By an order (Der Reichsminister der Luftfahrt Nr.30573/35 geh. Kdos. D IV, 3 Az.64.c. 10) dated the 1st march 1935, the Luftwaffe pattern national eagle was officially introduced for wear by all Luftwaffe personnel.  It originated from the emblem, introduced on the 18th August 1934, worn by Fliegerschaft personnel of the Deutscher Luftsportsverband (DLV) the clandestine, civilian, forerunner of the Luftwaffe.
The first pattern national eagle was used until a, slightly modified, second pattern national eagle was introduced in late 1936 or early 1937. Regulations dictated that the national eagle was to be worn on almost all headgear and on the right breast of almost all uniforms, with a few minor exceptions.
Officer ranks generally used hand-embroidered breast eagles as opposed to the machine-embroidered breast eagles as issued to EM/NCO ranks. Officer ranks were permitted optional wear of a white summer uniform from the 1st April to the 30th September annually and generally the insignia worn on these uniforms was removable for ease of cleaning. As a result, a removable metal breast eagle was manufactured exclusively for wear on the white summer tunic. Early examples were constructed of nickel silver, nickel plated tombak or aluminium .  Later examples, due to the shortage of essential metals, were produced of plated, then silver washed, zinc.

 

Officers holding ranks of Generalmajor to Generalfeldmarschall (including Reichsmarschall Göring) wore gold coloured accoutrements, including breast eagles, as opposed to the silver versions worn by all other officer ranks

 

 

There were many variations of the breast eagle, in both metal and cloth. The examples shown below are but a small number produced during the time.

 

 

 

Luftwaffe Summer Uniform

Luftwaffe white summer uniform with metal 2nd pattern eagle in wear

 

 

 

 

Metal eagles for Officer's white summer uniform

(Burst-Hoheitsadler für weissen rock)

 

 

1st pattern summer eagle by F. W Assmann & Söhne - Lüdenscheid

1st pattern eagle (tombak) by F.W Assmann & Söhne - Lüdenscheid

 

Stabszahlmeister Gerhard Oelsch - Stab4. Fsch - Jg.Div

(from the estate of; Stabszahlmeister Gerhard Oelsch - Stab4. Fsch - Jg.Div)

 

 

 

Oberst Edgar Petersen with F. W Assmann 1st pattern summer eagle in wear

Oberst Edgar Petersen with F. W Assmann 1st pattern eagle in wear

 

 

 

Assmann 1st pattern summer breast eagle as seen in their catalouge

Assmann 1st pattern summer breast eagle as seen in their catalouge. The price of the eagle was RM 1.90

 

 

2nd pattern summer eagle by F. W Assmann & Söhne - Lüdenscheid

2nd pattern eagle (aluminium) by F. W Assmann & Söhne - Lüdenscheid

 

 

F.W Assmann summer eagle - zinc

2nd pattern eagle (zinc) by F. W Assmann & Söhne - Lüdenscheid

 

 

 

2nd pattern Assmann summer eagle in wear

F.W Assmann 2nd pattern eagle in wear

 

 

 

Assmann 2nd pattern summer breast eagle as seen in their catalouge

Assmann 2nd pattern summer breast eagle as seen in their catalouge. The price of the eagle was RM 1.90

 

 

 

 

 

2nd pattern (nickel silver) summer eagle - maker unknown

2nd pattern eagle (nickel silver) by Wilhelm Deumer - Lüdenscheid

 

 

 

2nd pattern eagle (cupal) by Wilhelm Deumer - Lüdenscheid

2nd pattern eagle (aluminium) by Wilhelm Deumer - Lüdenscheid

 

 

 

Aluminium breast eagle - maker unknown

attributed to the maker, Wilhelm Deumer - Lüdenscheid

 

2nd pattern(cupal) summer eagle - maker unknown

2nd pattern eagle (cupal) - maker : Attributed to Friedrich Linden, Lüdenscheid

(from the estate of; Major Johann. Wilhelm Kind - Gruppenkommandeur III./KG 51 "Edelweiss"

 

Major Johann. Wilhelm Kind

Major Johann. Wilhelm Kind - far left

 

 

 

 

Summer eagle on Fliegerbluse

Even though strict regulations existed for the wear of the Luftwaffe breast eagle, it would seem that not all personnel adheared to them.

Seen here is a young officer wearing his Assmann 2nd pattern summer eagle on his Fliegerbluse.

 

 

 

 

 

Cloth breast eagles for General Officers, Officers, Enlisted men and Non-Commissioned Officers

(Burst-Hoheitsadler für Kleiner Rock Waffenrock/Fliegerbluse)

 

 

General Officers

(Generalmajor to Generalfeldmarschall and Reichsmarschall)

 

 

Hand-embroidered breast eagle for General Officers - Kleiner Rock

Hand-embroidered bullion breast eagle for General Officers - Kleiner Rock

 

 

Generals breast eagle

Standard hand-embroidered bullion breast eagle for General Officers - Generalmajor to Generalfeldmarschall and Reichsmarschall

 

 

 

Officers

 

Embroidered breast eagle in wear

Officer with hand-embroidered 1st pattern breast eagle in wear

 

 

 

Officer's 1st pattern embroidered breast eagle

Officer's 1st pattern hand-embroidered breast eagle

 

 

Officer's 2nd pattern embroidered breast eagle

Officer's 2nd pattern hand-embroidered breast eagle

 

 

 

2nd pattern embroidered breast eagle in wear

Officer with 2nd pattern embroidered breast eagle in wear

 

 

 

Officers machine embroidered breast eagle - Hermann Göring Division

Officer's machine-embroidered breast eagle on black wool backing - thought to be Hermann Göring Division

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luftwaffe Officers Cape Eagle

Not a breast eagle, as such, but being part of an officers uniform insignia it should be included in this section

 

The Luftwaffe Officer's cape was an expensive 'extra' wardrobe accessory which many Luftwaffe officer's chose not to purchase. It was mainly worn for full dress occasions with the formal uniform or dress uniform. Shortly after its introduction, it was ordered that a large Luftwaffe eagle be worn at the upper arm area.

 

 

Luftwaffe Officer's Cape Eagle

Luftwaffe Officer's Dress Cape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EM/NCO's

 

 

NCO with 1st pattern breast eagle in wear

NCO with 1st pattern, machine-embroidered, breast eagle in wear

 

 

1st pattern machine woven breast eagle

1st pattern, machine-embroidered, breast eagle

 

 

2nd pattern Em breast eagles

examples of the, machine-embroidered, 2nd pattern EM breast eagle on blue-grey wool backining

 

 

Em/NCO machine woven breast eagle in wear

EM/NCO machine-embroidered breast eagle in wear

 

 

EM /NCO green HBT (herringbone twill) tunic breast eagle

EM /NCO green HBT (herringbone twill) tunic breast eagle

 

 

 

EM breast eagle of the Hermann Göring Division

EM, machine-embroidered, breast eagle of the Hermann Göring Division on black wool backing

 

 

 

In 1940, Germany was gearing up for entry into the North African campaign, the army quickly developed and issued tropical uniforms and equipment in time for the "Deutsches Afrika Korps" personnel's arrival in North Africa in February 1941.  The Luftwaffe also developed and introduced their own version of the tropical uniform and insignia, including the tan uniform twill backed breast eagle.

 

EM/NCO's tropical breast eagle

 

Examples of the EM/NCO's machine-embroidered tropical breast eagle on tan uniform twill backing

 

 

Tropical eagle in wear

Machine-embroidered tropical breast eagle in wear

 

 

 

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