Luftwaffe 1st Model NCO/EM Ranks 1st Pattern Belt Buckle


SKU: 22.GOR.

Estimated market value:

$100 USD

  • Luftwaffe 1st Model NCO/EM Ranks 1st Pattern Belt Buckle Obverse
  • Luftwaffe 1st Model NCO/EM Ranks 1st Pattern Belt Buckle Reverse
  • Luftwaffe 1st Model NCO/EM Ranks 1st Pattern Belt Buckle Reverse

Estimated market value:

$100 USD


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Physical Description and Item Details

Buckle in molded aluminum, 1st type eagle with droop tail, pebbled field, unmarked; with a brown leather tab, marked on upper side “Schmöle & Comp. Menden 1941”; other side of the brown tab regimentally marked/stamped “II/Ers. Batt. Rgt. H.G.”; in worn condition, nice old patina, very fine.


The German Wehrmacht was composed of three main branches, the Heer, the Kriegsmarine, and the Luftwaffe. The Heer and Kriegsmarine uniforms were based upon the designs utilized by their predecessor organizations, the Deutsches Heer and the Kaiserliche Marine. Conversely, the Luftwaffe uniforms were based upon the uniforms worn in the sports and para-military organizations that were the forerunners of the Luftwaffe. The Luftwaffe uniforms were specifically designed to deviate from the designs of the other Wehrmacht service branches. It was also necessary that the uniforms differentiate between military and civilian pilots.

There were two main organizational precursors of the Luftwaffe, the German Air Sports Association (DLV or Deutscher Luftsportverband), and the National Air Raid Protection League (RLB or Reichs Luftschutzbund).

The DLV and the RLB were created in 1933. These civilian organizations were used to secretly train members for future roles in the Luftwaffe. The DLV became obsolete after Hitler’s official introduction of the Luftwaffe in 1935, and it was disbanded and replaced by the National Socialist Flyers Corps (NSFK or Nationalsozialistisches Fliegerkorps) in 1937.

On May 27, 1935, an order was released that delineated the official forms of the Luftwaffe uniforms. This edict removed DLV/RLB belts from circulation and wear by Luftwaffe personnel, and introduced official Luftwaffe belt buckle and strap regulations.

There are two main models of the belt buckle for Luftwaffe NCO/EM (Non-Commissioned Officers/Enlisted Men) Ranks personnel. The 1st and 2nd model belt buckles are composed of several main elements, including the leather tab, the rectangle buckle, the double prongs and the prongs bar, and the buckle catch.

The leather tab was sewn around the prongs bar, and it was meant to support the canvas pouch. These leather tabs were not attached to the buckles post-1943. The tabs may be stamped with regiments, official Luftwaffe depot marks, and manufacturer marks.

The 1st model belt buckles were issued from 1935 to 1940. They are made of pebbled aluminum alloy (Leichtmetall) without any additional finishes, and they were generally stuck in a single piece, but later buckles were also made in two pieces of aluminum sheet. The obverse of the buckle features a left-facing eagle, mid-flight, with an angled swastika clutched in its claws. The entire eagle is surrounded by a closed laurel wreath. This eagle was produced in two distinct versions on the 1st pattern belt buckles. The buckles issued from 1935 to 1937/38 feature an eagle with a “droop” tail, while the buckles issued from 1938 to 1940 feature an eagle with a “flared” tail. The reverse of the buckle has two bars, the prong bar may or may not have a brown leather tab permanently sewn around it, and it also features two prongs. The second bar was the buckle catch for attachment to the leather belt strap.

Known manufacturers of the 1st model buckles include, but are not limited to, Apreck & Vrage, Christian Theodor Dicke, E. Schneider, F.W. Assmann & Söhne, Frank & Reif, Franz Reichauer, Friedrich Keller, Hermann Sprenger, J. Deutschebein of Euskirchen, Jul. Kremp, Noelle & Hueck, Overhoff & Cie, Richard Seiper & Söhne, Schmöle & Comp., and Wilh. Deumer.

The 2nd model belt buckles were also known as the combat pattern, and they were issued from 1940 to 1945. These buckles tend to be produced from stamped steel with painted finishes. They differ from the 1st model by restricting the surface pebbling to the interior of the laurel wreath. The main paint finishes added to the 2nd model buckles are blue, field-grey, and olive green; a tan finish is also known to have been added by personnel in the field. The 2nd model buckles also feature a left-facing eagle, mid-flight, with a “flared” style tail and an angled swastika clutched in its claws. The entire eagle is surrounded by a closed laurel wreath.

Known manufacturers of the 2nd pattern buckles include, but are not limited to, Artur Jökel, Christian Theodor Dicke, Dransfeld & Co., F.K. Vogelsang & Co., F.W. Assmann & Söhne, Franke & Co., Gustav Genschow, Hermann Aurich, Noelle & Hueck, Richard Sieper & Söhne, Schmöle & Comp., and E. Schneider.

The manufacturer marks are generally located on the reverse of the buckle, but they may also be stamped into the leather tab. The leather tab may also feature the stamp “L.B.A.” for the Luftwaffe Clothing Department (Luftwaffe-Bekleidungs-Amt).


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