GREATER GERMAN REICH
 


 

ARMED FORCES UNIT COLORS  •  1936-45
 

Image Added December 2016

Standards for Battalions of the SS-Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler
 

Beginning in 1936 military colors of a new pattern began to be issued to the units of the Wehrmacht, as the German armed forces were now collectively designated. Those issued to regiments and independent battalions of the Army (Heer) were highly standardized, though based on designs that originated in the early eighteenth century. There were two basic variants: a square standard for foot units (infantry and combat engineers) and a tailed standard for mounted and motorized units. The latter pattern was similar to the guidons carried in the past by Prussian and German dragoon, hussar and lancer regiments. The field of the standard was in the arm-of-service color (Waffenfarbe); the fringe, cord and tassels were silver. The central device was the Heer version of the national eagle within a silver laurel wreath and the field of the standard was divided by an Iron Cross. The Nazi Hakenkreuz (swastika) appeared in the angles formed by the cross. No unit-specific inscriptions were applied to the standard itself; these appeared on a streamer attached to the staff.

Originally there was a tailed standard with a white field for motorized infantry; when redesignated as panzer grenadiers these units received a standard with a field in the new PzG Waffenfarbe: grass green. The Waffenfarbe for both panzer and antitank units was rose pink but for self-propelled armored assault gun units (Sturmgeschützen) it was red, like the field artillery. For reconnaissance units other than mounted cavalry the Waffenfarbe was originally light brown; later all such units adopted the cavalry’s golden yellow. The illustrations below are based on the 1943 allocation of Waffenfarben.

A few special and “tradition” units were granted standards that deviated from the normal pattern, e.g. that of the Führer Escort Battalion (Führerbegleitbataillon), which bore on its reverse side the design of Hitler’s personal standard. This infantry battalion was charged with Hitler’s security in the field; in 1938-39 it was commanded by Colonel Erwin Rommel. Later it was expanded into a mechanized brigade and saw action in the Battle of the Bulge.

Standards for foot units were 126 cm square; those for mounted and motorized units were 63 cm at the hoist by 126 cm on the fly.

Coast Artillery, training establishments and other land-based units of the Navy received a standardized color with a field of ultramarine blue.

Standards for Luftwaffe units were also highly standardized. On a field of the applicable Waffenfarbe they displayed diagonal rays (white with black edging) and the Hakenkreuz in each corner. On the obverse appeared an Iron Cross within a silver wreath; the reverse displayed the Luftwaffe badge over a wreath, both in sliver. The Waffenfarbe for both flying units and parachute troops was golden yellow, for antiaircraft units it was red and for infantry units of the Luftwaffe Field Divisions raised in late 1942 it was rifle green. All Luftwaffe standards were 126 cm square. As was the case with Army standards, the unit designation appeared on a streamer attached to the staff.

Regimental standards of the Waffen-SS were made in the form of an ancient Roman vexilloid. Battalion standards were like those of the Army: square for foot units and tailed for mounted and motorized units. The SS-Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH) was the Führer's bodyguard regiment; its regimental and battalion standards incorporated the design of his personal standard. Originally a single infantry regiment the LAH was progressively enlarged during the war, first into a motorized infantry brigade, then into a motorized infantry division, then into a panzer grenadier division and finally into a panzer division.

See also Command Flags & Pennants of the Army.
 


 

HEER  •  ARMY

 

FUHRER ESCORT BATTALION  •  Führerbegleitbataillon

 

INFANTRY REGIMENTS
Infanterietruppen

 

RIFLE & MOUNTAIN REGIMENTS
Jäger- und Gebirgsjägertruppen

 

ENGINEER BATTALIONS
Pioniertruppen

 

ARMORED REGIMENTS & BATTALIONS
ANTITANK BATTALIONS
Panzer- und Panzerjägertruppen

 

MOTORIZED INFANTRY REGIMENTS
Panzer-Grenadiertruppen
 

 

ARTILLERY REGIMENTS & BATTALIONS  •  ASSAULT GUN BATTALIONS
Artillerie- und Sturmgeschütztruppen

 

CAVALRY REGIMENTS
RECONNAISSANCE BATTALIONS
Kavallerie- und Aufklärungstruppen

 

CHEMICAL BATTALIONS  •  Nebeltruppen

 

 

SIGNALS BATTALIONS  •  Nachrichtentruppen

 

SUPPLY BATTALIONS  •  Versorgungstruppen

 

KRIEGSMARINE  •  NAVY

 

COAST ARTILLERY UNITS & TRAINING ESTABLISHMENTS

 

LUFTWAFFE  •  AIR FORCE

 

FLYING & PARACHUTE UNITS
Flieger- und Fallschirmjägertruppen

 

ANTIAIRCRAFT UNITS •  Flaktruppen
 

 

RIFLE UNITS OF AIR FORCE FIELD DIVISIONS  •  Jägertruppen des Luftwaffen-Feld-Divisonen
 

 

WAFFEN-SS  •  SS-LIEBSTANDARTE ADOLF HITLER

 

INFANTRY & ENGINEER BATTALIONS

 

MOUNTED & MOTORIZED BATTALIONS



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