Product Description: This Infantry Leutnant Board is a near-perfect original example of shoulder insignia worn by a German Army officer. This originally was one of a pair, probably separated when this was taken as a GI souvenir. The top is made of matte wire braid, indicating this was intended for use on a field tunic. The underside is made of a typical finely woven wool fabric, wrapped around an internal stiffener. The wool underlay is white, for Infantry, a desirable combat branch. This is a sew-in style board, but it has never been affixed to a uniform, never issued or used. The button hole is perfect, and there are no moth nips, stains or damage of any kind. The condition rates as near mint, with only extremely slight toning from age. This single Infantry Leutnant Board is a nice representative piece.
Historical Description: The German military as well as civil, political and paramilitary organizations traditionally used shoulder straps and shoulder boards as uniform insignia, to denote the rank or function of the wearer. After the Nazi rise to power in 1933, there was a tremendous increase in the number of groups and organizations in Germany wearing officially sanctioned uniforms, and most of these organizations used shoulder straps and shoulder boards as a component of their regalia. The exact color of piping utilized, the material color, the type of braid or Tresse that was used, and the number or location of devices and pips present, allow shoulder boards to be tracked to the exact organization that issued them, and often yield even further detail such as the wearer’s rank and even his specific military unit. Normally worn in pairs, the boards were in some cases plain, and in other cases adorned with detailed embroidery or metal emblems. Some shoulder boards were made in the millions, others were specific to a single individual.
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