German Army Trades Badges

German Army Trade Badges were first introduced in 1920, and the earliest types were in golden yellow stitching on a field grey background.  These badges identified the wearer as one who had passed a specialist course.

From 1935, trades badges were sewn to dark green badge cloth, and in May 1940, along with other uniform insignia, the backing cloth was changed back to field grey.

Black versions existed for the AFV jacket, and tropical versions in both olive green twill and olive brown wool (for tropical greatcoats) were also introduced.

trade.jpg (19253 bytes)

medtrad.jpg (8608 bytes)
Prewar regulations allowed those specialists who were both fully qualified, and employed at a specialist post in a regimental or battalion headquarters to wear 3mm bright aluminum edging around the badge.  By 1943, it appears that some badges began to be edged in 2mm aluminum edging, as per Luftwaffe trades badges.  Qualified NCOs who did not occupy specialist posts in a headquarters wore the badges without edging.  Qualified Mannschaften (ie those enlisted men who did not hold NCO rank), regardless of whether they occupied a post, wore the badge without edging as well. trades.jpg (15853 bytes)

Note that the term "Wachtmeister" usually replaced "Feldwebel" in Artillery and mounted units, in both rank and trade titles.

Trade Title Rank that Title was associated with Trade Badge Position on Uniform and Edging Details
Stabsfeuerwerker Stabsfeldwebel Feuerwerker
(NCO artificer or ordnance technician)

These ranks were for Regular soldiers.

Worn by men whose duties included heavy weapons, ammunition and equipment commissioning, performed inspections and administration at army, corps or divisional headquarters.

trad4.gif (9607 bytes) Lower right sleeve.

1939 - Feb 1940
Edging worn by NCOs if in post. Edging never worn by Mannschaften.
2 Feb 40 - 1945
All regulars wore edging. War substantive troops wore no edging.

Oberfeuerwerker Oberfeldwebel
Feuerwerker Feldwebel
Unterfeuerwerker Unterfeldwebel
Feuerwerkerunteroffizier Unteroffizier
Stabswachtmeister im Feuerwerksdienst Stabsfeldwebel Feuerwerker
(NCO artificer or ordnance technician)

These ranks were War Substantive ranks introduced from 20 Feb 1940.

After 31 July 1944 only the Wachtmeister ranks continued; the others were deleted.

Worn by men whose duties included heavy weapons, ammunition and equipment commissioning, performed inspections and administration at army, corps or divisional headquarters.

trad4.gif (9607 bytes) Lower right sleeve.

2 Feb 40 - 1945
War substantive troops wore no edging.

Oberwachtmeister im Feuerwerksdienst Oberfeldwebel
Wachtmeister im Feuerwerksdienst Feldwebel
Unteroffizier im Feuerwerksdienst Unteroffizier
Stabsgefreiter im Feuerwerksdienst Stabsgefreiter
Obergefreiter im Feuerwerksdienst Obergefreiter
Gefreiter im Feuerwerksdienst Gefreiter
Nachrichtenmechaniker This rank title could be associated with all ranks. Nachrichtenmechaniker
(Signals Equipment Mechanic)
trad7.gif (9607 bytes) Lower right sleeve.

10 May 1944 - 1945
Edging on badges for NCOs; Mannschaften wore no edging.

Wallstabsfeldwebel Stabsfeldwebel Wallmeister
(Defensive Line Engineer NCO)

Worn by workshop supervisors at battalion and regimental headquarters.

trad12.gif (9607 bytes) Lower right sleeve.

1939 - 1945
Edging worn if in post.

Walloberfeldwebel Oberfeldwebel
Wallfeldwebel Feldwebel
Wallunterfeldwebel Unterfeldwebel
Wallunteroffizier Unteroffizier
Sanitätsstabsfeldwebel Stabsfeldwebel Sanitätsunterpersonal
(Medical NCOs and Men)

Worn by medically qualified orderlies.

trad18.gif (14307 bytes) Lower right sleeve.

1939 - Dec 1943
Edging worn by NCOs. Edging never worn by Mannschaften.
31 Dec 43 - 1945
All ranks wore edging.

Sanitätsoberfeldwebel Oberfeldwebel
Sanitätsfeldwebel Feldwebel
Sanitätsunterfeldwebel Unterfeldwebel
Sanitätsunteroffizier Unteroffizier
Sanitätsstabsgefreiter Stabsgefreiter
Sanitätsobergefreiter Obergefreiter
Sanitätsgefreiter Gefreiter
Sanitätsobersoldat Obersoldat
Sanitätssoldat Soldat
Festungswerkstabsfeldwebel Stabsfeldwebel Festungswerkfeldwebel
(Fortifications Engineer Feldwebels)

Involved with fortifications construction at the regimental and battalion level.

trad21.gif (14307 bytes) Lower right sleeve.

1939 - 1945
Edging worn if in post.

Festungswerkoberfeldwebel Oberfeldwebel
Festungswerkfeldwebel Feldwebel
Stabsbrieftaubenmeister Stabsfeldwebel Brieftaubenmeister

Performed pigeon post duties at a battalion or regimental headquarters.

trad1.gif (9607 bytes) Lower right sleeve.

1939 - 1945
Edging worn if in post.

