H044990 FIELD POST OFFICER’S SHOULDER STRAP CYPHERS. (Ziffer für Feldpost Schulterklappen)

BACKGROUND: 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 Officers used during the Third Reich were a low, flat, pattern that had been utilized by the Weimar era, (Circa 1919-1933), Reichswehr, (National Defence {Force}), until regulations of September 10TH 1935 introduced new Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces), pattern cyphers that featured a horizontal ribbed interior and raised outer edges. The German army had a tradition, dating from the 1700's, of maintaining a separate branch of Administrative Official’s attached to the army to oversee all administrative functions, thus freeing up active army Officer’s and allowing them to concentrate on actual military matters. The Official’s were responsible for a wide variety of administrative tasks from Court Martial, Librarian, Supply, Technical and Meteorological Services, to School, Barracks, and Hospital administration. Most officials careers consisted of four varying grades, of high, elevated, medium and low grade with slightly differing identifying insignia for each grade. The grade of the career was determined by the education and/or experience of the individual. During the Reichswehr era the officials were divided into military and civilian personnel until December 22ND 1934 when the German High Command did away with the differentiation and consolidate all the officials into the newly formed Wehrmachtbeamte-Heer, (Armed Forces Officials-Army). Regulations of March 12TH 1937 reorganized the Officials and instituted the new Beamte auf Kriegsdauer a.K., (Wartime Official’s for the duration of the war), to be activated in times of mobilization. The German armed forces had an extensive Feldpost, (Field Postal Service), that was established in August 1939 with its personnel drawn from the DRP, Deutsche Reichs Post, (German National Postal Service), and on September 3RD 1939 the Feldpost was fully operational. Originally personnel assigned to the field postal service were classed as Wartime Officials, until regulations of July 7TH 1943 reclassified them as Ergänzungbeamte, (Supplementary Officials). The Feldpost personnel were responsible for the collection, transportation and deliver of all military mail for free and were attached to a units Divisional Headquarters staff. Each company sized unit within the German army were assigned a specific Feldpost number to ease mail distribution. The Feldpost was considered a very crucial service and was an important link in the chain to maintain good morale.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Two, roughly, 20mm tall, 20mm wide, 1935 Wehrmacht pattern, gilt washed, die stamped, alloy construction, officer’s shoulder strap cyphers in the form of the Latin letters, "FP", with horizontally ribbed, interiors and raised outer edges. The hollow reverse of the cyphers are a mirror image of the obverse. Original attachment prongs complete. The gilt coloration indicates the cypher was intended for officer’s ranks and the "FP" indicates, Feldpost, (Field Post).

GRADE ****                             PRICE $89.00

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