in September 1943, wherein the garments adopted the standard grey uniform design and colour utilized by female auxiliaries in the Army Corps. These uniforms were worn by the majority of Kriegsmarine female auxiliary divisions. It was mandated that female auxiliaries outside the Reich’s borders had to wear the uniform, while those operating within its borders were only permitted to wear the service uniform when it was considered absolutely necessary.
Also in September 1943, practical uniform pieces were introduced for wear by Kriegsmarine female auxiliaries, such as the M44 Jacket.
The design of the blue uniform garments worn by Kriegsmarine female auxiliaries is difficult to ascertain due to the general lack of photographic evidence.
This jacket was primarily single-breasted but was also worn in a double-breasted form. Both the blue and grey jackets feature at least two pockets. The blue jackets have rectangular flap covers with no buttons, and the grey jackets have scalloped flaps closed by a button. The front closure features approximately three buttons.
There may be several types of insignia features on these jackets, including the Kriegsmarine pattern national emblem breast eagle, on the right breast, and career insignia, chevrons or sleeve rank stripes on the left sleeve. The types of career insignia worn by female auxiliaries include the Aircraft Warning Service Insignia, the Teletypist Insignia, the Telephone Operator Insignia, and the Radio Operator Insignia.
See the Female Auxiliary Insignia section and the Career Insignia section for more information.
The collar of these jackets was piped with twisted black and yellow cord for higher ranking Leader personnel.
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