Luftwaffe Generals of the Specialists Careers Insignia

 

In both the Heer and Luftwaffe, a differentiation was made between “troop” Generals and Generals having “specialist” careers (such as, General of Medical services, etc.).  Troops Generals were considered superior officers because of their combat or field knowledge and experience.  So, to make a visual differentiation between the two, the specialist career Generals were given separate, distinct branch colors to wear as an underlay on their insignia, as well as their uniforms (trouser stripes, lapel facings, etc.).  Specialist Generals were those men in charge of Medical, Judicial, Administrative, etc.  These changes were instituted very late in the war, April 25th of 1944, and as a result can be rather rare to encounter.

 

Note: Some of the insignia photographs below are graphic photo illustrations, using actual pieces but altering branch color by retouching. This was done because actual samples of some of the individual ranks were not available for inclusion.  If you are a Luftwaffe collector, have specimens of these ranks and would like to share the images with fellow collectors, please contact me as I welcome any and all contributions in the goal of making this website all encompassing in regards to high ranks.

 

 

Shoulderboards

 

 

Administrative Generalleutnant (Generalstabsintendant)

General’s shoulderboard in matte celleon, and aluminum inner cords, with a single rank pip over a light blue underlay.

(private collection)

 

 

Judicial Generalmajor (Generalrichter)

General’s shoulderboard in matte celleon, and aluminum inner cords, with a single rank pip over a wine red underlay.

 (courtesy Thomas Suter collection)

 

Medical Generalmajor (Generalarzt)

General’s shoulderboard with a medical caduceus device over a blue underlay.

(Holzauge Historical Collection)

 

 

Air Ministry (RLM)  Generalleutnant

General’s shoulderboard in matte celleon, and aluminum inner cords, with a single rank pip over a black underlay.  This black backed insignia was believed to have been worn for a short period of time in the Air Ministry as photographic evidence of Erhard Milch wearing this black insignia exists in period photographs.  This would not have been considered a specialist career service, and was worn in the early war years only for a very short time as there is little to no evidence of its existence.  Its inclusion here is primarily due to the unique backing color for a General Officer.

(photo composite illustration, for reference only)

 

 

Engineering Generalmajor (Fl. Chefingenieur/Generalingenieur)

Shoulderboard in celleon and aluminum.

(Gary & Matt Boward collection)

 

Generaloberst of Flak Troops

This interesting example is from the uniform of Luftwaffe Generaloberst Rudel, and has an underlay of red branch color to reflect Rudel’s position as head of Flak Troops.  Flak is not listed as a specialist career, so it is assumed that this is more of an honorary appointment, along the lines of the Heer Generals “Chief of a Regiment” tradition.  Rudel was Chief of Air Defense and General of Flak Artillery until his retirement in December of 1942.

(private collection)

 

 

Collar Tabs

 

 

Administrative Generalmajor (Generalintendant)

Gold bullion wreath with a single gull over a light, cornflower blue underlay.

(photo composite illustration, for reference only)

 

 

Judicial Generalmajor (Generalrichter)

Gold bullion wreath with a single gull over a wine red underlay.

(photo composite illustration, for reference only)

 

 

Medical Generalmajor (Generalarzt)

Gold bullion wreath with a single gull over a dark blue underlay.

(photo composite illustration, for reference only)

 

 

Air Ministry (RLM) Generaloberst

A Luftwaffe eagle superimosed over a wreath, rendered in celleon over a black underlay.  Erhard Milch was known to have worn this insignia during his time as Generaloberst in the Reichs Air Ministry, as period photographs show him wearing the black backed insignia.

(photo composite illustration, for reference only)

 

 

 

Engineering Corps Generalmajor

(Fl. Chefingenieur/Generalingenieur)

The engineering corps used propellers instead of gulls to indicate the rank of the individual officer, in this case a two pronged propeller.

(Costello collection)

 

 

Generaloberst of Flak Troops

A Luftwaffe eagle superimosed over a wreath, rendered in celleon over a red underlay.  This example is from the uniform of Flak Troops Generaloberst Rudel.

(private collection)

 

 

 

 

Period photograph of Erhard Milch as a Generaloberst, wearing the black backed insignia of the RLM.

 

 

 

Luftwaffe Generals of the Specialists Careers and Corresponding Ranks

 

Troop General Rank Equivalent

Engineering Corps

Administrative

(Trupponsonderdienst)

Judicial

Medical

Generalmajor

Generalingenieur

Generalintendant

Generalrichter

Generalarzt

Generalleutnant

Generalstabingenieur

Generalstabsintendant

Generalstabsrichter

Generaloberarzt

General

 

Generaloberstabsintendant

Generaloberstabsrichter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m looking for good photographs of original Luftwaffe General’s of the Specialist Careers officer insignia.  If you have something to contribute, please visit the submitting photos page.