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Uniforms Of Germany

UNIFORMS OF GERMANY The infantry of the Prussian Guard wear single-breasted dark Prussian blue tunics with red piping on front and skirt flaps, or gold buttons (ist and 5th Foot Guards and Guard Fusiliers silver), white belts (3rd or " Fusilier " battalions and the Guard Fusiliers black), red collars and cuffs, spiked helmets with, in full dress, white plumes (Guard Fusiliers black). Guard distinctions throughout Germany take the form of " guard-stripes," collar stripes of embroidery, and similar stripes forming false buttonholes round the buttons on the cuff, whether these are of the " Brandenburg " (plain flap with 3 buttons), " French " (slashed flap with 3 buttons), or " Swedish " (round cuff with buttons along the top edge) pattern.

The 1st to 4th Foot Guards have two guard-stripes on the collar, Swedish cuff with stripes, and white, red, yellow and light blue (the ordinary German indicative sequence) shoulder-straps. The Guard Fusiliers have the same uniform with yellow shoulder-straps and plume and belt as stated above. The 1st to 4th Grenadier Guards have double guard -stripes, red " Brandenburg " cuffs with blue flaps and embroidered stripes, shoulder-straps coloured in the same order as the Foot Guards. The 5th Foot Guards and 5th Grenadier Guards (of later formation) wear only a single guard-stripe; these return to white shoulder-straps in the sequence, and both have the blue flap and, stripes. Service cap as in the line. For gala wear the 3rd battalion of the 1st Foot Guards, and all battalions of the 1st Grenadier Guards, wear the old mitre cap, once of cloth, but now become rigid and consisting of a metal front plate and a stiff red cap behind it.

The line infantry Bother than Bavarians, Saxons, Wurttembergers, etc.) wear blue tunic with gold buttons, red piping, and red collar. The cuffs, also red, are of the " Brandenburg " pattern, plain round with a small red flap. The shoulder straps bear the number, or cipher. The head-dress is a small black leather helmet with brass Prussian eagle badge and spike. The trousers are dark grey with red piping, the equipment of black leather, the boots of Wellington pattern (the trousers being tucked into them). The greatcoat is grey with shoulder-straps as on tunic and a collar patch of the cuffflap colour. The service cap is a round cap without peak, dark blue with red band and piping, and two cockades, " national " and "imperial." Exceptions to these rules are: Prussian grenadiers (Nos. I to 12) wear black horsehair plumes and white belts, Mecklenburg grenadiers No. 89, Queen's Fusiliers No. 86, Brunswick regiment No. 92, I45th Prussian regiment, black plumes.

The Prussian and quasi-Prussian portions of the army follow a clear rule as to the badge of the army corps. The infantry of each corps has shoulder-straps of uniform colour, and when a regiment changes its corps it changes its shoulder-strap. There is a further distinguishing mark on the cuff-flap:

II.

III.

VII.

VIII.

Shoulder-strap Cuff-flap piping ...

White White White Nfl Red White Red Nil Yellow White Yellow Nil Lt. blue White Lt. blue Nil XV.

XVI.

XVII.

XVIII.

XX.l Shoulder-strap Cuff-flap piping White Yellow White Lt. blue Red Yellow Red Lt. blue Yellow Yellow Yellow Lt. blue Lt. blue Yellow Lt. blue Lt . blue Except in regiments (such as the guards of the smaller states now numbered in the line of the army, and a few others) where the blue flap and guard-stripes are worn, the greater part of the Prussian regiments wear the historic red flap; but there came a time when the system of indicating regimental variations had to be expanded, and thereafter (from No. 145 inclusive onwards) red and white flaps were given alternately to new regiments, in such a way that there was one " white " regiment in each .corps. The I. corps on the Russian frontier, being further 1 reinforced, received one regiment with a vellow (isoth) and one with a light blue flap (isist).

Guard distinctions are worn by the Mecklenburg Grenadiers, No. 89, double guard-stripe on collar, blue cuff-flap with red piping and embroidery ; by the 7th Prussian Grenadiers, single guard-stripe and blue flap with embroidery (edged with V. corps colour) ; by the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 8th Prussian Grenadiers and by the 8oth Fusiliers * Not yet formed.

(formerly the elector of Hesse's bodyguard), single guard-stripe and embroidery on the ordinary red cuff-flap.

