Luftwaffe General’s Insignia & Groupings

Additional Examples

 

 

This page examines additional examples of original collar tabs and shoulderboards, many of which are attributed.  It will also provide the viewer with examples of the many variations in hand embroidery and bullion/celleon construction.

 

Collar Tabs

 

 

A collar tab for the left collar of a Generalmajor, in a two-tone bullion.  Note how the left, downward slant of the bottom of the collar tab runs parallel to the left, downward angle of the piped collar.  This is the correct placement of Luftwaffe collar tabs, though there is plenty of photographic evidence proving that the tabs were sometimes mixed up and put on the wrong collars (and in some cases it may have been the preference of the officer or the tailor).  You will also find that French tailored uniforms always put the collar tabs on opposite sides due to the different angle the French used when tailoring the collars.

(private collection)

 

 

 

An un-issued pair of Generalleutnant tabs still attached to cardboard backing.

(Boward-Brand collection)

 

Left side collar tab from an un-named Luftwaffe Generals tunic. This particular example is embroidered in celleon with bullion highlights and bullion edge piping.  It is quite common to see mixtures of celleon and bullion on Luftwaffe Generals insignia, tunics and visor caps.

(private collection)

 

 

Right side collar tab from an un-named Luftwaffe Generals greatcoat. This is yet another example that is embroidered using a mix of celleon and bullion highlights.  Note the extreme tightness and depth of the embroidery, features the reproductions never are able to replicate successfully.

(private collection)

 

 

 

Right side collar tab from the uniform of Generalleutnant Kurt Student.  This collar, in contrast to several examples shown above, does not have a severe angle to it and is almost horizontal.  The tab is embroiderd in gold bullion with bullion edge piping.

(Wolfe-Hardin collection) 

 

 

 

Left side collar tab from the uniform of Generalleutnant Ludwig Keiper.  It is another example of a nice, two-tone bullion embroidery effect.  Notice also how the tab is a right side tab (bottom of tab slants downward and to the right), yet is on the left collar.  Also notice that the collar slants downward to the left.  This is a trait of French tailors, and Keiper’s uniform was tailored in Paris.  Aesthetically, it looks better to have the tab align with the angle of the collar, which is why the tailor positioned it this way.

(private collection)

 

Left side collar tab from the uniform of General der Flieger Karl Eberth.  In this example, notice how crowded the three gulls are, with the top gull almost sitting on top of the middle gull.  This may be an example of where upon promotion the tailor stitched another gull (the top one) on to the existing tabs on the uniform, rather than replace the collar tabs.  The other possibility is that the tabs were manufactured this way.  In either case, they are nice examples of original tabs and if you study enough period photos you will occasionally find examples similar to this.

(Oakleaf Militaria collection)

 

 

A matched pair of collar tabs for the rank of General der Flieger.  The wreath and wings are embroidered in gold bullion and the edge of the tabs is piped in celleon, which seems to be a somewhat common practice.

(private collection)

 

 

Right side collar tab from the uniform of Generaloberst Alfred Keller.  A classic, textbook example of the very rarely encountered rank of Generaloberst.  Many fakes of this rank exist, but if you have ever examined a real piece, the intricacy and depth of the embroidery clearly sets the originals apart from all the attempts to deceive.

(Wolfe-Hardin collection)

 

Another example of a Generaloberst collar tab, this one having been de-nazified with the removal of the swastika.  Notice how similar this loose example is to the tab from the Keller uniform in the above picture.

(private collection)

 

 

Generaloberst collar tabs, a very rare find, manufactured in gold bullion with celleon highlights and edging around the tabs.  While these tabs are obviously from a different manufacturer than the bullion examples shown above, notice the tight embroidery of the wreath and how they are similar in construction.

(Howard Kelly collection

 

Generaloberst von Greim portrait.  Notice the fine detail in the collar tabs.  Also note the placement of the pips on his shoulderboards, with all three pips centered in the middle of the board in a triangular fashion.  Many collectors insist that the pips must be positioned down towards the shoulder seam, yet photographic evidence shows that Generaloberst used a variety of pip placements on their boards for this rank.

(Boward-Brand collection)

 

Generaloberst Rudel wearing the red branch color (for Flak) backing on his collar tabs and shoulderboards indicating his position as Chief of Flak.

(Boward-Brand collection)

 

Close-up of the Generaloberst Rudel tab. 

(Boward-Brand collection)

 

Close-up of the  actual Generaloberst Rudel tab, from his uniform. 

(private collection)

 

A beautiful pair of Luftwaffe Generaloberst collar tabs in celleon, from the same manufacturer as the Rudel tab shown above.

(Gary Boward collection)

 

 

Shoulderboards

 

Single shoulderboard for a Generalmajor in celleon and aluminum.

(Howard Kelley collection)

 

Single shoulderboard for a Generalmajor in bullion and aluminum.

