Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

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greyeagle
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Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by greyeagle » 12 Jun 2010 09:41

Hi All,
I'm trying to find,with dimensions,positioning etc. a really good picture/rank table of Luftwaffe Helferin of Officer rank.
I've tried Goggling it,but I am now totally and utterly confused! I'm trying to do this so I can recreate it for Julies Uniform from Stahladler.
I've seen pictures of officers with Loops in the bottom,chevrons,straight Bars of Rank,stars etc!
This is a new topic to me(Helferin side of the Luftwaffe),and as Julie and I will be appearing at Fairford International Air Tattoo in Uniform,then I feel that I really do need to get it Correct.
I've tried searching the Forum,but with no definative answers.If someone can point me in the correct direction,I'd be grateful.
I apologise if I've put this in the wrong section of the Forum,or if this topic appears somewhere else on here.
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Heimatschuss
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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by Heimatschuss » 12 Jun 2010 22:01

Hello greyeagle,

first of all :welcome:

That you are thoroughly confused after trying to find out about female Luftwaffe ranks and insignia is rather natural. It's quite a science of its own. Unfortunately we've so far not managed to compile a synopsis of all the Luftwaffe information.

The Luftwaffe had several service branches where they employed females, each branch had its individual (though similar) system of ranks and rank insignia. To make it more complicated the rank system grew more elaborate during WWII and the rank insignia were complete reversed 3 or 4 times in that time frame. Not to mention that at first some things essentially air defense like plane spotters were actually a service in its own right outside of Luftwaffe. Only in the course of the war they were absorbed by the Luftwaffe. Similarly the air raid alarm service too was an organization of its own but kept its independence much longer. I hope you get the drift.

For your purpose you'll probably get the best start with

Brian Leigh Davis
Uniforms and Insignia of the Luftwaffe: Vol.2: 1940-1945, 1995

which has a chapter on female Luftwaffe personnel. Lots of insignia drawings explaining the various rank structures and nice pictorial explanations also where each insignium was to be attached.

If you want still more detail (though with less pictures) you should go after

John R. Angolia, Adolf Schlicht
Uniforms and Traditions of the Luftwaffe

There are various volumes (1 - 3). I only know the one volume German edition. Perhaps someone else can tell you which specific English volume to get.

I'm away for a few days from now on. If necessary I may be able to post some scans from the works mentioned next weekend.


Best regards
Torsten

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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by greyeagle » 13 Jun 2010 14:35

Thank You,Thank you.I've only got the first part of Uniform and insignia by Brian Leigh davies,so I'm going to try and find a copy of the second part.
Uniforms and insignia are Well beyond my price range,a lottery win on that series would come in really handy.
That its natural to be confused is a relief!
Scans from the above works would be a great help.
Have a good time away,
Alles besten,
Steve
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Vikki
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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by Vikki » 16 Jun 2010 02:01

Heimatschuss wrote:If you want still more detail (though with less pictures) you should go after

John R. Angolia, Adolf Schlicht
Uniforms and Traditions of the Luftwaffe

There are various volumes (1 - 3). I only know the one volume German edition. Perhaps someone else can tell you which specific English volume to get.

It's in Volume 2.

~Vikki

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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by greyeagle » 18 Jun 2010 17:20

Ahh! the most difficult and therefore costly Volume I'm told.
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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by Heimatschuss » 29 Jun 2010 21:30

Hello,

unfortunatlely it took some time but here are first results. First I'll treat the uniformed Flugmeldedienst (plane spotters) from its' foundation till the incorporation into the Luftwaffe. (Flugmeldedienst already existed
almost for a decade before but is not so interesting for reenactors due to the lack of a uniform. They only had a special brooch and armbands in the early times.)

