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49 votes

Can anyone identify the military branch and rank of the man in the front row? This is from Germany @1932

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 Source: ...
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  • 6,800
46 votes

Uniform identification: c20th male, General, mid/light green double breasted, red facing, red neck tags, blue/green shoulder boards

It appears to be a painting of Pavlo Shandruk (Ukrainian: Павло Шандрук, Polish: Pawło Szandruk). As Pieter noted it is a mid 20th century fascist German uniform in style. As Luiz noted the cockade ...
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39 votes
Accepted

What does the skull and crossbones on the Nazi uniform represent?

The skull and crossbones or "death's head" is not a purely German - still less a specifically Nazi - symbol, but has been, and still is, used by many military units, including the British, ...
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  • 7,691
34 votes
Accepted

Identify the circa 1920 uniform in this photo

Found it. This is an RFC or Royal Flying Corp cap badge. I thought the picture was showing BBS but it's not. The angle, the quality of the picture and the loop for securing it to the bonnet was ...
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  • 2,315
32 votes

Identifying this uniform, possibly German or Polish

Bunzlau is now in Poland and called Bolesławiec. Back then it was in Silesia, thus Prussia and therefore in Germany. The photographer is given as "Otto Scholz", a German, not a Polish name, ...
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  • 73.7k
32 votes

Can anyone identify the military branch and rank of the man in the front row? This is from Germany @1932

If this is the relevant person: (click to enlarge pictures) then the actual salient points are: cap: 'flying/winged wheels', double cockade -> Reichsbahn employee shoulderboards to be expected ...
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  • 73.7k
27 votes
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Did the Roman legions wear this type of boots?

These boots are in the calceus style. As such they are quite spot on and accurate for a Roman soldier in colder climates. But not unlike the caligae we stereotypically associate with a legionaire's ...
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  • 73.7k
26 votes

What does the skull and crossbones on the Nazi uniform represent?

The deaths head (Totenkopf) is a symbol that had been in use by many German and Prussian military units in history, going back hundreds of years. It was mainly to signify their high levels of ...
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  • 11.8k
25 votes
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Can anyone identify the regiment and rank from this WWI photograph?

I agree with Kobunite, but by a different route. I can't make out the cap badge well enough to identify it positively, but the collar badges are either Royal Artillery or Royal Engineers, which are ...
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  • 28.1k
24 votes
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Was there any practical use for German spiked helmets (Pickelhaube)?

Helmet spikes and flanges were originally intended to deflect saber blows. Those on the Pickelhaube are somewhat stylized, but they still served the original purpose. Source: German Wikipedia. I ...
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  • 16k
23 votes

Are these Red Army uniforms authentic?

Yes, these are authentic cadette uniforms. But note that 1 is "standard", while 2 and 3 are "parade" variants. No 1. is a kind of standard infantry uniform which had a little changes from WW1 to WW2. ...
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  • 4,242
22 votes

What uniform are these gentlemen wearing?

The distinctive collar 'snake' pattern as well as the eagle worn by the guy sitting in the centre suggest that this is a Polish uniform: left guy has it already A wire wężyk braid, also used for ...
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  • 73.7k
22 votes

What's the date of this army uniform?

The writing on the backside reads in my eyes as: Sir Walter Olivey KCB, 51 Blessingdon Road Note that I read a 'd' in "Blessingdon", not a 't' as in Blessington below: This gives us a ...
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  • 73.7k
19 votes

What type of military uniform is this?

This is a French soldier from the 13th Batallion Chasseurs Alpins. They are light infantry mountain troops.
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  • 1,304
18 votes

Can anyone identify the military branch and rank of the man in the front row? This is from Germany @1932

It is not an Imperial, Weimar, or Third Reich naval uniform. It does, however, appear to be a Weimar period reichsbahn (railroad) police uniform . . . Some discussion in a collectors' forum here ...
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  • 3,972
17 votes

What possible uniform with decoration is my ancestor from New South Wales in the early 1900's wearing?

