FELDGENDARMERIE CUFF TITLES
Overview of the various types of cuffband worn by the German Field Police
The earliest type is the Polizei pattern machine embroidered rayon yarn or hand embroidered aluminium thread on a brown wool band. Manufactured in the same style as the “Motorisierte Gendarmerie” and “Deutsche Wehrmacht” cuffbands worn by the Police. This type was worn in the transitional period when the early Gendarmen wore a mixture of Police and Army uniforms and insignia, though some of these early Feldgendarmen continued to wear these brown wool cuffbands much later in the war.
The most typical cuffband worn was the machine woven Rayon type.
The most common type is the one shown at top here, with the loose threads on the reverse typical of “BeVo” style insignia.
Next most common is the version with tightly woven reverse, no loose threads. I have often seen this type declared to be reproduction which is nonsense, though this type has been reproduced but there are clear enough differences for the fakes to to be easily spotted.
The rarest type is the version shown at the bottom. This type is identical in manufacture to a small number of Waffen-SS bands (including “Hitlerjugend”)
Although the obverse of the bands all look pretty much the same (apart from colors which vary even within examples of the same manufacturing style) there are sufficient minor differences in letter formation and spacing to allow each type to be identified even if sewn on a tunic sleeve.
The Waffen-SS (and the Luftwaffe) made widespread use of the Army pattern cuffband. Although the Waffen-SS introduced their own pattern, the Army version continued to be used. One former Waffen-SS Feldgendarme who was issued his cuffband in 1944, clearly remembered it as being brown, so definitely the Army, not SS pattern, even though the SS pattern had been introduced some time before.
Presumably this was just a case of insufficient supply of the SS type being available.
Here are some images of the original and fake of the middle type for comparison. You can see that although they have copied the weave style quite well, the letters are not so neatly formed and the “corners” and “edges” on the letters of the fake are more rounded and not so sharp.
Interesting read on the German Field Police (Feldgendarmerie) on its structure, organisation, uniforms and more, read Gordon Williamson’s new book: Kettenhund!: The German Military Police in the Second World War (UK) or Kettenhund!: The German Military Police in the Second World War (US).
Article written by Author of several books Gordon Williamson for Historical War Militaria Forum.