German Shoulder Strap No. 53

Lars13

Active member
Hello,

I've posted this shoulder strap on a German forum a long time ago, but never found a conclusive answer. I bought it hoping it would be for L.I.R. or R.I.R. 53, with "hellblau" piping. However when I received the shoulder strap it was clear that the piping was "dunkelblau". For comparison a "hellblau" peacetime shoulder strap on the left, and the back of a peacetime shoulder strap on the right, with dark blue backing from the peacetime uniform colour.

The shoulder strap is 5.5 cm wide, and used to have a tab to attach it to the uniform, but this was probably cut off when the strap was sown directly into the uniform.

Regards, Lars

DSC01948_Edit.jpg DSC01936_Edit.jpg
 

KAGGR#1

Well-known member
Why not just the fact that it is a later strap ( Feldgrau ) and maybe they just did not
have the proper shade of blue on hand at the time ? Or just no time for the attention paid to pre war straps ?
I consider myself along Mike Kelso ; Mike Ross ; Burke Fountain and Rob Hickson to be serious shoulder strap collectors .
Many exchanges between us , we have seen examples of shoulder straps that sometimes just don't go along with
the examples that are made "by the book " yet we know are correct .
Another question ; If it is not I R 53 ; then what else could it be ?
Steve McFarland
 

Lars13

Active member
Thanks Steve,

The German forum suggested Train-Kolonne or Reserve Sanitäts Kompagnie, both of 53.Res.Div.

The fact that the strap used to have a tab indicates to me that is was made before tabs were abolished in Sept. 1915, and as Train used to have "hellblau" too until Sept. 1915 when they changed to kaliblau (which is much closer to dark blue), I can't really see it being Train.

The colour dark blue was amongst others associated with the medical services before WW 1, but I haven't been able to find a match.
Of course a lack of materials forcing the use of an incorrect colour is possible too, but as I date the strap from early in the war I was hoping there would be a more definite determination :wink:

Regards, Lars
 

Tony without Kaiser

Departed
Staff member
I have a few shoulder straps and boards myself. 778 at last count.

The reason is being suggested as being Train-Kolonne or Reserve Sanitäts Kompagnie is that if there was a RIR 53 it would not have been given the honour of a unique piping. The only authorized colour variations for shoulder straps were as follows:

Infantry Regiments with shoulder strap piping other than white due to seniority and Regimental distinctions:

-Red: 2nd Foot Garde Regt zu Füß, 2nd Guard Grenadiers, 8th Grenadiers, 11 Battalion 89th Grenadiers, Infanterie Regiments 115 and 168.
-Yellow: 3rd Garde Regt zu Füß, 3rd Guard Grenadiers, Guard Füsiliers, 7th and 11th Grenadiers, Infanterie Regiment 118.
-Blue: 4th Garde Regt zu Füß, 4th Guard Grenadiers, Infanterie Regiments 117 and 145.
-Green: 114th Reqt.
 

Lars13

Active member
Thanks Tony,

As I date this shoulder strap as from before Sept. 1915 due to the original construction with a tab and the 5.5 cm width (but please correct me if I'm wrong), I expect the piping colour to reflect the Army Corps where the unit was raised, or the army branch it belonged to, as per the 1910 regulations.

L.I.R. 53 (and R.I.R. 53) were raised by VII. A.K. and at least L.I.R. 53 (initially) had hellblau piping. Below postcard dated 6.5.1915 of a soldier in L.I.R. 53, with clearly visible light-coloured piping.

Regards, Lars

LIR_53_EB_3K_Wehrm Braun_6.5.1915__Klein_Watermark.jpg
 

Tony without Kaiser

Departed
Staff member
Lars13 said:
Thanks Tony,

As I date this shoulder strap as from before Sept. 1915 due to the original construction with a tab and the 5.5 cm width (but please correct me if I'm wrong), I expect the piping colour to reflect the Army Corps where the unit was raised, or the army branch it belonged to, as per the 1910 regulations.

L.I.R. 53 (and R.I.R. 53) were raised by VII. A.K. and at least L.I.R. 53 (initially) had hellblau piping. Below postcard dated 6.5.1915 of a soldier in L.I.R. 53, with clearly visible light-coloured piping.

LIR_53_EB_3K_Wehrm Braun_6.5.1915__Klein_Watermark.jpg

Actually Lars, I was wrong. I missed the fact that it was an M07 strap. Personally I do not put much faith in colour variations being definitive. Have a look at the blue Dunkelblau straps in this thread. According to regulation they should all be the same colour of blue, but they are every possible shade of blue. http://www.kaisersbunker.com/straps/Jan2016/4Infanterie_small.jpg
 

Lars13

Active member
Hi Tony,

I see your point, quite some variance (and very nice collection =D> ). I've also seen that the hellblau of the infantry is typically a more intense shade of blue than the hellblau of e.g. Train. However I think that the piping on my shoulder strap doesn't look like a darker shade of hellblau, rather like a different colour, as per the side-by-side comparison with the dark blue backing of a peacetime shoulder strap.

I was hoping that with the concentrated shoulder strap knowledge level of the forum it would be possible to get a more definitive determination. There are so many options and changes during the war :-?

Regards, Lars
 

Lars13

Active member
An update:

I recently bought a "hellblau" shoulder strap of IR 159, and the "hellblau" was significantly darker than my other "hellblau" straps.

When I compare the piping on the field grey "53" shoulder strap with this darker IR 159 and a lighter "hellblau" IR 158 shoulder strap, the colour of the piping is lighter than the dark "hellblau", but darker than the light "hellblau", increasing the likelihood of it being RIR / LIR 53.

Now I'm happy I didn't sell it or trade it away :)

Regards, Lars

SK_53_Vergleich_I.jpg
 
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