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WW1 German Shoulder Boards


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Here are some WW1 Shoulder Boards I got recently, I am still looking into details on them, but if you have any information as far as identification goes, please let me know.

I believe these are all Offizierstellvertreter boards, which was a position used to make up for the heavy losses in officers by making a senior NCO an officer deputy or acting officer. From what I read this was a artime appointment and was abolished in September of 1919. 

I am awaiting some more reference materials to try and confirm as to what exactly they are.

This first pair has a grey colored backing, almost like cotton in texture. Also has a yellow colored piping along the exterior side of the board. The silver colored tresse has a cold metal feel to it and has a tarnished look. On the sides of the tresse there are two thin blue lines as well. I have seen a similar version which is called Militarebeamte
Beamtenstellvertreter im Feldwebelrang Proviantamt which roughly means a deputy officer in the NCO provisions office. This set had identical tresse and yellow piping as well. This set below was listed a an Prussian deputy officers set. 





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Next pair is of similar construction. It has a white underlay on the top side and along the edges, with the silver metallic tresse with blue thin lines along the borders. I have also seen a similar version which was called Militarebeamte Unterzahlmeister which meant under paymaster military official. It was listed a a Bavarian deputhy officers boards. 




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Next pair, was listed as Prussian 8th army corps deputy officers boards. It has a light blue or cornflower blue under lay which could be for dragoon or landwehr cavalry. Still trying to find out more information. 





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Last pair listed as Offizierstellvertreter boards, these are mint condition, never worn. Very fine grey wool backing material.





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The material used is late quality without wool (shortages), and cotton-based, the yellow would suggest "Proviant", the white = Unterzahlmeister,
not quite sure what the blue piping is. The lace has blaue "Durchzüge", which means they are for a Militärbeamte and not a soldier. Militärbeamte were technically not "Soldiers" and did not wear the national colours (also not on the Portépée, which was gold/blue), except on the cockades.
Apart from that, there were also the Zivilbeamte, or civil servants, who had completely different uniforms.

Last pair: These are probably unworn, they always had the regimental number or cypher mounted. They must be early as the braid is still gold, and the material is woollen. Offizierstellvertreter. The white piping might suggest the Armeekorps.
I., II., IX., X. A.K. = white. After September 1915 this changed, white was used for the majority of infantry regiments, with just a few exceptions, which kept their original colours.

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I noticed that as well about the ciphers/numbers. I am waiting for the book you told me about, maybe that will shed some light on them. 

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I don't think these are mentioned in the book,  but there are facsimile colour plates of all shoulder straps as of early 1914, which enable easy identification of nearly all regimental shoulder straps, that is very good for a start.

By September 1919 almost everything was abolished, Versailles Treaty, 100.000 men were allowed to remain as a peacetime army. This was then named the "Reichswehr". No shoulder straps were to be worn for several years. The Reichskokarde was "verboten" and was not to be worn any more. The state cockades remained, Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, etc.


Infantry, also Landwehr-Inspektion. Not shown are the Garde-Regimenter zu Fuß 1-5:
1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß = white, buttons white
2. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß = red, buttons yellow
3. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß = yellow, buttons yellow
4. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß = blue, buttons yellow
5. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß = white, buttons white
Garde-Füsilier-Regiment = yellow, buttons white


Cavalry, etc.


Artillery, technical troops, etc.

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Textwork about the Royal Prussian Army, period 1860-1867, all facsimile plates and part reprint of original texts.
At the time, the Prussian Army consisted of 8 Army corps, I - VIII.
I = Ostpreußen
II = Pommern
III = Brandenburg
IV = Magdeburg
V = Posen
VI = Schlesien
VII = Westfalen
VIII = Rheinprovinz
After 1867 and 1871 the army was increased, adding the contingents of the other states, who joined the Militär Convention. The Bavarian Army remained separate till the end, with two, later three own army corps.


The various distinctions of Zivilbeamte and Militärbeamte. This was before the introduction of the Feldachselstücke in 1866, previously only Epaulettes were worn.



The uniforms of the various Militär- and Zivilbeamte


The various distinctions. Light blue was for Garnisonverwaltung (administration), cornflower blue as mentioned for Lazarettpersonal, the various officials of the  medical branch. The epaulette space had a small shield with a black eagle.

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Amazing on how much differences and details went into uniform items, I can understand why these were simplified during the war. 

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