Ranks of the german airforce (Luftwaffe) until 1945

Crews  (Mannschaften)

University forming: Crews carried grey shoulder straps with the number of the squadron or an appropriate federation with Paspelierung in the weapon color.

The badges of rank carried at the left upper sleeve, additionally was recognizable it from the collar mirrors. At the crews there were the following ranks:
- Flieger, Kanonier, Funker (Flier, Kanonier, radio operator): coloured collar mirrors with an aluminium-coloured double wing
- Gefreiter (private first classes): a grey corner on dark base, coloured collar mirrors with two aluminium-coloured double wrestling
- Obergefreiter (Upper private first classes): two ineinandergeschobene corners, coloured collar mirrors with three aluminium-coloured double wrestling
- Hauptgefreiter (main private first classes): three ineinandergeschobene grey corners, coloured collar mirrors with four aluminium-coloured double wrestling
- Stabsgefreiter (staff private first classes): a twisted grey corner, about that a grey star, coloured collar mirrors with four aluminium-coloured double wrestling


Mannschaftsdienstgrade der Luftwaffe

Crew ranks of the german Air Force (Luftwaffe)

Stabsgefreiter (Staff private first class)(19) Hauptgefreiter (20) Obergefreiter (Main private first class)(21) Gefreiter (Private first class )(22) Flieger (Flier)(23)


Fliegerbluse für Mannschaften/Unteroffiziere, zweites Modell

Flier blouse for crews/NCOs, second model
Quelle: lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de

Field blouse of a paratrooper. In the button hole the volumes of the iron cross 2. Class, the war Distinguished Service Cross and the east medal. The collar mirrors and the upper arm angles prove the carrier as Stabsgefreiten. At the right lower arm of the sleeve strips of the parachute division.




Noncommissioned officers without Portepee  (Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee)

Noncommissioned officers carried her badges on shoulder flaps, namely as a matt-silver braid as a border. Their collar mirrors corresponded to those of the teams. However, the uniform collar was with matt-silver sucked. Noncommissioned officer's braid provide.
- Unteroffizier (non-commissioned officer): U-shaped braid, collar mirror with an aluminium-coloured double wing
- Unterfeldwebel (Under sergeant): Braid all around the shoulder flap, collar mirror like noncommissioned officer, but with two aluminium-coloured double wrestling




Noncommissioned officers with Portepee  (Unteroffiziere mit Portepee)

- Feldwebel (Sergeant): how sergeant, but, in addition, a 4 more smartly matt-silver aluminium star in the middle, Collar mirror like noncommissioned officer, but with three aluminium-coloured double wrestling
- Oberfeldwebel (Staff sergeant): how sergeant, but two stars, collar mirrors like noncommissioned officer, but with four aluminium-coloured double wrestling
- Stabsfeldwebel (Warrant officer): how sergeant, but three stars, collar mirrors like staff sergeant


Unteroffiziere der Luftwaffe

Noncommissioned officers Ranks of the german Air Force (Luftwaffe)

Stabsfeldwebel (Warrant officer)(14), Oberfeldwebel (Staff sergeant)(15), Feldwebel (Sergeant)(16), Unterfeldwebel (Under sergeant)(17) und Unteroffizier (non-commissioned officer)(18)




Officers   (Offiziere)

The shoulder pieces of the Air Force corresponded to those of the army with all officers, whereby the document was implemented in the weapon colors of the Air Force. The collar mirrors showed additionally the respective rank.
- Leutnant (Second lieutenant): Collar mirror a silver oak leaves half wreath, an aluminium-coloured double wing and silver Paspelierung
- Oberleutnant (first lieutenant): Collar mirror like second lieutenant, but two wings
- Hauptmann (Captain): Collar mirror like second lieutenant, but three wings
- Major (major): Collar mirror silver Paspelierung, a silver oak leaves wreath, a silver double wing
- Oberstleutnant (lieutenant colonel): Collar mirror like major, but two wings
- Oberst (Colonels): Collar mirror such as major, but three wings


Offiziere der Luftwaffe

Officers Ranks of the german Air Force (Luftwaffe)

