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Luftschutz Uniforms


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#1 SARGE

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 11:19 AM

Gents,

 

This is a Luftschutz NCO uniform for a Bandsman.  The Air Raid Warning service (Luftschutz) was restructured several times when it proved to be inadequate to the needs of the people during Allied bombing campaigns.  This Luftwaffe style tunic is made in Luftwaffe grey wool with a black lapel, collar, and cuffs.  It is piped in lavender and has machine sewn lavender colored collar tabs showing the rank of Sergeant.  There is a distinctive Luftschutz sleeve eagle on the lower left sleeve and the false cuffs are similar in style to the Schutzpolizei.  The back is cut in the distinctive "Rock" four panel style with a box tail.  As a Bandsman this uniform shows sewn in "swallows nests", in lavender and bullion, on each shoulder.  There are three styles and this style indicates either a Musiker or a Spielmann.  A standard red NSDAP swastika armband was sometimes worn on the upper left sleeve between the swallows nests and the sleeve eagle.  Notice that this Bandsman has removed his shoulder boards.  I suspect this fellow played some instrument similar to a tuba that rested on his shoulder (or required a shoulder harness) hence the removal of the shoulder board.  

 

The Luftschutz relied upon volunteer members who were led by a professional cadre of officers.  Most members were simply dressed in a steel helmet and an armband to signify their position in the Air Raid Service.  Some lucky individuals were uniformed in a set of coveralls to wear with their steel helmet.  These Luftschutz uniforms are hard to find today and I have not seen one for sale for years.

 

 

Attached Images

  • Luftschutz cuff.JPG
  • Luftschutz swallows nest.JPG
  • Luftschutz collar tab.JPG
  • Luftschutz bandsman tunic.JPG
  • Luftschutz bandsman back.JPG
  • Luftschutz band tunic side view.JPG

Edited by SARGE, 07 September 2019 - 05:47 AM.


#2 Rakkasan187

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 11:03 AM

A remarkable uniform.. I have never seen one until today.

 

Very impressive. I like the uniforms from these organizations as they tell a different story as opposed to the combat branches of the Reich..

 

Thank you for sharing

 

Leigh



#3 SARGE

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 07:00 AM

Thank you for the kudos Leigh.  I too love the story that these uniforms tell.

 

Here is an example of the Air Raid Service Luftschutz Sicherheits u. hilfsdienst (SHD) tunic.  This grey wool tunic is cut in the general manner of the Luftwaffe flight tunic and was worn by the SHD and the later Luftschutzpolizei.  

 

This is a tailor made Officer tunic for a senior officer of the Luftschutz Warndienst (LSW) which was a subset of the SHD.  The Warndienst were the technical professionals who rushed in to help mitigate the after effects of the bombing.  They were various specialists whose technical expertise was identified by oval specialty badges worn on the lower left sleeve.  This senior Officer (Abteilungsfuhrer) had a medical specialty, as evidenced by his specialty badge, and was likely a medical doctor with this rank.  His attachment to the LS Warndienst is shown by his cuff band (one of a series) shown on the lower right sleeve.  He also wears the Luftschutz winged insignia patch over his right breast pocket and the tunic has loops for a ribbon bar.

 

As the war progressed other changes occurred to the Air Raid Warning Service as Allied bombing increased but this represents the basic structure.

 

 

Attached Images

  • SHD tunic.JPG
  • SHD back.JPG
  • SHD collar tab.JPG
  • SHD shoulder board.JPG
  • SHD Luftschutz breast eagle 1.JPG
  • LS-Warndienst cuff title.JPG
  • SHD cuff insignia.JPG


#4 Rakkasan187

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 08:00 AM

Sarge,

 

I am taken back by these amazing uniforms.. I have never seen any like these before..

 

I was looking in my copy of "Defending the Reich" by David Littlejohn, and seeing your uniform and the insignia in the book and the line drawings of the uniforms in the book really ties the items all together..

 

Thank you once again for sharing these items with us..

 

I am really interested now in this organization of the Reich.

 

Leigh 



#5 SARGE

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 06:44 AM

While the Luftschutz volunteer Air Raid Wardens remained as the work-a-day on the ground personnel the organizational structure continued to evolve during the war.  The Warndienst had police authority to enter bombed out buildings and areas that were normally off limits but only while on duty.  As bombings became more intense technical members of the SHD came under the authority of the Polizei which gave them more immediate access and authority to deal with injuries and damage on the ground.  This change was evidenced by an insignia change from the Luftschutz to the Polizei. 

 

Luftschutzpolizei (LSP) Officers wore Luftwaffe Officer style grey four pocket open collar tunics with Polizei insignia.  The bullion police sleeve eagles were rendered in grey wool backing instead of the normal police green wool.  The bullion Officer collar tabs were also of the police style instead of the SHD or Luftwaffe.  Shoulder board ranks were still shown with narrow green and silver SHD boards.  Enlisted men wore the Luftwaffe style flight tunic (as shown above) with concealed buttons and no breast pockets.  Instead of Luftwaffe insignia they wore police sleeve eagles and collar tabs with narrow green SHD shoulder boards.  Oval specialty patches continued to be worn on the lower left sleeve of the LSP tunic for a time but collar tabs and sleeve eagles came to indicate broad specialty areas.  The enlisted sleeve eagles were rendered in three colors on grey backed wool matching the Luftschutpolizei tunic color.  Green eagles indicated Technical and Medical specialties.  Carmine eagles indicated Firefighting specialties.  White eagles indicated Rescue and Rubble Removal specialties.  

 

The plan was to eventually dress these Luftschutzpolizei in regular Polizei uniforms but the war ended before that could be fully accomplished.  Only a small number of LSP personnel were fully outfitted in police green uniforms before the end of the war but photos of these men will be found along with some TENO Polizei who often worked alongside the Luftschutzpolizei in the aftermath of devastating air raid damage.

 

Here are a couple of photos of these transitional uniforms.  The seated NCO is wearing the standard Luftschutzpolizei uniform consisting of the grey Luftwaffe style flight tunic with Polizei insignia.  The four armed men on the dike are wearing the same grey Luftwaffe style flight tunic with Luftschutz helmets.  

 

 

Attached Images

  • luftschutz.jpg
  • luftschutzpolizei.jpg

Edited by SARGE, 09 September 2019 - 06:52 AM.


#6 patches

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 05:04 AM

Striking examples. the Blue just jumps right out of the screen!



#7 SARGE

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 06:55 AM

Thanks patches.  These uniforms really are few and far between considering how many personnel were in the Luftschutz organizations.

 

Here is a very scarce example of the final version of the Luftschutzpolizei (LSP) uniform.  This uniform was a walk-in from a member of the public at a local militaria show many years ago and I bought it from the fellow.  It is essentially a standard field version of the police green Ordnungspolizei uniform with Luftschutzpolizei insignia.  The grey backed green LSP sleeve eagle denotes this fellow was a Technical or Medical specialist.  The distinctive light green color LSP collar tabs are correct for this specialty as well.  His LSP rank is shown by the grey backed narrow green Luftschutz style shoulder straps, which were always made as sew-in straps.  

Attached Images

  • LS Pol unif.JPG
  • LS Pol back.JPG
  • LS Pol eagle (2).JPG
  • LS Pol shoulder board.JPG
  • LS Pol eagle.JPG

Edited by SARGE, 11 September 2019 - 08:41 AM.


#8 RRA227

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 01:14 PM

Nice uniforms.  Rich A. in Pa.




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