WW2 German Heer Shoulder Straps
Product Code: SST
Units in Stock: 1
PLEASE MAKE YOUR SELECTION AND MESSAGE ME FOR AN INVOICE.
PAIRS - £50
SINGLES - £30 (with the exception of No5)
No 5 is an SS and is £90
All shipping is £6
Enlisted Shoulder straps:
There were two patterns of shoulder straps used during the Third Reich period. The 1st Pattern initially closely resembled the straps of the Imperial German Army. The button end was pointed and there was no Waffenfarbe piping. They were first made of basic uniform cloth, but on 10 December 1934 this was changed to field grey badge cloth. Less than a year later, on 10 September 1935 this was again changed to bluish-dark green badge cloth. Any embroidered numbers or ciphers were done in the appropriate branch colour.
The 2nd Pattern was introduced on 26 November 1938. This strap had a rounded button end and branch colour piping. It too was constructed of bluish-dark green badge cloth. Interestingly enough, there is an overlap period, as the 1st Pattern strap were permitted to be produced until 18 March 1939. The final official change came in May 1940 when the colour was again changed, this time back to basic field grey uniform cloth. Subdued tress was usually used with these straps, but not always.
In addition special straps were produced for the HBT, panzer, and tropical uniforms.
For the most part, only the colours and/or materials differentiated these from their 'Continental' brothers. HBT and Tropical straps typically were devoid of any unit designators. As such, it is possible to get a general time frame of production based on the design of a particular strap. Note, however, that while production periods of the various styles of straps were changed, the wear of 'outdated' styles was not forbidden.
Branch Piping Material:
Initially, the branch piping was made of wool badge cloth. This was soon supplemented by the use of a woven artificial silk (Rayon) material, the latter has a distinctive woven pattern. On occasion, a variant ribbed or corded material will be encountered.
By regulation, shoulder straps were produced in two widths. The 'standard' width was 4.5 cm (1 ¾"). If the strap needed to accommodate a three-digit number, the width was 5.3 cm (slightly over 2"). The length of the strap was determined by the size of the soldier. The strap was to extend from the shoulder head seam to 2 cm (¾") from the edge of the collar.
The rank of Unteroffizier and above was distinguished by the use of NCO tress and rank pips. Several patterns of tress are encountered. The earlier Weimar or Reichswehr-type tress has a chequered pattern and is identical to the tress used on Luftwaffe straps.
On 10 September 1935 this pattern was changed to one with a single row of diamonds down the centre. Both these types were made of bright silver. On 25 April 1940 a subdued field grey tress made of artificial silk was introduced , as well olive-drab or copper-brown for use on tropical straps. The pattern was the same. It is not too uncommon to find the early chequered pattern of tress used on a 2nd pattern strap.
The most commonly encountered buttonholes are done in the 'keyhole' style. Buttonholes executed in the simpler 'slit' style are also encountered.
Attachment methods / Construction:
Shoulder straps were attached to the uniform in one of two ways: they were either sewn directly into the head seam or they were detachable by use of a tongue. The backs of shoulder straps were lined with scrap material. It is very common to find seams in the material. The tongues were sometimes of the same material as the strap top but were frequently of a different material. The back of the tongue strap was usually lined. This lining could have been made in just about anything, from artificial silk to various cotton twill materials. Later in the war (1944) the backing material of straps was eliminated as an economy measure. Shoulder straps were frequently privately tailored, so a wide variety of materials and craftsmanship will be encountered. It must also be mentioned that earlier straps which began life as sew-ins were often removed from the tunic's head seam and turned into a detachable strap by the addition of a tongue, as the front and back of some of these straps clearly illustrates.