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Hats/cap insignia ID? WWII German forces/Eastern Front

Posted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:37 pm
by cassarnold
My apologies in advance for being new to this research and forum. Any ideas to the meaning of the caps and insignias on the caps in this photo? Taken in 1941-42 on Eastern Front in Russia. My great-uncle (died 1942) is on the right (Oberleutnant der Reserve--they had reserves during that time??).

The upper symbol appears to be wings, but I don't think they were Luftwaffe. Also wondering about the bars on the neck lapels.

thank you all so much,


Re: Hats/cap insignia ID? WWII German forces/Eastern Front

Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:18 am
by Christoph Awender
Hello Casandra,

I don´t know how detailed you want to have the answer. The eagle is the standard insignia for all brnaches of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS. The different branches (Army, Navy, Air Force) had different styles of eagles which differed in details and position. Waffen-SS members had the eagle on the left upper sleeve, Wehrmacht members on the right breast. All headgear also showed the eagle as standard symbol.
Reserve Officers were officers which received their officer training before the war and were sent from active to reserve status to be available when needed in times of war for example.
The "bars" on the collar were different with officers and lower grades and showed the colour of arms which means different colours for armoured troops, infantry, artillery etc...

This is a very basic, simplified answer. Don´t hesitate to ask for more details.


Re: Hats/cap insignia ID? WWII German forces/Eastern Front

Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:43 am
by cassarnold
Vielen Dank Christoph,
That is a wonderful answer. I can take it from there. I will also do more of my own research both online and perhaps at the library to get more acquainted (and not bother you all with such mundane questions!).

I have recently opened a big box of my decreased mother's things that was in the basement for many years (she was from East Prussia and lived 1930-2000) and have found a treasure-trove of photos, letters, documents that I am trying to sort out. She never talked about her past, preferring to leave it behind. I think she went through some horrific times, as all civilians did back then.