Product Description: These Panzer Aufklärung Boards are a beautiful, matched set. The tops are made from typical aluminum wire braid with a subdued, matte finish, indicating these were intended for wear on an officer’s field tunic. They are slightly worn, and tunic removed, with stitch holes near the end of each sew-in strap from having been affixed to a uniform. The undersides of these are made of a very bright and eye-catching pink wool, in the desirable Panzer branch color. Each board has two wartime fine zinc rank pips, indicating the rank of Hauptmann (Captain). These pips likely originally had a gold wash, which interacted with the zinc and faded over time. These shoulder boards are also adorned with gilt gothic “A” cyphers indicating the wearer was assigned to a Panzer-Aufklärungs (Armored Reconnaissance) unit. There are some extra holes on the underside, likely from the pips and cypher being added and moved as the officer was promoted in rank. These scarce Panzer Aufklärung Boards are in excellent condition, with only slight wear and age toning.
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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