Jump to content

Gendarmerie Uniforms


Recommended Posts

Gents,

 

This thread will show the basic German Rural Police (Gendarmerie) uniforms. I encourage anyone with Gendarmerie uniforms to post their examples on this thread so that it may become a reference for the various types of Gendarmerie uniforms.

 

The German Gendarmerie was formed after the French model where the rural policeman enforces the law in the countryside much the same as the Sheriff's Department does in the United States or Great Britain. Under this organizational structure German Policemen operating in the urban cities were separated into units of Schutzpolizei (SCHUPO) with both the Gendarmerie and Schutzpolizei being part of the nationalized Ordnungspolizei (ORPO) under the Chief of Police, Heinrich Himmler during WWII.

 

Gendarmerie uniforms are generally characterized by being police green in color with brown collars and cuffs with orange piping. The tunic is cut in the Rock style with a four panel back and a split box tail. It has two pleated breast pockets and two hip pockets without pleats. This uniform for a senior Master Sergeant, (Meister) rank is typical of the style. Notice the brown collar and cuffs are a light brown color indicating an early tunic as later tunics had a darker brown color collar and cuffs, the same as the dark brown color of the green piped municipal Schutzpolizei. Also notice that the belt is brown as all Gendarmerie leather accouterments (belts, holsters, boots, etc.) were brown as well. This tunic is a summer weight wool tunic with multiple loops for awards as a Meister is the highest ranking, and generally longest serving, NCO in the unit.

Gend Meister tunic.JPG

Gend Meister back.JPG

Gend Meister collar tabs.JPG

Gend Meistr shoulder board.JPG

Gend Meister pocket.JPG

Gend Meister eagle.JPG

Edited by SARGE

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is another example of this early Gendarmerie tunic but in a heavier weight wool. Notice this tunic has the place name of "Innsbruck" Austria on the orange sleeve eagle. When Austria became a part of Greater Germany as the Ostmark upon annexation Austrian Policemen became German Policemen with the change of their uniform and a new oath to Hitler.

 

Here are also a couple of police uniform plates by Knotel showing a Gendarmerie motorcyclist wearing a brown leather crash helmet and brown leather gear. The other plate shows the differences between a Gendarm and a small town Gemeindepolizei NCO who has wine red uniform piping and black leather accouterments as worn by municipal policemen.

 

 

Gend Innsbruck tunic.JPG

Gend Innsbruck patch.JPG

Knötel Motorcycle Gendarm.jpg

Knötel Gemeindepolizei.jpg

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a wartime wool active service NCO (Wachtmeister) uniform made in the same manner as the standard Army (Heer) field service uniforms. The Gendarmerie uniform is made in police green and retains its police uniform look with pleated breast pockets and un-pleated hip pockets. Notice the back is much simplified with a two panel cloth back with a central seam and a split tail. The insignia is orange, or orange piped, and the belts and leather equipment was brown. Police units served in the occupied areas and Gendarmerie units were responsible for security and police activity largely behind the lines in the countryside.

 

 

Gend Wachtmeister field tunic.JPG

Gend Wm back.JPG

Gend Wm collar tab.JPG

Gend Wm shoulder board.JPG

Gend Wm eagle.JPG

Gend light equip.JPG

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an example of the Officer version of the active duty uniform. This tailor made tunic is made from police green wool twill in the same manner as the enlisted tunic with pleated breast pockets and un-pleated hip pockets. It has the same six button front and the insignia is subdued bullion and orange for an Officer of the Gendarmerie on active service. Notice this tunic also has French Cuffs in the manner of Heer Officer tunics. Also notice that this is a Wartime Officer with the rank of Inspecktor as indicated by the orange and brown nebenfarbe on the subdued shoulder boards. Active duty Gendarms served alongside other field police units fighting partisans and bandits behind, and at, the front with other police regiments and battalions.

Gend Off tunic.JPG

Gend Off back.JPG

Gend Off eagle.JPG

Gend Off tab.JPG

Gend Oblt board.JPG

Edited by SARGE

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great looking uniforms you have there!

 

Thanks for the kudos. I have been collecting Polizei uniforms for a long time.

 

I did want to point out that I showed the active duty Gendarmerie Wachtmeister with a set of light weight equipment. The breadbag could be worn suspended from the belt or slung from a cloth shoulder strap. The shoulder strap could in turn be worn on the steel helmet in the manner of allowing twigs and leaves to be stuck in it for camouflage. The lightweight rucksack has brown leather straps and is Polizei marked equipment. Gendarms were often issued these rucksack, as opposed to the heavier fur covered box pack, for short term operations in the hinterland. Here is another Knotel uniform plate showing a Gendarmerie ski trooper wearing such a rucksack.

