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Verbandsabzeichen des Heeres Bw Army SSI


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#1 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:22 PM

This was posted in another forum before but maybe it's of interest for some collectors here as well...

 

In 1962, 7 years after the formation of the new German armed forces (Bundeswehr), colored shoulder sleeve insignia were introduced for wear on army uniforms. Obviously influenced by U.S. Army shoulder sleeve insignia these new "Verbandsabzeichen" were released for wear on the left shoulder of the grey army dress uniform (Dienstanzug).

While colored and subdued shoulder sleeve insignia and pocket patches are worn on  field uniforms of all military branches since the 1980's latest, the wear of SSI on dress uniforms is limited to grey army uniforms strictly. In addition army personnel wears these SSI on the grey/blue coats (latest pattern with double button row). They are not worn on shirts, blousons, gala dress and  grey/blue coats with covered button row.

In general Verbandsabzeichen are made of woven cotton. These woven variants are officially issued and are worn by all ranks. Officers and NCO can purchase hand embroidered (bullion) variants for their uniforms. A third variant does exist as well: Machine embroidered SSI were made from the early 1960's until the 1980’s. They do not exist for all units but still can be found occasionally.

Hand and machine embroidered SSI can be found as "Lurex" variants as well. Lurex is a british brand name. In this case used by collectors for SSI with glittering golden or silver surface/heraldic elements.
A total of 165 different Verbandsabzeichen was released since 1962. A large amount of manufacturer's errors and color variants exists as well but I'll focus on the standard SSI first and foremost.

Some examples: SSI of the former Artillery School:
Left: Woven SSI
Center: Machine embroidered SSI
Right: Hand embroidered SSI

 

Lurex0.jpg

 

Appearance of the SSI on a soldiers uniform
Left: Subdued unit SSI (former Artillerieschule) on field dress (Feldanzug)

Center: Hand embroidered SSI on dress uniform (Dienstanzug)
Right: Woven SSI on coat (Mantel)

 

ArtS.JPG

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:24 PM

A woven SSI of Heimatschutzbrigade 54 on a officialy issued Oberleutnant der Reserve uniform in the background compared to a privat purchased Oberstabsfeldwebel uniform with hand embroidered SSI of "Amt für Heeresentwicklung".

 

HG4.jpg



#3 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:28 PM

Verbandsabzeichen can be identified rather easily. The heraldic shield of the insignia of the Ministry of Defense and other higher commands is generally divided into 3 parts, the national colors black, red and gold (actually a metal). This shield is superimposed by another (golden) shield with federal eagle or other symbols e.g. the iron cross. Commands differ from each other by various border colors. The federal eagle is the highest heraldic element and reserved for higher commands down to Corps level.

Please find attached another picture of my collection (displayed is always a pair of machine woven and hand embroidered SSI).

 

First and second row: Bundesministerium der Verteidigung (BMVg - Ministry of Defense) and various higher commands including: Territorialkommandos Schleswig-Holstein (SH), Nord, Süd, Ost.
Third row: Wehrbereichskommando (Military District Command) I - VIII
Fourth row: Heeresführungskommando, I., II., III., IV. Korps including Panzerregiment 100, 200, 300 (Corps insignia with pink border).
Fifth row: NATO, EU, Multi-national Commands.

YOU CAN FIND THE DESIGNATIONS OF THE DIFFERENT SSI HERE:

https://de.wikipedia..._der_Bundeswehr

 

A_1_30.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 



#4 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:28 PM

Close-up

 

A_2.jpg



#5 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:29 PM

...

A_3_45.jpg



#6 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:29 PM

Referring to the existing SSI one could categorize the German army (Heer = ground forces) easily into two parts. First the higher commands like the army department and the army training command with subordinated schools, training centers and (former) training units. Secondly the field army with it's corps, divisions and brigades etc.

Members of the first-mentioned commands, schools and training units wear a red shield with the symbol of the German ground forces, the crossed swords. School's and traning center's SSI show the letter "S" in addition and a colored border, in most cases the branch insignia's color. The school's training mission is supported be special training units "Lehrverbände". Depending on the branch and their mission the training unit's size varies from company to brigade level. These units wore the branch color bordered insignia of the school they supported with the letter "L" (Lehr- = training). Today all training units are under opcon of field army units so all of the "L" letter training unit patches are obsolete.

Once again, you'll find the different unit's designations here:

https://de.wikipedia..._der_Bundeswehr

 

B_1.jpg



#7 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:30 PM

Close-ups

 

B_2.jpg



#8 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:30 PM

...

 

B_3.jpg



#9 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:32 PM

Until German unification the German Bundeswehr ground forces were structured into 3 army corps with 12 divisions and 36 combat brigades. In most cases the army division's insignia consits of heraldic elements related to the mission (airborne, mountain) or the coat of arms of the state or region the division was deployed. 