The infantry of Hesse-Darmstadt, Wurttemberg and Baden are similarly uniformed to those of Prussia, the distinctions being easily described. The five " Grand Ducal Hessian " regiments (115-118 and 168) have not the corps (XVIII.) distinction, and have both shoulder-straps and cuff-flap of the same colour (red, white, light blue, yellow and red), the senior regiment, 115 (bodyguard regiment), having double guard-stripe on the collar and guard patches on the flap. A very marked distinction is in the buttons, which are invariably silver, and in the helmet badge, which is a lion rampant. The first three regiments wear a black plume.

cuft, also plumed helmets. 1 he remainder have red shoulder-straps and red cuff-flaps edged with light blue, like the XV. army corps, and the only conspicuous distinction is the royal arms instead of the eagle on the helmet. The i2Oth also wears the grenadier plume.

Of the Baden regiments, the logth and noth (guards and grenadiers) have white plumes and white shoulder-straps, the logth having the Swedish cuff with patches, the double guard stripe, and silver buttons. The remainder have yellow, red, light blue and green shoulder-straps; there is no edging to the flap. The only distinguishing mark for these is the Baden device (a griffin and a shield) on the helmet.

The Saxon infantry, though assimilated to the Prussian in most respects, is distinguished by various well-marked peculiarities. All shoulder-straps are self-coloured and edged with red. All Saxon regiments have either the " Swedish " or more usually the socalled " German " plain round cuff (red), with two buttons on back seam. The guard and grenadier regiments, looth and loist, have black plumes, double guard-stripes and " Swedish " cuffs. The helmet has an eight-pointed brass star. The io8th is a rifle regiment, and wears a green tunic with black red-edged collar and cuffs, dark grey trousers and a shako with black plume looped to one side in the Austrian fashion. The service cap of this corps is green with black piping and band. A peculiarity of the Saxons is that the bottom edges of the tunics are edged with red, as well as the front, and the skirt flaps are very short.

The Bavarian infantry has retained its historic light blue uniform, though in most details the Prussian model has been accepted. Tunic and trousers are light blue with red piping, red cuffs, collars and shoulder-straps. The Bavarian bodyguard regiment has red collar with double guard-stripe, red Swedish cuff with stripes, red shoulderstraps and silver buttons, but no plume. The line has gold buttons and appointments and " Brandenburg " cuffs, flaps edged according to the usual sequence (I. corps white, II. none, III. yellow). The service cap is light blue with red band and piping. Belts black.

Jagers and Schiitzen. The Jager uniform is bright green, with red collars, piping and Swedish cuffs (Prussian Guard, double guardstripe and cuff-stripes), gold buttons, trousers as for line, and a small shako with drooping black plume. The Mecklenburg battalion No. 14, however, has light green collars, cuffs and shoulder-straps edged with red, and double guard-stripe and cuff-stripes. The Guard Schiitzen battalion (originally a French-speaking corps from Neuchatel) has black collars and cuffs, edged with red shoulderstraps, double guard-stripe and green red-edged " French " (i.e. slashed) cuff-flaps with stripes; and the Jager battalions of the XII. and XVIII. corps have exactly the same uniform as the Saxon Schutzen regiment already mentioned, silver buttons being substituted for gold. The Bavarian Jager battalions have light blue uniforms with green facings, Swedish cuff, and shako. In all these the field cap is of the colour of the uniform, the band of the colour of the collar, the piping as on the tunic.

Cavalry. The heavy cavalry consists of the Prussian Gardes du Corps and Guard Cuirassiers, the eight line cuirassier regiments, and the Saxon and Bavarian " heavy cavalry." In most of these cuirasses of black or bright iron or of brass (with or without breast decorations), and even cuirass-shaped remnants of the old buff coat, in richly decorated leather, are worn on ceremonial occasions. The head-dress is a helmet of burgonet shape. The ordinary full dress of Prussian cuirassiers is a white long-skirted tunic (called a Roller) with white shoulder-straps and collars, edged along the collar and down the front (which is hooked, not buttoned) with broad braid (white, with lines of the regimental colour). The Swedish cuffs, edged with similar braid, are of the regimental colour, of which colour there is also a patch on the collar and piping round the shoulder-straps and back seams. In full dress white trousers, otherwise dark grey trousers with red piping, are worn. The undress tunic is dark blue of the ordinary buttoned pattern, but with braided cuffs, white shoulder-strap and collar-patch and braid as in full dress. The field cap is of the tunic colour with band of the regimental colour. The belts are white. High jack-boots are worn. The guard regiments have double guard-stripe and cuff-stripes.

The Saxon heavy cavalry wears light blue braided cuirassier tunics, with brass scales instead of shoulder-straps, white piping, brass helmets with the Saxon star device, Swedish cuffs cut gauntletwise, white or light blue trousers, light blue cap, and white belts. In the 1st Guard regiment the collar and cuffs are white, the braid light blue and white, the helmet ornament a silver lion, the cap-band white; in the 2nd Carabineers collar and cuffs black, braid black and white, helmet ornament a brass spike, cap-band black. The Bavarian heavy cavalry is dressed in dragoon fashion light blue tunic, red facings, light blue collar edging, light blue trousers with red stripe, helmet with white plume. 1st regiment has silver buttons, the 2nd gold.

