K000891 WEAPONS MECHANIC NCO’S SHOULDER STRAP CYPHER.

BACKGROUND: Although military ranks and rank designations can be traced back to the mercenary armies of the 17TH century it wasn’t until the creation of standing armies in the early 18TH century that distinguishing insignia of rank began to be developed. Originally the shoulder straps were functional items designed to secure the saber and ammunition shoulder cross straps and the larger, metal trimmed epaulettes were a throw back to the protective shoulder pieces worn on medieval armor. With the formation of the Imperial Prussian Navy in 1848 Senior NCO’s and Officers ranks adopted a series of rank identifying shoulder insignia for the traditional blue and white uniforms. With the later introduction of the brown tropical uniform and field-grey uniforms for land based personnel the wear of shoulder rank insignia was utilized by all ranks, but only on these specific uniforms. The Imperial Prussian Navy rank shoulder insignia remained in use through the Weimar, Reichsmarine, (National Navy, Circa 1919-1933), era and on into the Third Reich with minor variations. On entering Kriegsmarine service all personnel were assigned and trained for a specific career. These careers consisted of a wide variety of specialty trades and functions with some of the careers restricted to certain rank groups. On successful completion of the appropriate training, personnel were issued distinctive career insignia to be worn on the upper left sleeve of the uniforms and senior NCO’s and Officer’s also utilized cyphers to be worn on the shoulder boards/straps. Generally the shoulder board/strap cyphers were gilt washed although silver colored cyphers were utilized during the war.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: A single, gilt washed, stamped alloy, weapons mechanic NCO’s cypher with both of it’s original prongs to the reverse.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $65.00

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