Members of the division HQ and divisional units are wearing the division SSI with black/white border. Members of the division's 1st brigade are wearing the same patch with white border, 2nd brigade with red border and 3rd brigade with yellow border. These borders do of course NOT indicate a branch but are part of the "Prussian color sequence" (Preussische Farbfolge). The prussians introduced a  6 colors sequence to distinguish different sub-units of a regiment, brigade, division etc. The color sequence is:
1. = white
2. = red
3. = yellow
4. = blue
5. = green
6. = brown/black

For example the patches of the 4. Panzergrenadierdivision (Armored Infantry Division) with the 3 brigades (Panzergrenadierbrigade 10 & 11, Panzerbrigade 12)

 

Farbfolge.jpg

 

 

 

 

 



#10 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:32 PM

Pictures of divisions 1-10 and their brigades 1-30.

 

C_1.jpg



#11 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:33 PM

The close-ups. Machine woven patches on the left, hand embroidered variants on the right.

 

C_2.jpg



#12 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:33 PM

...

C_3.jpg



#13 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:34 PM

Top row of the next picture: 11. Panzergrenadierdivision and 12. Panzerdivision with brigades 31 - 36. So far the Bw cold war structure

 

D_1.jpg

 

To make a long story short. After German unification the East German NVA and most of the West German Bundeswehr units were disbanded. Two new Bw Divisions were deployed in Eastern Germany (13. & 14. Panzergrenadierdivision). Their brigade's SSI differ from the division's insignia, each referring to the region they were deployed in (second and third row of the last picture). New divisions were deployed like the Division Schnelle Kräfte (rapid deployment division) and the Division Lufbewegliche Kräfte (air mobile division), their insignia depicted at the fourth row of the board.
The former Heimatschutzbrigaden (home defence brigades, fifth row) were disbanded completely
after the end of the cold war.


Edited by Proud Kraut, 07 January 2019 - 12:35 PM.


#14 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:36 PM

close-ups

 

D_2.jpg



#15 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:36 PM

...

 

D_3.jpg



#16 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:37 PM

In 2002 the Heerestruppenkommando was formed. This command consisted of separate combat support brigades (Artillery, NBC Protection, Logistics, Air Defence, Engineers) each wearing the command's patch with the branch-color border (first row of the next board). Most of these units were disbanded until 2011.
The Sanitätsdienst der Bundeswehr became a separate military branch in 2000. Since then members of the different medical commands wear their own SSI (depicted on the left side of the next board - official insignia on the top row, manufacturer errors/variants below).

Last but not least some mixed up insignia (first style airborne and mountain SSI, firefighters and NATO/multinational SSI ) and some of the machine embroidered variants I've mentioned

in my initial post and which are not available in the supply line but are/were made by different embroideries (depicted on the right of the next picture):

 

E_1.jpg



#17 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:38 PM

close-ups

 

E_2.jpg



#18 Proud Kraut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:38 PM

That's it for today, thanks for looking.

 

E_3.jpg



#19 Brig

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 05:18 PM

Interesting...why do you think the Germans opted to use such SSI? I can't imagine the US was the most popular group of guys at the time...



#20 gwb123

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:19 PM

Excellent post, Lars!  Thank you for sharing and for your detailed description.  I have seen these for years but did not know the full logic behind them.



#21 The Meatcan

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 09:29 PM

Great post Lars and an excellent reference guide.

If we have pinned threads on the WMF, this should be pinned.

Terry



#22 Tony v

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 02:53 AM

Lars

 

   Thank you for a great posting, wonderful information

 

Tony



#23 Proud Kraut

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 12:20 PM

Thanks very much guys for your kind feedback!

 



Interesting...why do you think the Germans opted to use such SSI? I can't imagine the US was the most popular group of guys at the time...

 

It may be hard to believe but after the war for most of the German population the US was the most popular group of guys. For several reasons. I think it started with the way the US treated the Germans after the war. "Care packages", the Berlin Airlift, the "American way of life" etc. etc. Not to forget that the new German Bundeswehr was trained by US soldiers and equipped by the US Army. Especially the youth was extremly US affine these days. Attached the most published picture over here after the war. It tells the story better than I could do that.

 

Cover.jpg

 

 



#24 Brig

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 04:48 PM

I've read the recollections of those who were children during the liberation...all seem to have fond memories of American chocolate and cigarettes. I guess most would have been military age by time the SSI were implemented, but most of the top brass would have been WWII vets. I suppose it's a testament to their professionalism. It's easy to forget with today's foes that there was a time where militaries respected their adversaries as fellow professionals, and that when the war was over the hatred largely faded with it.



#25 gwb123

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 07:24 PM

I think there was also a certain amount of gratitude to not be in the Soviet Occpation Zone.


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