enter image description hereI assume the boy on the right is in a Hitler youth uniform but I don't know the uniform of the man in front, maybe a Prussian uniform? They were from the eastern part of Germany (now Poland) - Silesia.

  • 1
    To me the double-breasted jacket and tight collar suggest navy of some sort but it doesn't seem to mesh with any major uniform that I am familiar with.
    – EvanM
    Jun 4, 2021 at 16:59
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    @jwenting The Hitler Jugend was officially formed in July 1926, but existed as a Youth group before that. Their uniforms were later used (color, style) for the SA, which originally had no uniforms. Where the original brown shirts came from - History Stack Exchange Jun 4, 2021 at 19:08
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    If one is HJ (on the extremem right—in this picture ;), who/what is the 2nd person from left? Looks like pathfinder, or WV? That would have been a little split in orientation with this assembly? Jun 5, 2021 at 0:28
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    Please try giving a full oral description both for the search engines (of people like you hoping for IDs) and for the disabled who might be able to answer. Jun 5, 2021 at 9:12
  • 3
    @SamuelRussell, oral wouldn't necessarily be very accessible either, I think ;) I agree that it should be verbal.
    – Carsten S
    Jun 7, 2021 at 10:11

3 Answers 3


This is a Railway (Reichsbahn) uniform from the period 1924 until June 1935.

The rank is probably Rangieraufseher (Shunting supervisor).

Ranks, 1924-1935-06 Railway Cap, 1924-1935-06


Wolfskopf (1930-1960)

May be the symbol seen on the 2nd person from the left.
  • Thank you. It makes sense since there was a major railway from Berlin to Silesia where he was from. Jun 4, 2021 at 20:13
  • Can you source the table, with exact date? "Rotten-"-X seems quite suspicious as to be from the correct timeframe? Haven't read the DKO or Schöttge, but the rank seems off (not an "R")? Jun 4, 2021 at 20:41
  • @LаngLаngС The image is from page 2 of the link. Further information about this timeframe seems to be very scarce. Dienstränge der Deutschen Reichsbahn - von 1924 bis 1935 – Wikipedia. Just added Rangabzeichen nach der Dienstkleiderordnung 1924 link that list the ranks. The site also contains lists up to 1974. The term Rotten seems to have been used also in the 19th century. Jun 4, 2021 at 21:37
  • That WP page for this timeframe is quite the joke indeed. Interestingly, you're correct about general usage for "Rotten-" (going waaayy back) and I also found it in material pertaining to RB ranks. That's cleared. However, I still see a combo in picture that isn't on that table reproduced, and the table on the first page just gives 'level 4', but not the 'specialist' badge? To me, he was in construction? I guess that a more combos than on the list? Is that exhaustive? Jun 4, 2021 at 22:34

If this is the relevant person:

enter image description here
(click to enlarge pictures)

then the actual salient points are:

What is there visible in gorget patches?

Apparently one square pip and a circular symbol.

The most comprehensive book on this displays them in hi-res as such:

enter image description here
— Hartmut Schöttge: "Eisenbahner Uniform Reichsbahn 1924 bis 1934", Delitzsch: Schöttge, 2007.

Thus a table to compare these insignia would be:

enter image description here

and in combination with

enter image description here

Which to my eyes on this grainy picture gives a level 4 employee in the field of construction:

  1. “Double-winged wheel” (Carriage service). Conductor (Zugschaffner – 15), senior conductor (Oberzugschaffner – 15), trainmaster (Zugführer – 10), senior trainmaster (Oberzugführer – 9а), luggage guard (Fahrladeschaffner – 15), senior luggage guard (Fahrladeoberschaffner – 15), motor coach conductor (Triebwagenschaffner – 15), motor coach senior conductor (Triebwagenoberschaffner – 15).

  2. “Winged wheel with three lightning bolts” (Motor coach service). Motor coach supervisor (Triebwagenführer – 13), motor coach senior supervisor (Obertriebwagenführer – 13).

  3. “Track gage with support” (Track maintenance service). Headman (Rottenführer – 15), senior headman (Oberrottenführer – 15), section gang foreman (Rottenmeister – 12), section gang senior foreman (Oberrottenmeister – 9a).

  4. “Wheel with superimposed letter R” (Shunting service). Shunting supervisor (Rangieraufseher – 15), shunting controller (Rangiermeister – 12), senior shunting controller (Oberrangiermeister – 9а).