The service was founded by a decree on July 6th, 1940 (LV 40, Nr. 794)(Schlicht & Angolia, p.518)
The uniform consisted of:
- Forage cap from blue-grey Luftwaffe cloth without piping
- Costume with jacket and skirt from blue-grey Luftwaffe cloth. Jacket without Luftwaffe insignium. Rank insignium ..on the lower left sleeve. The specialist patch is not mentioned in my sources but I know photos from the time with it
- Shirt blouse from bright blue cloth.
- Shirt blouse from white cloth for special occasions.
- Dark blue tie-et (short tie, Ansteckbinder)

30.06.2010: Colour of tie-et corrected
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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by Heimatschuss » 29 Jun 2010 21:39

Ranks in decreasing order:
- Hauptgruppenführerin (Senior work group officer)
- Betriebsgruppenführerin (work group officer)
- Aufsicht (warden, supervisor)
- Helferin (female auxiliary)
- Anwärterin (applicant)

For the rank insignia see the pictures attached.
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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by Heimatschuss » 29 Jun 2010 21:49

Decree on Aug 2nd, 1940 (LV 40, Nr. 1028)(Schlicht & Angolia, p.519)
New rank structure with a change in rank insignia.
Ranks in decreasing order:
- Kameradschaftsführerin (comradeship leader)
- Betriebsgruppenführerin (work group officer)
- Betriebsgruppenunterführerin (work group junior officer)
- Aufsichtshelferin (female supervisor auxiliary)
- Flugmeldehelferin (female plane spotter auxiliary)
- Anwärterin (applicant)

For the rank insignia see the picture attached.
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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by Heimatschuss » 29 Jun 2010 21:52

Decree on Nov 26th, 1940 (LV 40, Nr. 1542)(Schlicht & Angolia, p.518)
-Additional uniform item: coat
- Cap receives gold-brown piping
- Jacket receives (standard) Luftwaffe insignium

Some details of the rank insignia (Schlicht & Angolia, p.519):
- Rank insignia were worn on the jacket and the coat.
- They were to be attached 10 cm above the lower end of the left sleeve
- The horizontal bar was 7 cm long and 1 cm wide.
- The stripe for Kameradschaftführerin was the only one to run around the whole sleeve.
- The bar and the stripe were from aluminium tresse.
- The pips were from aluminium embroidery.
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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by Heimatschuss » 29 Jun 2010 21:59

Decree on Feb 26th, 1941 (LV 41, Nr. 253)(Schlicht & Angolia, p.518, 522)
The Flugmelde-Helferinnen (plane spotters) are incorporated into the Luftnachrichtenhelferinnen (Luftwaffe signals auxiliaries). They are no longer a Corps of their own but one branch of the Luftnachrichten-Helferinnenschaft (Luftwaffe signals Auxiliary Corps).
The two branches are
a) the female Luftwaffe plane spotters
b) the female Luftwaffe employees in the telephone and telex service, so far civilians


Decree on June 27th, 1941 (LV 41, Nr. 729)(Schlicht & Angolia, p.522)
Both branches are renamed, into
a) Luftnachrichtenflugmeldehelferinnen (Luftwaffe plane spotter auxiliaries)
b) Luftnachrichtenbetriebshelferinnen (Luftwaffe communications service auxiliaries)
Seem to have been just an attempt to give both branches concise names.

Neither Schlicht & Angolia (1999) nor Davis (2001) contain any information on a rank structure for the Luftwaffe signals auxiliaries during this time. Presumably the old plane spotter rank structure remained intact till

Decree on July 28th, 1941 (LV 41, Nr. 896)(Schlicht & Angolia, p.516, 523)
A completely new rank structure is implemented for both branches leading to major changes in the uniforms.

To be continued


References:

Davis, Brian L.
Uniformen und Abzeichen der Luftwaffe 1940-1945
Motorbuch Verlag; Stuttgart; 2001

A. Schlicht; J.R. Angolia
Die deutsche Wehrmacht. Uniformierung und Ausrüstung 1933 - 1945
Band 3: Die Luftwaffe
Motorbuch Verlag; Stuttgart; 1999

Best regards
Torsten

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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by greyeagle » 30 Jun 2010 06:05

What can I say other than a Very Big Thank You,this has helped so much.
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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by Heimatschuss » 02 Jul 2010 22:19

Hello again,

let's move on a bit further through Luftwaffe uniform history.

Decree on July 28th, 1941 (LV 41, Nr. 896)(Schlicht & Angolia, p.516, 523)
A completely new rank structure is implemented for both branches leading to major changes in the uniforms.

