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Collar patch terminology

Article about: I thought it would be a fun little project (and hopefully an informative one, too) to do a little thread on German collar patch terminology. I decided to place this thread in the Wehrmacht u

  1. #1

    Default Collar patch terminology

    I thought it would be a fun little project (and hopefully an informative one, too) to do a little thread on German collar patch terminology. Bear in mind, though, that this is just a very brief overview.

    I decided to place this thread in the Wehrmacht uniforms sub-forum as it will probably reach the most readers here, but the specimens I used to illustrate the terms are from the Third Reich as well as the GDR and the FRG, and most of the terms universally apply to insignia worn from the Imperial era right to the present day. Moderators may of course feel free to move this thread elsewhere or link to it from other sub-forums.

    Right, here we go. First, here are the most common general designs found on German military and police collar patches. One term that we will encounter repeatedly is Litze, which, depending on context, can mean braid, lace or even piping. I have left it mostly in the original German; where I translated it, I went for "braid".


    Collar patch terminology

    The angular, widening elements on both ends of Litzen are known as Kapellen [chapels]; thus, Litzen with this feature are known as Kapellenlitzen [chapel braid]. A twin Litze is a doppelte Kapellenlitze [double chapel braid]; a single Litze is an einfache Kapellenlitze [single chapel braid].
    (Photo: A collar patch and a sleeve patch of the GDR Volkspolizei [People's Police].)


    Collar patch terminology

    The style of Litzen with "teeth" is called Kolbenstickerei [cob embroidery or spadix embroidery].
    During the Third Reich era, collar patches with Kolbenstickerei were worn by general staff officers and military officials of the high-grade career and police officers serving with central command agencies; today, they are still worn by general staff officers of the Bundeswehr.
    (Photo: A collar patch for a Bundeswehr general staff officer.)


    Collar patch terminology

    A Litze without Kapellen and one pointed end is known as an altpreußische Litze [Old Prussian braid].
    During the Third Reich era, such collar patches were worn by army Sonderführer and Beamte auf Kriegsdauer as well as by some non-military organisatins, such as the Werkfeuerwehren.
    (Photo: A collar patch for a WW2-era Beamter auf Kriegsdauer [official for the duration of the war].)


    Collar patch terminology

    The elaborate pattern worn by general officers is called Larischstickerei (Larisch embroidery), named after the Prussian Infantry Regiment no. 26 "Alt-Larisch".
    The Larischstickerei was implemented for all German general officers by Emperor Wilhelm II in 1900 and was carried over throughout the Weimar- and Third Reich era and the post-war years (in both the FRG and GDR) right to the present.
    (Photo: A collar patch for a Bundeswehr general officer.)
    Last edited by HPL2008; 08-18-2018 at 01:39 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Now for the individual design elements.

    Collar patch terminology

    Collar patch terminology

    The actual cloth patch is a called a Kragenpatte [collar tab] or Kragenspiegel [collar flash]. The latter term in particular has come to refer to the entire patch including the badges thereon.
    As we have already seen, the widening end parts are called Kapellen [chapels]. The center stripe on a Litze is called Litzenspiegel [braid flash], the space between two Litzen is known as Mittelspiegel [center flash].
    (Photos: Third Reich-era collar patches for a cavalry officer (dress tunic type) and a cavalry enlisted man (field uniform type).)


    Collar patch terminology

    General officers' collar patches are adorned with the elaborate Larischstickerei. This is one specific form of Arabeskenmuster [arabesque pattern], which refers to decorative patterns composed of vines and leaves.
    The Larisch pattern has a Spitze [tip or point], two (for field marshals, three) pairs of Blätter [leaves] and a Schweif [tail], with Ranken [vines] separating these elements. The double line in the middle is a stylized buttonhole [Knopfloch].
    (Photo: The collar patches for a Bundeswehr general officer and a Bundesgrenzschutz general officer).
    Last edited by HPL2008; 08-18-2018 at 04:07 PM.

  4. #3

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    Of course, collar patch insignia can be found in various manufacturing methods: Hand-embroidered [handgestickt], machine-embroidred [maschinengestickt], woven [gewebt] or as metal devices [Metallauflagen].

    Collar patch terminology

    Collar patch terminology

    (Photos: BGS collar patches and a VoPo collar patch.)

    That's it for now. Hope you like it!

  5. #4

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    Excellent HPL2008. This is a great gesture for all of those interested in terminology.

    Litzen are also worn within the political system. Here an image from the 1936 RZM
    manufacturing regulation for political leaders. Along with this a random choice of
    mine with some specific ranks for the image as shown.


    Collar patch terminology Collar patch terminology

    One should note that most often there is a piece of cardboard underneath the Litze(n).

    The Arabeskenmuster was for example also worn by high-ranked customs officials
    as with the shown photograph from 1941: Oberfinanzpräsident (Philipp Ludwig) Georg
    Rauschning from Hamburg.

    Collar patch terminology

  6. #5

    Default

    A quick word on piping:

    The general German term for all kinds of piping is Paspelierung or Vorstoß (the latter term was the one normally used in official Third Reich-era regulations, but is less common and somewhat archaic today).

    Collar patch terminology


    The term Schnurumrandung or Schnureinfassung specifically means "cord edging". Pipings were made with gedrehte Schnur [twist cord] or Rundschnur [round cord]. Twist cord piping is sometimes also referred to as Kordelierung:

    Collar patch terminology Collar patch terminology


    Piping made by folded-over and sewn- or glued-down cloth whose edge is slightly protruding is known as a Gewebelitze [cloth piping]:

    Collar patch terminology


    (Photo: Collar patches for WW2-era Beamte auf Kriegsdauer [officials for the duration of the war].)
    Last edited by HPL2008; 08-28-2018 at 11:46 PM.

  7. #6

    Default

    Thank you for pulling all that together and presenting it so well. This isn't my field of collecting but I read every word which probably says something about your presentational standards.

    ...just as long as we can still call them "collar patches" though.....:-)

  8. #7

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    Very good presentation Andreas! Also, it is helpful to both TR era and post war collectors. Thank you for putting this together!

  9. #8

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    My utmost appreciation to HPL2008 for his informative lesson.

  10. #9

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    It looks like the debate about the use of German terminology has finally won through

  11. #10

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    Yep...the only reason I read the first one was that I understood what it was about from the heading....but let's not start that debate / argument again.

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