Shoulder piece (military)

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Officer shoulder pieces until 1918

Shoulder pieces (also armpit pieces or epaulettes; in Austria : armpit sling ) are badges for officers and senior military officials, more rarely also for non-commissioned officers, which are attached to the uniform jacket on the shoulder. Formerly common, the shoulder pieces, often made of gold or silver braid or simply of metal braid ( Russia ), are only worn on parade uniforms in many armies. The piping and the backing of shoulder pieces were held in weapon colors in German-speaking armed forces at the beginning of the 20th century .

The shoulder pieces are conceptually distinct from the made of cloth epaulette (formerly epaulet; Austria: armpit clip) that used only part of the Unteroffiziers- and team uniform was. In the meantime, epaulets are also worn internationally by officers, mainly for daily duty and on combat clothing.

At the same time, subordinate commanders and teams put on shoulder boards in many volunteer fire brigades in northern and eastern Germany. This was also common with the Deutsche Reichsbahn in the GDR and with the Ordnungspolizei of the Third Reich. B. also with the higher NCO ranks of the Danish army during the Second World War .

Development in Germany

Field axles made of metal braid have been worn by officers in the Prussian army since the German War in 1866 in the field and in small service instead of epaulettes . They were retained for officers after the peace and in 1889, now made of flat cord, were introduced for all military officials during peacetime. Since then they have been called armpit pieces.

At the hussars , non-commissioned officers and men wore two or three white or yellow flat cords ( armpit cords ) instead of armpits or epaulettes , which looked similar to armpit pieces, but should not be confused with them.

For generals of the German army, the armpits were made of braided golden cord interwoven with silver. Staff officers wore armpits made of silver wire cord interwoven with colored silk in the national colors. Main people, Captain and Leutnante carried shoulder pieces from a plurality of adjacent silver, interwoven with colored silk cords (Platt cords).

German model

The rank insignia or shoulder pieces (as well as the uniform cut) of the armed forces of the German Empire were adopted (in modified form) by the Reichswehr , the Wehrmacht and the armed forces of the GDR .

The troops of the Ottoman Empire also entered the First World War with shoulder pieces that were identical to the German badges of rank. The insignia of rank of the Polish Legion fighting on the German side in World War I were at least similar. For the insignia of rank of the former kingdoms of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria as well as for the South American states Chile , Ecuador and Venezuela , the German shoulder pieces were at least an optical model.

In the Bundeswehr , the designation epaulets for badges of rank, which are worn on the shoulder part of a uniform coat, uniform skirt or jacket or evening suit, is mandatory. The Federal Border Police still wore shoulder boards similar to the Wehrmacht and the German police until the turn of the millennium.

Web links

Wiktionary: armpit  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Pauldrons  - Collection of images, videos and audio files