Oberst (Colonel)(8) Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant colonel)(9) Major (major)(10) Hauptmann (Captain)(11) Oberleutnant (First lieutenant)(12) Leutnant (Second lieutenant)(13)




Generals   (Generale)

Air Force generals carried the same shoulder pieces as those of the army. The collar mirrors were white with golden Paspelierung, a golden oak leaves ring and golden double rockers.
- Generalmajor, Chefingenieur (Major general, chief engineer): Collar mirror with a double wing
- Generalleutnant, Leitender Chefingenieur (lieutenant general, leading chief engineer): Collar mirror with two double wrestling
- General (general): two silver stars. General of her: - Airman, - parachute troop, - anti-aircraft artillery and him - aerial news troop: Collar mirror with three double wrestling
- Generaloberst (colonel general): Three silver stars collar mirror: on the golden oak leaves wreath a golden imperial eagle (air force implementation)
- Generalfeldmarschall (General field marshal): Two crossed silver marshal's batons. Collar mirror: how senior general, but, in addition, two crossed marshal's batons in the catches of the imperial eagle
- Reichsmarschall (Imperial marshal) (Hermann Göring): Shoulder piece like field marshal, but a golden imperial eagle with crossed marshal's batons in the claws, collar mirror: Two crossed golden marshal's batons on white reason, twice golden-bordered


Generale der Luftwaffe

Generals of the german Air Force (Luftwaffe)

Reichsmarschall (Imperial marshal)(1940 only for Hermann Göring production) (1), Generalfeldmarschall since 1942 (General field marshal)(2), Generalfeldmarschall to 1942 (General field marshal)(3), Generaloberst (Colonel general)(4), General (general)(5), Generalleutnant (Lieutenant general)(6), Generalmajor (Major general)(7)




Badge of rank at special clothing

The overview shows the badges of rank to the flier protection suit of the pilots and the employment clothing of the paratroopers (bone bag) of the armed forces in the Second World War until 1945.

Rangabzeichen an Spezialbekleidung Luftwaffe

Badge of rank at special clothing german Air Force (Luftwaffe)

Unteroffizier (Noncommissioned officer)(1), Unterfeldwebel (Under sergeant)(2), Feldwebel (Sergeant)(3), Oberfeldwebel (Staff sergeant )(4), Stabsfeldwebel (Warrant officer)(5), Leutnant (Second lieutenant)(6), Oberleutnant (First lieutenant)(7), Hauptmann (Captain)(8), Major (major)(9), Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant colonel)(10), Oberst (Colonel)(11), Generalmajor (Major general)(12), Generalleutnant (Lieutenant general)(13), General der Flieger (General of the fliers)(14), Generaloberst (Colonel general)(15), Generalfeldmarschall (General field marshal)(16)






You can find the right literature here:


Aircraft of the Luftwaffe, 1935-1945

Aircraft of the Luftwaffe, 1935-1945: An Illustrated Guide

One of the most significant innovations in modern warfare has been the appearance and development of air power, a technology which demanded technical and financial investment on a whole new scale and which ultimately changed the fundamental nature of war itself. This book covers the history and development of the German air force from 1935 to 1945, with descriptions and illustrations of almost all of the Luftwaffe's airplanes, including fighters, jet fighters, dive-bombers, ground attackers, medium and heavy bombers, jet bombers, seaplanes, flying boats and carrier planes, transport and gliders, reconnaissance and training aircrafts, helicopters, and many futuristic projects and other rarities. In addition to focusing on detailed descriptions of the aircrafts themselves, the book also focuses on the Luftwaffe's traditions, strategies, and organization. Topics include: the air force's achievements and failures; uniforms, regalia, and ranks of organization; the airplanes' nomenclature, camouflage, and markings; and the aircrafts' manufacturers, engineers, designers, and flying and ground personnel. The book also deals with the Luftwaffe's ground units, such as the Luftwaffe Infantry Divisions, the elite HG Division and paratroopers, anti-aircraft artillery, women in service, and auxiliary forces. Black and white line drawings provide visual references to the Luftwaffe's airplanes, uniforms, medals, weapons, and flags.

