BACKGROUND: On November 26TH 1938 the first pattern, pointed tip, shoulder straps without waffenfarben, (Branch of Service Color), piping, utilized by EM/NCO’s were replaced with a rounded tip shoulder strap that included the branch of service waffenfarben. Originally these second pattern straps were manufactured in blue/green badge cloth until regulations in May 1940 altered their construction to field-grey wool. These second pattern shoulder straps were worn for the duration of the war although a third and final pattern was introduced in September 1944. The different branches of service within the German army were allocated a specific identifying waffenfarbe color, which was displayed as piping on the shoulder straps, with pink being chosen for Panzer, (Armored) personnel. Of Note: The general waffenfarbe for all armored units was pink although other colors were utilized including red for armored artillery units, golden yellow for armored reconnaissance units and the 24TH Panzer Division, lemon yellow for armored signals units and, for a short time, alternating black and white for armored engineer units. Originally NCO ranks wore a bright silver/aluminum tress on the forward collar edge of the dress and service tunics, on the tropical and continental field blouses, as adornment on the shoulder straps and dress tunic cuffs and also as sleeve rank chevrons. On April 25TH 1940 a new subdued tress of matte blue/grey rayon was introduced for wear on the field uniform and a subdued golden tan rayon tress was introduced for wear on the tropical uniform. Although these new subdued tress’s were intended to replace the highly visible bright silver/aluminum tress it continued in usage until the end of the war. Of Note: The German armed forces utilized a wide variety of shoulder board/strap cyphers that indicated numerous specific, assorted trades, careers, functions and/or units. Regulations decreed that the shoulder board/strap cyphers were embroidered in the branch of service color for EM’s and Junior NCO’s, in silvered metal for Senior NCO’s and in gilted metal for Officer’s ranks. Originally the shoulder board/strap cyphers for Senior NCO’s and Officer’s used during the Third Reich were a low, flat pattern that had been utilized by the Weimar era Reichsheer until regulations of September 10TH 1935 introduced new Wehrmacht pattern cyphers that featured a horizontal ribbed interior and raised outer edges. The Gothic "P" cypher, indicated, Panzerjäger, which literally translated means "Armor hunter", but figuratively indicated "Anti-tank" personnel.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Early, (Circa November 1938-May 1940), sew on shoulder straps of blue/green badge cloth with pink wool waffenfarbe. The shoulder straps feature bright, diamond patterned NCO’s tress to the outside edges. Straps have a pink letter "P" and the number "50" to each. The "P" indicated, Panzerjäger, which literally translated means "Armor hunter", but figuratively indicated "Anti-tank" personnel. The shoulder straps indicate the rank of Unteroffizier serving with the 50th Anti-tank Battalion.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $298.00

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