Thursday, December 31, 2009

Early Pattern HJ shoulder straps.

Early pattern 1933 shoulder straps had several distinct charateristics. The button measured 19mm in diameter. It was a pebbled button in either plain field grey, field grey with a raised arabic numeral depicting the Gefolgshcaft, (a company sized HJ unit), silver to corespond to with the tunic buttons of leaders, or gold to corespond to high ranking leaders tunic buttons. The number was later dropped and unumbered buttons were used. There was some variance to this as period photos show.

Regualtions of November 24, 1934 called for some changes. The Bann number was in arabic style. It measured 18mm high, and normally was a chain stitch type of sewing. The number was in the color of the respective HJ Obberbann. The respective Obberbann colors were as follows:
Obberbann 1-Red
Obberbann 2-Yellow
Obberbann 3-Green
Obberbann 4-Blue
Obberbann 5-Black
Obberbann 6-White
The Bann number was positioned above the Unterbann number on the strap, in the center.

The Unterbann number was positioned below the Obberbann number on the strap. It was also normally in a chain stitch type sewing. The number was a Roman numeral and ranged from I to V. It measured 10mm in height.
I, II, III, IV, V are the only Unterbann numbers that should be encountered, however a known period document shows an Unterbann number of VI, so regulations were not always adhered to.

The Obberbann system underwent changes begining in 1934, and by the end of 1935 was abolished. The time period during 1936 saw changes to the straps. Specialisied straps that identified the wearers assignment were introduced during this time frame. During this time there was a period when the Obberbann straps and specialist straps co-existed, making determination of the wearers assignment sometimes difficult. By the year 1937 the NSDAP organisation book, third edition, shows that the tan colored straps piping and numeral coloring indicated the wearers assignment, instead of the Obberbann of the old system. It is also important to note that regulations were not always adhered to, and there was also normally a "grace" period to allow HJ to change over to the newest insignia regulations.

This remained until September 30th, 1938, when HJ straps again underwent significant changes, which will be covered in a later post, along with rank, specialty and DJ shoulder straps.

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