Luftwaffe 2nd Pattern General's Summer Tunic Breast Eagle

SKU: 22.GOR.03.02.01.02.02.001

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  • Luftwaffe 2nd Pattern General's Summer Tunic Breast Eagle Obverse
  • Luftwaffe 2nd Pattern General's Summer Tunic Breast Eagle Reverse
  • Luftwaffe 2nd Pattern General's Summer Tunic Breast Eagle Obverse
  • Luftwaffe 2nd Pattern General's Summer Tunic Breast Eagle Reverse

Attributes

  • country
    Germany

History


The German Wehrmacht was composed of three main branches, the Heer (Army), the Kriegsmarine (Navy), and the Luftwaffe (Air Force). The Heer and Kriegsmarine uniforms were based upon the designs utilized by their predecessor organizations, the Reichsheer and the Kaiserliche Marine. Conversely, the Luftwaffe uniforms were based upon the uniforms worn in the sports and paramilitary organizations that were the forerunners of the Luftwaffe. The Luftwaffe uniforms were specifically designed to deviate from the designs of the other Wehrmacht service branches. It was also necessary that the uniforms differentiate between military and civilian pilots.

There were two main organizational precursors of the Luftwaffe, the German Air Sports Association (DLV or Deutscher Luftsportverband), and the National Air Raid Protection League (RLB or Reichsluftschutzbund). The DLV included both a civilian group and a secret military sub-group called the DLV-Fliegerschaft (Pilot Base).

The DLV and the RLB were officially founded in 1933, and they were used to secretly train members for future roles in the Luftwaffe. The DLV became obsolete after Hitler’s official introduction of the Luftwaffe in 1935, and it was disbanded in 1937.

The breast eagle insignia worn by Luftwaffe troops was initially founded for DLV personnel and introduced on August 18, 1934. With the formal creation of the Luftwaffe in 1935, the breast eagle was adopted for wear on Luftwaffe uniforms as well, dated March 1, 1935.

The eagle faces to the viewer’s right, its left leg clutching the swastika. However, for certain eagles, this was reversed, for example eagles worn on capes or steel helmets. They are surrounded by a small cloth backing outline in the colour of the uniform they were meant for. However, eagles on a cloth backing in the form of a downward pointing triangle were also used.

This breast eagle was produced in two distinct patterns. The 1st pattern eagles produced from 1934 to 1936 feature an eagle with a “droop” tail, while the 2nd pattern eagles produced from 1936/1937 to 1945 feature an eagle with a “flared” tail. Both versions were produced by multiple companies, all differing from each other slightly in their designs.

These breast eagles take the form of the Luftwaffe pattern national emblem, and they are produced from different materials for each rank. For General ranks, the eagles are hand-embroidered and composed of gold-coloured wire thread. For Officer ranks, the eagles are hand-embroidered and composed of silver-coloured wire thread. Machine-embroidered eagles exist, but are rare.
For NCOs and EMs (Non-Commissioned Officers and Enlisted Men) the eagles are usually machine-embroidered and composed of light grey or white cotton thread. Hand-embroidered eagles were permitted on privately purchased tunics.
The eagles were worn on almost all uniform garments. The cloth backing of the eagles is in the colour of the uniform piece it was attached to.

The eagles worn on the white summer tunics are composed of metal and removable. Originally, all metal breast eagles were composed of either silvered brass or silvered tombac, but the material was changed to silvered metal alloys or silvered aluminum following 1938. The metal eagles worn by General ranks are gold-coloured, and the eagles worn by Officers and NCOs/EMs are silver-coloured. These metal eagles were issued in the same 1st pattern "droop" tail and 2nd pattern "flared" tail designs as the embroidered breast eagles.

The metal breast eagles may also be stamped with manufacturer marks and the D.R.G.M. (Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster) mark. The D.R.G.M. mark states that the metal breast eagle design was copyright protected and registered with all German states.

The eagles worn on Luftwaffe capes are overlarge versions of the regular breast eagles. These cape eagles are hand-embroidered, with gold-coloured (gilt) bullion wire for Generals, and silver-coloured bullion wire for Officers. They face to the viewer’s left.

The large breast eagle for the Luftwaffe sports shirts is black on a white downward pointing triangle, which was sewn to the centre of the shirt.

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