The uniform now consisted of:
- Forage cap from blue-grey Luftwaffe cloth with gold-brown piping
- Blue-grey double-breasted winter coat
- Costume with jacket and skirt from blue-grey Luftwaffe cloth.
..On the jacket three elements could be found in all cases: Luftwaffe insignium, specialist patch and rank. The latter ..were located on the upper left sleeve now.
..Additionally all Führerinnen had an embroidered aluminium pip on each collar side. Führerinnen commanding a
. Kameradschaft [comradeship] or Einsatzgruppe [service group] indicated the individual position with the
..'Leadership function insignium' at both lower sleeves.
- Shirt blouse from light blue cloth
- Shirt blouse from white cloth for special occasions
- Black tie of normal length
- Grey-blue nylon stockings
- Black ladies shoes
- Black shoulder bag
plus a number of smaller items.

Here are two sketches how the uniform looked like:
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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by Heimatschuss » 02 Jul 2010 23:09

After the incorporation of the plane spotters into the Luftwaffe auxiliaries there were initially two different specialist patches to be worn on the left upper sleeve, depending on the branch either that for plane spotters or that of Luftwaffe communications staff.

The specialist patches had a diameter of about 5,5 cm and were manufactured as white-grey machine embroidery on a round blue-grey piece of base cloth. They were to be sewn on the sleeve 12 cm below the shoulder seam or 1 cm above the rank insignium.
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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by Heimatschuss » 02 Jul 2010 23:26

The rank structure remained slightly different too depending on the branch. The individual branch also formed the first part of the rank designation. The part actually relevant for the rank is the last.

The new rank structure for the plane spotter branch with ranks in decreasing order:

- Luftnachrichten-Flugmelde-Stabsführerin (Major)
- Luftnachrichten-Flugmelde-Hauptführerin (Captain)
- Luftnachrichten-Flugmelde-Oberführerin (1st Lieutenant)
- Luftnachrichten-Flugmelde-Führerin (Lieutenant)
- Luftnachrichten-Flugmelde-Haupthelferin (major plane spotter auxiliary)
- Luftnachrichten-Flugmelde-Oberhelferin (senior plane spotter auxiliary)
- Luftnachrichten-Flugmelde-Helferin (plane spotter auxiliary)
- Luftnachrichten-Flugmelde-Anwärterin (applicant)

For those helfs employed in the communications service the top two ranks were not introduced in 1941.
(Later they were, together with a further third Führerinnen rank.)

- Luftnachrichten-Betriebs-Oberführerin (1st Lieutenant)
- Luftnachrichten-Betriebs-Führerin (Lieutenant)
- Luftnachrichten-Betriebs-Haupthelferin (major plane spotter auxiliary)
- Luftnachrichten-Betriebs-Oberhelferin (senior plane spotter auxiliary)
- Luftnachrichten-Betriebs-Helferin (plane spotter auxiliary)
- Luftnachrichten-Betriebs-Anwärterin (applicant)

[Note: all male officer ranks just as raw analogies, Führerinnen had far less powers of command than the male counterparts.]

The rank insignia were made from aluminium tresse 5 mm wide sewn onto some dark base cloth. The chevrons had an upper angle of 130 degrees. The length of the shorter leg was to be 3,3 cm though often it was more like 4 cm. From chevron to chevron there was a distance of 5 mm (so Angolia's drawing below is more exact). The Führerinnen loop had an inner diameter of 1 cm (Davis, p.248; Schlicht & Angolia, p.516)
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Re: Luftwaffe Helferin Officer Rank-Confused!!

Post by Heimatschuss » 03 Jul 2010 00:36

Leadership function insignia were to be attached on both lower sleeves of coat, jacket and work smock 12 cm above the lower end of the sleeve. They were made from aluminium tresse 5 mm wide and running around the whole sleeve. There were two positions that could be indicated. One stripe was for commanding a platoon sized unit. Two stripes 5 mm apart were for command of a company size female unit (Schlicht & Angolia, p.524).

The next larger changes to the uniform occured in June 1942.

To be continued


References:

Davis, Brian L.
Uniformen und Abzeichen der Luftwaffe 1940-1945
Motorbuch Verlag; Stuttgart; 2001

A. Schlicht; J.R. Angolia
Die deutsche Wehrmacht. Uniformierung und Ausrüstung 1933 - 1945
Band 3: Die Luftwaffe
Motorbuch Verlag; Stuttgart; 1999

Best regards
Torsten
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