Original WW1 German / Prussian pair of epaulette of the 3rd Garde-Ulanen Regiment (5th Squadron) / enlisted men / non commissioned officer, IN VERY NICE CONDITION WITH SOME MOTH DAMAGE AT THE BACK, OTHERWISE A VERY NICE PAIR
HISTORY OF THE REGIMENT:
This very elite regiment was founded in 1860 during König Friedrich Wilhelm IV’s final year’s reign. His younger brother, Wilhelm I, was serving as regent, until Friedrich Wilhelm’s death in 1861, when he assumed Prussia’s throne as king. Wilhelm I had served in this capacity since Friedrich Wilhelm’s 1858 incapacitating stroke. The 3rd Garde-Ulanen-Regiment was garrisoned in Potsdam along with the other elite Garde-Regiments such as the Garde du Corps and 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß. Like all Garde-Regiments, the 3rd Garde-Ulanen-Regiment was attached to the GardeKorps. In addition to being from a very elite regiment (the last Garde-Ulanen-Regiment formed), this pair of epaulettes is made more special as they belonged to a One-Year-Volunteer (OYV). OYV’s made up the smallest portion of any enlisted men/NCO’s in any regiment. Since Kavallerie Regiments were smaller than Infanterie Regiments, even fewer of them were OYV’s. We have chronicled OYV’s particulars in more detail elsewhere. Briefly, OYV’s generally hailed from middle class families of means. They enlisted for a one-year-period rather than ordinary enlisted men’s two-year enlistments. OYV’s were responsible for their own equipment, include uniforms and headdresses. They were also responsible for their own housing and meals. In return, they were allowed some latitude in their uniforms’ and headdresses’ embellishments.
HISTORY OF THE INSIGNIA:
WW1 German epaulettes: until World War I, officers of the Imperial German Army generally wore silver epaulettes as a distinguishing feature of their full-dress uniforms. For ranks up to and including captain these were "scale" epaulettes without fringes, for majors and colonels with fine fringes and for generals with a heavy fringe. The base of the epaulette was of regimental colors. For ordinary duty, dress "shoulder-cords" of silver braid intertwined with state colors, were worn. During the period 1919-45, German Army uniforms were known for a four cord braided "figure-of-eight" decoration which acted as a shoulder board for senior and general officers. This was called a "shoulder knot" and was in silver with the specialty color piping (for field officers) and silver with red border (for generals). Although it was once seen on US Army uniforms, it remains only in the mess uniform. A similar form of shoulder knot was worn by officers of the British Army in full dress until 1914 and is retained by the Household Cavalry today. Epaulettes of this pattern are used by the Republic of Korea Army's general officers and were widely worn by officers of the armies of Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Ecuador and Bolivia; all of which formerly wore uniforms closely following the Imperial German model. The Chilean Army still retains the German style of epaulette in the uniforms of its ceremonial units, the Military Academy and the NCO School while the 5th Cavalry Regiment "Aca Caraya" of the Paraguayan Army sports both epaulettes and shoulder knots in its dress uniforms (save for a platoon wearing Chaco War uniforms). Epaulettes of the German pattern (as well as shoulder knots) are used by officers of ceremonial units and schools of the Bolivian Army.