Original WW1 German / Prussian Artillery Lieutenant (Oberleutnant) shoulder boards pair, sew on shoulder board of interwoven, silver/aluminum Russian braid with black interwoven V’s representing the State of Prussia, mounted on a white wool waffenfarbe base, complete with the gold washed alloy rank pips, IN VERY GOOD CONDITION, A REALLY FINE EXAMPLE
HISTORY OF THE SHOULDER BOARDS:
Although military ranks and rank designations can be traced back to the mercenary armies of the 17TH century it wasn’t until the creation of standing armies in the early 18TH century that distinguishing insignia of rank began to be developed. Originally the shoulder straps were functional items designed to secure the saber and ammunition shoulder cross straps and the larger, metal trimmed epaulettes were a throw back to the protective shoulder pieces worn on medieval armor. By 1800 the epaulettes had lost their protective function and were retained as a badge of rank. In 1866 a new system of rank distinguishing Officer’s shoulder boards were introduced to replace the previously worn epaulettes although the epaulettes were retained for the parade and dress uniforms. Although the officer’s shoulder boards underwent numerous minor modifications they remained basically the same right up until the end of WWII. The different branches of service within the German army were allocated a particular identifying waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), which was displayed as the base on the shoulder boards.