  5. “Two crossed lightning bolts” (Power supply service). Railway communication network warden (Leitungsaufseher – 15), railway communication network senior warden (Leitungsoberaufseher – 15), railway communication network controller (Leitungsmeister – 12), railway communication network senior controller (Oberleitungsmeister – 9а), railway signalling operator (Signalwerkführer – 11), signal tower station senior operator (Oberwerkführer für Stellwerke – 9а), railway signalling foreman (Signalwerkmeister – 9), railway telegraphist (Telegrafenwerkführer – 11), railway telegraph operator (Telegrafenwerkmeister – 9), railway maintenance inspector of Telegraph service (technischer Reichsbahninspektor im Telegrafenwerkstättendienst – 7), railway maintenance senior inspector of Telegraph service (technischer Reichsbahnoberinspektor im Telegrafenwerkstättendienst – 6), railway administrator of Telegraph service (Reichsbahnamtmann im Telegrafenwerkstättendienst – 5).

  6. “Coach” (Passenger car service). Coach warden (Wagenaufseher – 14), coach mechanical engineer (Wagenmeister – 11), coach senior mechanical engineer (Oberwagenmeister – 9а), coach foreman (Wagenwerkmeister – 9).

  7. “Steam locomotive” (Locomotive operational service). Steam locomotive fireman (Lokomotivheizer – 13), Senior steam locomotive fireman (Oberlokomotivheizer – 13), reserve locomotive driver (Reservelokomotivführer – 11), locomotive driver (Lokomotivführer – 9), senior locomotive driver (Oberlokomotivführer – 7а).

  8. “Gear with three lightning bolts” (Electrotechnical service). Senior machinist (Obermaschinist – 14а), mechanical engineer (Werkführer – 11), depot mechanical engineer (Betriebswerkführer – 11), foreman (Werkmeister – 9), depot foreman (Betriebswerkmeister – 9), depot senior foreman (Betriebsoberwerkmeister – 7а), railway power-stations and power supply maintenance inspector (technischer Reichsbahninspektor für Kraftwerke (Elektrizitätswerke) und Unterhaltung elektrischer Leitungsnetze – 7), railway power-stations and power supply maintenance senior inspector (technischer Reichsbahnoberinspektor für Kraftwerke (Elektrizitätswerke) und Unterhaltung elektrischer Leitungsnetze – 6), railway power-stations and power supply maintenance administrator (Reichsbahnamtmann für Kraftwerke (Elektrizitätswerke) und Unterhaltung elektrischer Leitungsnetze – 5).

  9. “Wheel with compass” (Construction service). Railway maintenance inspector of Construction service (technischer Reichsbahninspektor im bautechnischen Außendienst – 7), railway maintenance senior inspector of Construction service (technischer Reichsbahnoberinspektor im bautechnischen Außendienst – 6), railway administrator of Construction service (Reichsbahnamtmann im bautechnischen Außendienst – 5).

  10. “Motor car” (Cargo and passenger traffic service). High-speed omnibus driver (Fahrer der Schnellreisewagen), public cargo truck driver (Fahrer des Lastkraftwagen für den öffentlichen Güterverkehr), public cargo truck driver assistant (Begleiter des Lastkraftwagen für den öffentlichen Güterverkehr). Correspondence of positions to a schedule of charges of German Imperial Railways for those employees was flexible.
    Specialist patches of German Imperial Railways (1935-1941) (slightly anachronistic)

The above garphical table is slightly a mismatch for the exact date, being a tiny bit too late. But a manufacturer for uniforms listed this kind of isignia for the desired timeframe also as enter image description here

— Spartenabzeichen Eisenbahn/Reichsbahn, 1924 (Uniform, Rangabzeichen)

So we seem to have to differentiate mainly between two insignia:

enter image description here
enter image description here

To me, it looks less like an "R" in dense pixels, but more like compass on a lighter ground.

enter image description here

Combing L4 with section 9.

Making it a bahnmeister.


It is not an Imperial, Weimar, or Third Reich naval uniform.

It does, however, appear to be a Weimar period reichsbahn (railroad) police uniform . . .

enter image description here

Some discussion in a collectors' forum here https://www.warrelics.eu/forum/weimar-soft-headgear/reichsbahn-headgear-368798/ several shots of this type uniform on the second page of the discussion thread.

  • 1
    Great find. My immediate thought, looking at the uniform, was bus driver a la Ralph Kramden; but Shunting Supervisor is pretty close to that. Jun 4, 2021 at 21:30

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