Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bundesgrenzschutz & Landespolizei Insignia

Insignia of the Bundesgrenzschutz (Federal Border Protection) and Landespolizei (State Police) of West Germany. One of the most famous units of the Bundesgrenzschutz is GSG 9 der Bundesgrenzschutz (Special Unit 9 of the BGS) an elite counter-terrorism unit which won world attention when it freed eighty six hostages from a hijacked Lufthansa flight in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1977.

The patch of the Bundesgrenzschutz Diensthudelehawart (Service Dog Handlers) this one being worn by canine units equipped with the German Shepherd. Note the Bundesgrenzschutz crest with German federal eagle against a head of a German Shepherd against a Green background the color of police uniforms.

The patch of the Bundesgrenzschutz Diensthundeführer (Service Dog Leader) this patch was worn by canine units equipped with full sized Schnauzers.

The insignia of the Bundesgrenzschutz displaying the Bundesadler (Federal Eagle) as worn on service personnel green uniforms. This insignia was replaced in the 1970s by a black version.

This patch is of  the "BEVO" style, woven construction, with various backings.  The patch was worn on the left shoulder of the service tunics, shirts, overcoats and field jackets.  Here is a little history about "BEVO" style patches:  The term BEVO, originated in Germany during the Second World War, and designates the style of woven patches that were manufactured by the firm of Bandfabrik Ewald Vorsteher, in Wuppertal-Baren (hence the initials BEVO).  These German style patches are machine woven in very tightly, almost micro-woven strips, which are then cut into individual patches. 

From 1952 to 1976, only the eagle was worn.  From 1977 to well after the reunification of Germany into 2001, both the eagle and arched "Bundesgrenzschutz" name were worn together, with the arch over the eagle.   

Metal cap crest insignia of the Bundesgrenzschutz

Brustenhänger (Breast Hanger) badge of the Oberpfalz (Upper Palatine) administrative district of the West German state of Bavaria. The Oberpfalz district is in eastern Bavaria note it bears the Coat of Arms of the State of Bavaria underneath the district name Oberpfalz. This insignia would be worn from the pocket of the service shirt


The patch of the Landespolizei or state police which are designated by each state of West Germany. 

Patch of the Stadtpolizei Nürnberg (City Police of Nuremberg). Note the Coat of Arms of the City of Nuremberg in the Center.

Flight wings insignia worn by Police Aviation units of the Bundesgrenzschutz. 

Bundesgrenzschutz personnel patrol the Inner German Border Zone with East Germany. Note the camouflage field uniforms. BGS personnel although federal police forces were organized, armed and equipped along the lines of a military unit.

Another picture of Bundesgrenzschutz personnel patrolling the Inner German Border zone

Examples of West German Bundeswehr Headwear

There are different types of headwear each type varying with the branch of service as well as the type of uniform worn. Early uniforms were worn mostly with visor caps and as the years progressed many of these were replaced with berets of varying color with different insignia to differentiate the class of soldier. On visor caps, the piping of the cap and the color of the cap usually designated the soldier. 

The maroon beret is worn by specialized units of the German Army particularly Fallschirmjäger (Airborne) units, Heeresflieger (Army Aviation), Fernspähtruppen (Pathfinder) and Kommando Spezialkräfte or KSK (Special Operations Troops). This example is of a maroon beret worn by the Fallschirmjägertruppen (Paratroopers).

The insignia of the German Army Fallschirmjägertruppen (Paratroopers) with national flag insignia.

This example would have been worn by enlisted personnel noted by the metal insignia worn on the face of the beret.

The Red Beret is worn by support units, including Artillerietruppen (Artillery Troops), Pioneretruppen (Engineers), Truppen für Operative Information (Intelligence/Psychological Warfare Troops), Heeresflugabwehrtruppen (Anti-Aircraft Troops), Nachschubtruppen (Supply Troops), Abwehrtruppen (NBC Protection Troops), Nachrichtentruppen (Signal Troops), Fernmeldetruppen (Electronic Warfare), Transporttruppen (Transportation Troops), Topographietruppen (Topography Troops), and Feldjägertruppen (Military Police Troops), Instandssetzungstruppen (Vehicle Maintenance Troops). This Red beret has the insignia of the Pioneretruppen (Engineer Troops)

The insignia of the Pioneretruppen (Engineer Troops).

This example bears the embroidered insignia of the Engineers. The embroidered bullion insignia is significant as it is usually worn by officers.

A red beret as worn by the Fernmeldetruppen (Communications/Electronic Warfare Troops)

The beret insignia of the Fernmeldetruppen.

A red beret as worn by members of the Nachschubtruppen (Supply Troops) 

Beret insignia of the Nachschubtruppen

A red beret as worn by soldiers of the Abwehrtruppen (Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Defense Troops)

Insignia of the ABC Abwehrtruppen 

In the Army, blue berets are designated to Sanitätspersonal (Medical Personnel). This example is missing the beret insignia of the Sanitätspersonal.

Other types of berets worn by the Army include black berets which are worn by armored forces particularly Panzertruppen (Armored Troops) and Panzeraufklärungstruppen /Feldnachrichtentruppen (Armored Reconnaissance Troops).

Green berets are worn by Infanterietruppen (Infantry Troops) which include the Jägertruppen (Light Infantry) and Panzergrenadiertruppen (Mechanized Infantry) as well as Army units assigned to the Wachbataillon and Panzerjägertruppen (Anti-Tank Troops).

Light Blue berets are worn by troops assigned to United Nations missions.

This is an example of a visor cap worn by the Technischentruppen (Technical Troops) complete with blue waffenfarbe  piping.

An example of a visor cap worn by the Pioneretruppen (Engineers) complete with black waffenfarbe piping.

Here is an example of a visor cap worn by the Militärmusiktruppen (Military Band Troops).

A Bergmütze, a specialized cap worn by the Gebirgsjäger, the Mountain Infantry Troops of the German Army. These troops wear specialized uniforms also to differentiate them from all other soldiers in the Army. They also wear the ceremonial edelweiß insignia. A long standing tradition for German mountain warfare soldiers. 

 A soldier is allowed to wear the edelweiß on the forage cap after he has completed the "Edelweißmarsch". This honor is only allowed for the mountain infantry. German Gebirgsjäger traditionally share a very close comradeship and distinct esprit de corps.

A moleskin olive drab green enlisted man's overseas cap with the national roundel of West Germany sewn on the front.

Typical of Navies throughout the world here is an example of a 'Donald Duck' style cap known as a Matrosenmützen literally Sailor's Cap. This cap is worn by enlisted sailors and  it bears the tally banner of the Bundesmarine 1 Ubootgeschwader (1st Submarine Squadron). A black band with the gold lettering, the colors of the Navy embroidered upon it. Like all caps it bears the national roundel on the front. There is also a ceremonial white cover for wear during special occasions.