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Luftwaffe Over Germany: Defense of the Reich

Luftwaffe Over Germany: Defense of the Reich Hardcover – August 2, 2014

The Luftwaffe over Germany tells the story of one of the longest and most intense air battles in history. The daylight air struggles over Germany during World War II involved thousands of aircraft, dozens of units, and hundreds of aerial engagements. Until now, there has been no single book that covers the complete story, from the highest levels of air strategy to the individual tales of Fw 190s, Bf 109s and Me 262s in air combat against the American bomber streams.

This ground-breaking work explores the detrimental effect of Luftwaffe theory and doctrine on the German air arms ability to defend the homeland once the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive began in earnest. By mid-1944, they had lost the battle – but had exacted a terrible price from the Americans in the process.

The product of a ten-year collaboration between two noted Luftwaffe historians, this work fills a major gap in the literature of World War II. The authors have examined original war diaries, logbooks, doctrine manuals, after-action reports, and interviews with many combat veterans to produce a richly detailed account. Illustrated with nearly two hundred photographs, as well as new maps and diagrams, this is the standard work on the subject.

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Luftwaffe in Colour: From Glory to Defeat: 1942-1945

Luftwaffe in Colour: From Glory to Defeat: 1942-1945 Paperback – June 19, 2017

Nearly 400 color photographs reveal fascinating detail on the planes and the men of the Luftwaffe, as they progressed from seeming invincibility to utter defeat.

Eighty years after its creation, the Luftwaffe is still one of the most fascinating forces in the history of aviation. A companion to Luftwaffe in Colour Volume 1, which covered the victory years from 1939 up to Spring 1942, this volume with nearly 400 images contains even more fascinating material on the machines of the Luftwaffe and the men who flew them, as their fate took an increasingly grim path.

Initially the Luftwaffe ruled the skies but thereafter fought an increasingly futile war of attrition which when combined with vital strategic mistakes in aircraft production, was its death knell. Despite this the Luftwaffe produced the most successful air aces of all time who feature in this volume. Among many remarkable images we see one of the last Junkers 87 B-2 operational on the front line on the Eastern Front during the winter of 1942-1943, the huge BV 222 V-5 of Lufttransportstaffel in the port of Heraklion in late 1942, pilots in Tunisia in 1943, the aces Hans Philipp, Wolfgang Spate and Heinz Schnaufer and a vivid demonstration of the reversal in fortunes in 1944 as Allied bombers destroy 106 places, engulfing them in fire at Schwabisch-Hall on German soil.

In this painstakingly pieced together collection, originally published in France, the full detail behind the propaganda is once more revealed, in rare colour photographs.

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The Luftwaffe: A History

The Luftwaffe: A History Paperback – August 2, 2013

John Killen's exhaustive work is a study of German air power between 1915 and 1945, from the early days of flying when Immelmann, Boelke, Richtofen and other First World War aces fought and died to give Germany air supremacy, to the nightmare existence of the Luftwaffe as the Third Reich plunged headlong to destruction. Here are the aircraft: the frail biplanes and triplanes of the Kaiser's war; the great Lufthansa aircraft and airships of the turbulent Thirties; the monoplanes designed to help Hitler in his conquest of Europe. Here are the generals who forged the air weapon of the Luftwaffe - the swaggering Goering, the playboy Udet, the ebullient Kesselring and the scapegoat Jeschonnek; here, too, are the pilots who tried to keep faith with their Fatherland despite overwhelming odds; Adolf Galland, Werner Molders, Joachim Marseille and Hanna Reitsch. Not least are the actions fought by the Luftwaffe from the Spanish Civil War to the Battle of Britain, through the bloody struggle for Crete and the siege of Stalingrad to the fearful twilight over Berlin.

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Luftwaffe Secret Projects: Fighters, 1939-1945

Luftwaffe Secret Projects: Fighters, 1939-1945 Hardcover – July 15, 2007

With access to previously unpublished information, authors Schick and Meyer bring to life the furturistic shapes that might have terrorized the Allies had the war gone beyond 1945. Full color action illustrations in contemporary unit markings show vividly what might have been achieved. Careful comparison with later Allied and Soviet aircraft show the legacy handed on, right up to todays stealth aircraft.

Click here!






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