Rank buttons on the collar


Active member
Dear members,

I am trying to understand the rules concerning the rank buttons on the collar for pre war tunics.

I must say I am confused I do not have a clear understanding of that topic....which ranks should have a disk ? is there exception for some specifics states or units ?

Please could someone help me to get a better view or could someone recommend me a book ?

I would like to understand it before purchasing my first tunic.

Many thanks

Kind regards

Tony without Kaiser

Staff member

Rank Buttons​

On Dunkelblau Waffenrock and other uniforms, the gilt or silver buttons (with a few exceptions) matched the color of the metal fittings on the Pickelhaube. So these rank buttons are found is silver or gilt, which can also be Tombak (copper) color. They are found with the state cypher on them, so Preußen, Württemberg, Bayern etc.

Private (or whatever they were called for the arm of service) - blank collar

Gefreiter - 24 mm collar buttons.

Unteroffizier - No collar buttons, but with silver or gold Tresse on the collar and cuffs.

Sergeant and above - 30 mm collar buttons plus silver or gold Tresse.

These buttons are found on Waffenrock and other patterns of uniforms from all arms of the Army. Cavalry, Infantry, Artillery etc.
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Active member
Thanks a lot Tony !

I must say I looked on your fantastic website ( that is always my first thought when it comes to Imperial German items) and I was not able to find this information ( it is probably my mistake) !

Another question if I may ask, the company number on the shoulder straps button is mandatory for all states, all arm of services for private and Gefreiter only ?

Kind regards


Well-known member
Meme, if you understand German, I can recommend the Fridag "Führer durch Heer und Flotte", from 1914 (Reprint).
In this book such details are explained very well.


Active member
Thanks a lot for Sandmann for the recommended book, unfortunatemy my German is quite basic...