I agree with the comments, it doesn't look military in nature. Looking at various organization, I finally found an item listed on ebay which seems to match both the wide emblem and the tasseled 8-...
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  • 33.8k
17 votes

Can anyone identify my great grandfather's military uniform?

Seems as if the Copricapo (Italian: 'hat') head gear gives it away: black capercaillie feathers flowing from their wide-brimmed black hats. These feathers are also worn on Bersaglieri combat helmets. ...
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  • 73.7k
17 votes

What post-photographic 19th US century dark skirted stripe embroidered jacket, hard brim and top forage cap, light trousers, sword uniform is this?

The uniform here is a musicians uniform, civil war era. A picture at the Library of Congress shows an individual wearing a similar uniform. The image has the label (emphasis mine) [Private ...
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  • 33.8k
15 votes
Accepted

What uniform does PewDiePie wear in this picture?

I'm fairly sure it's an imitation uniform of the character Captain Mainwaring from an old British comedy series named Dad's Army. It originally ran from the late 60s till the late 70s and was very ...
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  • 174
15 votes

What uniform is in this picture?

This is a Private of the 13th Regiment of Foot (1st Somersetshire) after 1881. He is a qualified marksman with two Good Conduct stripes and has been in the service for at least six years. The logo on ...
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  • 52.6k
14 votes
Accepted

How were shields fastened to soldiers' backs?

The long strap you are referring to is called a "Guige" strap, and the original intention was likely not to allow the shield to be transported on one's back (although it would have been an added bonus)...
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  • 5,902
13 votes

Uniform identification: c20th male, General, mid/light green double breasted, red facing, red neck tags, blue/green shoulder boards

Although there are some discrepancies, this appears to be a General der Infanterie of the Panzer Grenadiers, wearing a general officer's version of the M36 wool greatcoat over his service dress (...
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13 votes

What uniform is the man in this mid to late 19th century photo wearing?

I think I've got it: a gunner (private) of the Royal Artillery, from the Western Division, in the mid-1880s. As @justCal identified, it's likely to be a Royal Artillery uniform of the 1880s pattern, ...
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  • 6,811
12 votes
Accepted

Why were US "Cavalry" belt buckle backs filled with lead?

Growing up I heard it was so if need be you could swing them as a weapon at the end of the belt. The idea that this was done deliberately, by the manufacturer, so the buckle could be used as an ...
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  • 52.6k
12 votes

Can anyone identify the regiment and rank from this WWI photograph?

Starting with the regiment - looking at the cap badge (see below), I believe that he was in the Corps of Royal Engineers. The uniform appears to be that of a commissioned officer, however the exact ...
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  • 4,770
12 votes

What uniform is this (German/WW1?) and could a 15–16 year old be wearing it?

It is a German uniform of that era. The biggest hints are the cut of it, as visible, the classicist font used for the number on the shoulder boards, and most important: the two cockades on the hat. ...
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  • 73.7k
11 votes
Accepted

What is that gold plaque Scottish soldiers wore around their necks?

It is called a gorget. In certain military traditions it served as a mark of leadership. I cannot cite my source, but I recall reading a speculation that it may have evolved from the full cuirass that ...
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11 votes

Is this a US Civil War uniform?

Looks like your soldier may be a member of the 56th Regiment New York Volunteers, also known as the 10th Legion (hence the patch). You can see a couple of soldiers with similar uniforms at a site ...
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  • 33.8k
11 votes

Can anyone help to identify and date this uniform or the medals?

It looks, with the tapering frogging connecting at the single, center row of buttons, you may have a Royal Horse Artillery uniform. Some better images can be seem on a forum here. Another forum has ...
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  • 33.8k
10 votes
Accepted

How did soldiers in WWI who wore jackboots keep the boots from being sucked off in the mud?

My father fought on the German side on the Western Front in the First World War, as a very young man. I remember him telling me that the great advantage of high boots without laces was exactly that ...
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