(Holzauge Historical)

 

Pair of shoulderboards for a Flieger-Chefingenieur (Generalmajor equivalent) in celleon and aluminum.

(Boward-Brand collection)

 

 

Single shoulderboard for a Generalleutnant in bullion and silver.

(Howard Kelley collection)

 

Single shoulderboard for a Generalleutnant in matte bullion and silver, with the large, General officer sized pip, from the uniform of Karl Student.

(Wolfe-Hardin Collection)

 

 

Another example of the matte, gold bullion cording for a Generalleutnant, this example with a smaller, silver frosted pip, from the uniform of Ludwig Keiper.

(Private Collection)

 

 

Single shoulderboard for a General der Flieger in matte bullion and silver.

(Howard Kelley collection)

 

 

Single shoulderboard for a General der Flieger in brite bullion and silver.

(Holzauge Historical)

 

 

Single shoulderboard for a General der Flieger in matte bullion and aluminum inner cord.  Matte bullion shoulderboards like this are the safest acquisition for collectors not well versed in General officer insignia.

(private collection)

 

 

 

Single, slip-on shoulderboard for a General der Flieger in bullion and silver.

(private collection)

 

 

Single shoulderboard for a General der Flieger in brite bullion and silver, with aluminum pips.

(Howard Kelley collection)

 

 

General der Flieger rank manufactured in brite gold bullion cords, with silver inner cord and two silver frosted pips, from the uniform of Genl. der Flieger Karl Eberth.  Notice the large, oversize tunic button that was used by the tailor in place of a shoulderboard button.

(private collection)

 

 

 

A pair of shoulderboards for a General der Flieger in bullion and silver.  Note the ‘basketweave’ variant inner silver cording on this pair.

(Howard Kelley collection)

 

 

Generaloberst shoulderboard from the uniform of Alfred Keller. Matte gold bullion cords with aluminum center cord and small, aluminum pips.

(Wolfe-Hardin collection)

 

 

Shoulderboard for the rare rank of Generaloberst in matte bullion and silver.  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, along with his regimental numeral.

(private collection)

 

Single shoulderboard for a Generaloberst in celleon and aluminum. 

Note the ‘wings’ for attachment to the white summer tunic.

(Holzauge Historical)

 

 

 

 

Luftwaffe Corps of Engineers Generals Insignia

The Ingenieurkorps der Luftwaffe wore some rather striking insignia as the branch color backing of pink was used for their collar tabs, shoulderboards, piping on breeches and long pants, and lapel facings of greatcoats.  There were only two General Officer ranks in the corps of Engineers; Generalingenieur and Generalstabsingenieur (prior to 1940 they were referred to as Fl. Chefingenieur and Leitender F. Chefingenieur)

 

Fl. Chefingenieur

(Generalingenieur)

(Costello collection

Leitender Fl. Chefingenieur (Generalstabsingenieur)

(Holzauge Historical collection)

 

 

 

A pair of shoulderboards for a Fl. Chefingenieur/Generalingenieur in celleon and aluminum.

(Gary & Matt Boward collection)

 

 

 

Matching set for Fl. Chefingenieur/Generalingenieur in gold bullion.

(Howard Kelly collection)

 

Matching set for Fl. Chefingenieur/Generalingenieur in two tone gold bullion.

(Gary & Matt Boward collection)

 

 

Matching set for Fl. Chefingenieur/Generalingenieur in celleon and gold bullion.

(Gary & Matt Boward collection

 

 

 

Matching set for Fl. Chefingenieur/Generalingenieur in gold bullion.

(Gary & Matt Boward collection

 

 

Matching set for Fl. Chefingenieur/Generalingenieur in gold bullion.

(Costello collection

 

 

Matching set for Leitender Fl. Chefingenieur/Generalstabsingenieur in gold bullion.

(Gary & Matt Boward collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insignia Groupings and Personality Groupings

 

Insignia grouping for a Luftwaffe Generalmajor that was found in  North Africa.  The shoulderboards are for use on the white summer tunic and ar rendered in gold celleon and aluminum cords.  The collar tabs are nicely constructed with two tone bullion highlights and edged in celleon.

(Private collection)

 

 

 

Ribbon bar identified as having belonged to General der Flieger Max Mohr (since 1952 Mor-Eppen) (1884-1966). This ribbonbar is from the period 1936-38 when he was a Generalmajor of
the Reichs Air Ministry and Commander of Luftgau 3/ renamed X, Hamburg.

(Private collection)

 

 

 

 

Luftwaffe General Officer’s Cape Eagle Set

(Private collection)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Promotion Document to Generalleutnant for Eugen Weissman

(Private collection)

 

 

 

 

Luftwaffe General Officer’s Sword

(Private collection)

 

 

 

 

I’m always looking for good photographs of original tabs and other General officer insignia.  If you have something to contribute, please visit the submitting photos page.