Product Description: This single Luftwaffe General Shoulder Board is a very desirable piece of insignia, and not an easy one to find. The top of the board is made up of ornately woven golden wire braid, with a running central stripe made of silver-colored “Russia braid.” This gold and silver braiding has a nice tight weave, and is affixed to a backing of finely woven white wool with an internal reinforcement. There is a single large golden metal pip, indicating a rank of Generalleutnant. This single Luftwaffe General shoulder board is a slip-on type, with a white wool “tongue” that would allow it to be affixed to a uniform. There is a correct screw post button, with gold finish for a General rank, affixed through the button hole area. The button is complete with an aluminum threaded post fitting, with holes for stitching to a tunic. This attractive shoulder board is in excellent condition, with no mothing or damage, and only minor age and usage toning to the metal braid and white fabric. Some slight nap wear to the edges suggest this piece was actually worn.
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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