The line dragoon regiments, other than those of Oldenburg, Mecklenburg, Baden, Wurttemberg, and Grand Ducal Hesse (Saxony and Bavaria have no dragoons) wear light blue tunics with collars, shoulder-straps (with number), piping and cuffs of the regimental colour. The cuffs are Swedish. The trousers are blueblack without stripe. The helmet is black leather, very similar to the infantry helmet, with black horsehair plume. The regimental distinctions follow a regular scheme thus :

The 17th and 18th (Mecklenburg) have respectively scarlet facings and gold buttons, and black facings with silver buttons. They have the double guard-stripe and cuff stripes. The igth (Oldenburg) have the ordinary uniform with black facings and silver buttons, but white shoulder-straps.

The Baden regiments (20, 21 and 22) have light blue uniforms with scarlet, yellow and black facings, light blue, light blue and red edgings, "and silver buttons. They have white plumes instead of black, and the Baden device on the helmet. The Hessian regiments (23 and 24) have dark green tunics; the 23rd have double guard-stripe, cuff stripes and scarlet facings; the 24th the ordinary tunic with white facings, and both silver buttons. The Wurttembergers (25 and 26) have white and yellow facings respectively, collar edging light blue, buttons gold and silver respectively; the 25th regiment has double guard-stripe and cuff stripes, and white plume. Belts are white throughout, except in the Hessian units, which have black.

The Prussian Guard Dragoons have light blue uniforms and red facings, double guard-stripes, and cuff stripes. Buttons gold in the ist, silver in the 2nd. White plumes.

The uniforms of the eight Bavarian regiments of Chevaulegers resemble those of dragoons. They wear the black dragoon helmet and white plumes, dark green tunics, trousers and undress cap, and white belts. They also have the dragoon cuffs. But they have the double-breasted lancer tunic with front and piping of the regimental colour; crimson 1st and 2nd; pink 3rd and 6th ; scarlet 4th and 5th; white 7th and 8th; the first of each pair having gold, the second silver ornaments.

The Lancers (Ulanen) wear the usual lancer uniform of czapka, double-breasted tunic with plastron, and girdle. The trousers are dark grey, the plume white. The girdle is of the uniform colour edged with the facings colour. The cuff is the so-called " Polish," a round, slightly pointed cuff with a button (and where appropriate a guard-stripe) in the middle of the pointed portion. The collar is edged with the uniform colour. Regimental distinctions in the line are as shown in table at the top of next column.

Guard Ulans: dark blue tunic with double guard-stripe and cuff stripes, and dark grey trousers; 1st, red facings, and piping, white turnback (piped red) , white czapka ; 2nd, scarlet facings and czapka ; 3rd, yellow facings and czapka.

I7th, 18th and 21st (Saxon), light blue tunics and trousers, crimson facings, double guard-stripes and cuff stripes, brass scales, white piping. Czapkas white, crimson, light blue. Undress caps white, igth and 2Oth (Wurttemberg), dark blue uniforms, dark grey trousers, facings and czapkas scarlet in igth, yellow in 2Oth. 19th double guard-stripe and cuff stripe. Ornaments silver, 1st and 2nd Bavarian Ulans, dark green tunics and trousers, crimson lacings and czapkas, white belts instead of girdles; 1st gold 2nd silver ornaments.

The Hussars are very richly dressed, many having the slung pelisse. The front cuffs, back seams and collar are braided. The busby is low and slightly conical, the busby-bag hanging over towards the back on the left side. On the front of the busby are various decorations. Round the waist is a white girdle intertwined with the colours of the state to which the regiment belongs. A plain shoulder cord is worn. The trousers are dark grey with lace stripe. The Hessian boots have embroidered top and boss. The five senior regiments preserve the unusual colours indicative of their irregular origin. The remainder are clothed in dark and light blue, or green. All wear a white (gold or silver officers) pouch-belt, white plumes. The undress cap is of the colour of the tunic, with various bands.

The 17th Brunswick Hussars, preserving the memory of the Black Brunswickers of the Napoleonic wars, have black uniforms (no pelisse), with gold lace and red busby-bag. The 18th and igth (Saxon) Hussars have light blue tunics and trousers (no pelisse), with gold and silver lace and red and crimson busby-bags respectively. No information is available as to the 20th Hussars, formed in November 1910.