 

Also notice that the ski trooper is wearing a special uniform tunic designed for ski and mountain troops. This is a windproof tunic that externally looks much like the standard police tunic but it is not. This police green tunic has adjustable brown cuffs to keep out wind and allow for the wear of ski gloves. It also has a different cut to the back that incorporates an adjustable drawstring that again seals off the chest against the wind. Trousers are gathered at the ankles to allow for the wear of gaiters along with ski or alpine climbing boots.

 

These particular uniforms are quite scarce.

Gend ski tunic.JPG

Gend ski tunic collar.JPG

Gend ski tunic back.JPG

Gend ski tunic eagle.JPG

Knötel Gendarmerie.jpg

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some views of the interior of this Meister rank Gendarmerie ski tunic to show its markings and construction.

 

 

Gend ski tunic interior.JPG

Gend ski tunic drawstring.JPG

Gend ski tunic markings.JPG

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is an example of a set of Gendarmerie trousers as worn with the wool uniform. These straight let trousers are distinguished by being made of police green wool with orange piping along the external leg seam. Gendarmerie uniforms could be worn with trousers or breeches but these orange piped examples are typical of the genre.

 

 

 

 

Trousers Gend.JPG

Trousers Gend waist.JPG

Trousers Gend cuff.JPG

Trousers Gend interior.JPG

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice stuff...are the awards original to the first uniform? I would imagine the Wound Badge would be the Imperial type based off the WWI service on the ribbon bar

Edited by Brig
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice stuff...are the awards original to the first uniform? I would imagine the Wound Badge would be the Imperial type based off the WWI service on the ribbon bar

 

Good question Brig. The awards are not original to the first Meister rank uniform but are original examples placed in existing medal loops. Logic determined that the Silesian eagle could go with the matching ribbon on the ribbon bar that was the correct length for the loops. A WWI wound badge probably would be a better choice for the lower loop but this one was at hand. That is really the case with all of these uniforms with the exception of the Skimeister qualification badge on the ski uniform which is a reproduction. These are so rare, and so often faked, that they are almost impossible to find or purchase at a reasonable price.

 

Thanks for asking.

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Reasonable Price" has it's own definition when dealing with TR...

 

You are 100% right! I also mis-spoke as this is a Meister rank uniform but the reproduction qualification badge is for a "Schi-Fuhrer" (Ski-Leader).

 

Here is a closeup of the reproduction badge.

Gend ski badge.JPG

Edited by SARGE

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is an example of a set of period Polizei breeches as worn with the Gendarmerie uniform. These riding breeches are distinguished by being made of police green wool with no piping along the external leg seam. These breeches would have been worn with brown riding boots. Gendarmerie uniforms could be worn with trousers or breeches but these un-piped examples are typical of the genre.

 

 

 

Breeches green with buttons.JPG

Breeches green with buttons waist.JPG

Breeches green with buttons cuff.JPG

Breeches green with buttons crotch.JPG

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kudos gentlemen. I have been collecting German Polizei uniforms and equipment for some time now. I am glad the Gendarmerie uniforms are appreciated.

 

Here is another Summer weight Gendarmerie tunic made of the so-called "salt & pepper" lightweight woven material used by the police. This uniform tunic was worn by a Meister rank Senior NCO as shown by his shoulder boards and collar tabs. Because of their Meister rank these men were called Portepeeunteroffizier. They could wear some officer accouterments such as an Officer Portepee on their edged weapons and Officer chin cords on their peaked caps. Interestingly, this particular tunic is cut in the "Rock" style of an active service officer tunic with a four panel back with a box pleat tail and French cuffs. No one was going to tell a Meister that this was an officer grade tunic.

 

 

Gend Meister.JPG

Gend back.JPG

Gend Meister tabs.JPG

Gend Meister board.JPG

Gend eagle.JPG

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the kudos Paul. I have only seen one documented police tunic that was there during the uprising. Unfortunately, it was in relic condition that had been literally 1/2 eaten by moths or bugs of some sort. I wanted it but I did not want it if you get my quandary. In the end I let it lay and walked away.

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 10 months later...
  • 8 months later...

While I was re-reading a reference book last night I came upon some interesting Gendarmerie manpower figures that I had forgotten.  According to Edward Westermann, "Hitler's Police Battalions" p.82 he mentions the wholesale transfer of 13,604 police personnel into the Wehrmacht in September 1939.  He also mentions, "The Gendarmerie was hardest hit, losing 8,451, over one-third of its members, to the German Military Police (Feldgendarmerie)."  

 

So, in addition to the various active duty Gendarmerie units serving in prisoner contol, pacification, and rural occupation duties one-third of Gendarmerie personnel also served as the Military Field Police (Feldgendarmerie).  

 

FG Off cap 2.JPG

FG NCO cap 2.JPG

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • SARGE pinned this topic

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...