Oberbrieftaubenmeister Oberfeldwebel
Brieftaubenmeister Feldwebel
Brieftaubenunterfeldwebel
Brieftaubenunterwachtmeister
Unterfeldwebel
Brieftaubenunteroffizier Unteroffizier
Stabsfeldwebel Stabsfeldwebel Gasschutzunteroffiziere

These ranks were for Regular soldiers.

Performed anti-gas equipment maintenance at battalion or regimental headquarters.

trad6.gif (9607 bytes) Lower right sleeve.

11 Mar 1941 - 1945
Edging worn from 26 Aug 43.

Oberfeldwebel Oberfeldwebel
Feldwebel Feldwebel
Unterfeldwebel Unterfeldwebel
Unteroffizier Unteroffizier
Stabsfeldwebel
im Gasschutzdienst
Stabsfeldwebel  

Unteroffizier
im Gasschutzdienst

These ranks were War Substantive ranks introduced from 26 Feb 1944.

Performed anti-gas equipment maintenance at battalion or regimental headquarters.

trad6.gif (9607 bytes) Lower right sleeve.

11 Mar 1941 - 1945
No edging worn.

Oberfeldwebel
im Gasschutzdienst
Oberfeldwebel
Feldwebel
im Gasschutzdienst
Feldwebel
Unterfeldwebel
im Gasschutzdienst
Unterfeldwebel
Unteroffizier
im Gasschutzdienst
Unteroffizier
Gerätfeldwebel Feldwebel Geräteverwaltungsunteroffiziere (HK)
(HK - garrison)

Geräteverwaltungsunteroffiziere (WG)
(WG - Waffen und Gas (arms and gas))

Performed NCO quartermaster duties at the battalion headquarters of armoured, panzergrenadier and artillery units.

trad5.gif (9607 bytes) Lower right sleeve.

18 Nov 1943 - 1945

Edging worn by those who qualified in peacetime - war qualified wore no  edging.

Gerätunterfeldwebel Unterfeldwebel
Gerätunteroffizier Unteroffizier
Stabsschirmeister Stabsfeldwebel Schirrmeister
(Technical NCOs)

 

Kriegsschirmeister
(War Substantive Technical NCOs)

Performed equipment maintenance at Regiment or Battalion headquarters

trad9.gif (9607 bytes)

gbar.gif (1729 bytes)
 

Lower right sleeve.

15 Aug 1939 -
Edging worn if in post, none if awaiting posting.

7 Aug 1941-
Edging worn by peacetime qualified NCOs,none for wartime qualified.

8 Jul 1943 - braid bar for War Substantive

Oberschirrmeister Oberfeldwebel
Schirrmeister Feldwebel
Schirrunterfeldwebel Unterfeldwebel
Schirrunteroffizer (Ch) Unteroffizier
(Smoke and Gas)
Schirrunteroffizer (EP) Unteroffizier
(Railway Engineer)
Schirrunteroffizer (F) Unteroffizier
(Horse Transport)
Schirrunteroffizer (Fz) Unteroffizier
(Ordnance)
Schirrunteroffizer (K) Unteroffizier
(Motorized)
Schirrunteroffizer (P) Unteroffizier
(Engineer)
Schirrunteroffizer (Sch) Unteroffizier
(Searchlights)
Festungsbaufeldwebel trad2.gif (9607 bytes)
Festungspionierfeldwebel trad3.gif (9607 bytes)
Regimentsuntersattlermeister trad8.gif (9607 bytes)
Truppensattlermeister trad10.gif (9607 bytes)

Zahlmeisteranwärter

trad11.gif (9607 bytes)
Waffenunteroffiziere trad19.gif (14307 bytes)
  trad23.gif (14307 bytes)
  trad22.gif (14307 bytes)
trad24.gif (14307 bytes)
Funkunteroffiziere trad20.gif (14307 bytes)
  trad17.gif (14307 bytes)
  trad16.gif (14307 bytes)
Stabsbeschlagmeister Stabsfeldwebel

Hufbeschlagpersonal
(Farrier NCO and men)

NCOs ran regimental and battalion smithies with assistance from men, found in infantry, cavalry, reconnaissance, artillery, Jäger, security, horse transport, medical and veterinary units.

 

trad15.gif (14307 bytes)

Lower right sleeve.

15 Aug 1939 -
Edging worn by NCOs if in post, none if awaiting posting.

Edging never worn by Mannschaften.

Oberbeschlagmeister Oberfeldwebel
Beschlagmeister Feldwebel
Beschlagschmiedunterwachmeister Unterfeldwebel
Beschlagschmiedunteroffizier Unteroffizier
Beschlagschmiedstabsgefreiter Stabsgefreiter
Beschlagschmiedobergefreiter Obergefreiter
Beschlagschmiedgefreiter Gefreiter
Beschlagschmiedoberschütze Oberschütze (etc.)
Beschlagschmiedschütze Schütze (etc.)
trad14.gif (14307 bytes)
trad13.gif (14307 bytes)

ncotrad.jpg (81494 bytes) nachrichten.jpg (17131 bytes)


Karl Zercher, an NCO with the Grossdeutschland Division, wearing a trades badge above his prized cufftitle.

gdsergeant.jpg (12381 bytes)

 

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