The Jagers zu Pferd (mounted rifles) have a green-grey tunic and trousers of cuirassier cut, with green collars, Swedish cuffs, shoulder-straps, and piping, green-grey cap, brown belts and a black helmet of cuirassier pattern. The buttons are silver. The' broad cuirassier braid on collar, front and cuffs is green, with white lines in the 1st, red in the 2nd, yellow 3rd, light blue 4th (the normal sequence), black 5th. The edgings of the shoulder-straps are similarly white, red, etc. The staff orderlies " wear the same uniform, with certain deviations, in particular yellow and green braid, gold buttons, and white undress cap.

The machine gun detachments wear a grey uniform with red Swedish cuffs (guard-stripes and cuff stripes in the Guard corps), collar, shoulder-strap and piping. The head-dress is the Jager shako, and the whole uniform is of Jager type, so much so that the 2nd Guard detachment has the black collar and " French " cuff of the Gardeschutzen.

The field artillery has the dark blue tunic with red piping, black collar and Swedish cuffs, gold appointments, and dark grey trousers without stripe. The helmet has a ball ornament. The cap is blue with black band. The Guard regiments have double guard-stripes and cuff stripes and a white plume shoulder-straps, white for ist, red for 2nd, yellow for 3rd, light blue for 4th regiment. In the field artillery at large the shoulder-straps are of the corps colour.

The Bavarian, two Wurttemberg, one Baden and two Hessian regiments have white or black (Bavarians red) plumes, otherwise as for a " red " Prussian corps. The Mecklenburg artillery has silver buttons. The Saxon field artillery uniform is altogether different, consisting of green tunics with red collars and Swedish cuffs, gold appointments, red edgings, and black plume (horse artillery have a brass scale). Prussian and Bavarian field artillery have white belts, others black.

The foot artillery, which has white shoulder-straps, is distinguished from the field by the black Brandenburg cuff with plain blue flap (Guard Swedish cuff, guard-stripes, etc.) and by a red trouser piping. The Saxon foot artillery is distinguished from the field by the ball ornament instead of plume, and the " German " cuff. Belts black (Guard and Bavarians white). Bavarian foot artillery as Prussian, but with a spiked helmet and black cuff-flap, red-edged.

The pioneers have the same uniform as artillery, but with silver buttons and appointments. The shoulder-straps are red, the helmet is spiked (Guards, black plume). The cuffs are black, rededged, Swedish. Saxon pioneers as field artillery, but with " German " cuff. The " communication troops " wear similar uniforms with special badges, some having the Jager shako. The Train (army service corps) has dark blue dragoon uniforms with light blue facings and black plumes; Saxons, however, have light blue with black facings. Medical officers and hospital corps wear blue uniforms with blue collars and cuffs and red edgings; stretcher bearers, <etc., blue with magenta facings and silver buttons, etc.

Rank Badges (a). Non-commissioned officers: lance-corporal a button on each side of the collar. Corporals and sergeants gold or silver lace on the collar and cuffs, small patches of the national colours on the collar patches of the greatcoat. Sergeants are distinguished from corporals by a button to the collar. There are numerous minor distinctions on the sword knots, lance pennons, hussar girdles, etc. Sergeant-majors have a narrow ring of lace on the cuff in addition to the broad under-officer's ring; and on the greatcoat patch two small national patches. Aspirant officers wear the uniform of their non-commissioned rank with some of the officer's distinctions, (b) Officers: The distinctive mark of the commissioned officer is the shoulder-piece (epaulette or cord). The epaulette is almost always silver and is worn as a " scale," i.e. without fringe, by captains and subalterns, with a fine fringe by field officers and with a thick fringe by general officers. The ranks within each class are distinguished by small stars on the circle of the epaulette, lieutenant, major, and major-general, no star; first lieutenant, lieutenant-colonel and lieutenant-general, one star; captain, colonel and general, two stars. A colonel-general has three stars and a field-marshal crossed batons. The number or cipher is also worn by all regimental officers. The body of the epaulette is usually of the same colour as the shoulder-strap of the rank and file. The shoulder cord for captains and subalterns is made up of straight strips of silver lace, that for field officers is of twisted silver cords, that of general officers is composed of two gold cords and one of silver and colours intertwined. In all these, lines of the national colours are interwoven with the silver. Badges, numbers, etc., as on the epaulette. A silver waist-sash (staff officers and adjutants shoulder-sash) is worn by all combatant officers (except hussars, who have girdles). An interesting survival of earlier uniforms is found in the full dress of general officers. The tunic buttons below the waist, and while on the left shoulder there is only a narrow silver cord, on the right the thick cord of gold, silver and coloured silks is extended to form an aiguillette. The aiguillette is also worn on the right shoulder by staff officers and some others. A universal custom, which is also a survival, is for all ranks to wear sword-knots, even with the bayonet.

The new service dress is a loose-fitting " field-grey " uniform, except in Jagers, machine-gun detachments and Jagers zu Pferd, who wear grey-green field dress.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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