Military Ranks of the Luftwaffe (1935–45)

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The Ranks of the Luftwaffe were similar to other branches of the Wehrmacht.

Rank Insignia[edit]

Luftwaffe insignia Luftwaffe rank Approximate US[1]/UK equivalent
during World War II
Shoulder Collar Sleeve,
Flight suit
General officer ranks
Luftwaffe epaulette Reichsmarschall.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Reichsmarschall 3D.svg Reichsmarschall No Equivalent
Luftwaffe epaulette Generalfeldmarschall.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Generalfeldmarschall 3D.svg Generalfeldmarschall General of the Army Marshal of the Air Force
Luftwaffe epaulette Generaloberst.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Generaloberst 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Generaloberst 3D.svg Generaloberst General Air Chief Marshal
Luftwaffe epaulette General.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs General der Flieger 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman General der Flieger 3D.svg General der Flieger (General Aviation),
General der Fallschirmtruppe (Airborne),
General der Luftnachrichtentruppe (Signals),
General der Flakartillerie (Air Defense Artillery),
General der Luftwaffe (Infantry and Armored units, Air Force Staff and educational institutions)
Lieutenant General Air Marshal
Luftwaffe epaulette Generalleutnant.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Generalleutnant 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Generalleutnant 3D.svg Generalleutnant Major General Air Vice-Marshal
Luftwaffe epaulette Generalmajor.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Generalmajor 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Generalmajor 3D.svg Generalmajor Brigadier General Air Commodore
Officer ranks
Luftwaffe epaulette Oberst.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Oberst 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Oberst 3D.svg Oberst Colonel Group Captain
Luftwaffe epaulette Oberstleutnant.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Oberstleutnant 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Oberstleutnant 3D.svg Oberstleutnant Lieutenant Colonel Wing Commander
Luftwaffe epaulette Major.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Major 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Major 3D.svg Major Major Squadron Leader
Luftwaffe epaulette Hauptmann.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Hauptmann 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Hauptmann 3D.svg Hauptmann Captain Flight Lieutenant
Luftwaffe epaulette Oberleutnant.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Oberleutnant 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Oberleutnant 3D.svg Oberleutnant First Lieutenant Flying Officer
Luftwaffe epaulette Leutnant.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Leutnant 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Leutnant 3D.svg Leutnant Second Lieutenant Pilot Officer
Non-Commissioned Officer ranks
Luftwaffe epaulette Stabsfeldwebel.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Stabsfeldwebel 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Stabsfeldwebel 3D.svg Stabsfeldwebel Master Sergeant Warrant Officer
Luftwaffe collar tabs Oberfeldwebel 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Oberfeldwebel 3D.svg Oberfähnrich Flight cadet Acting pilot officer
Luftwaffe epaulette Oberfeldwebel.svg Oberfeldwebel Technical Sergeant Flight Sergeant
Luftwaffe epaulette Feldwebel.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Feldwebel 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Feldwebel 3D.svg Feldwebel Staff Sergeant Sergeant
Luftwaffe epaulette Faehnrich.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Unterfeldwebel 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Unterfeldwebel 3D.svg Fähnrich Flight Cadet Officer Cadet
Luftwaffe epaulette Unterfeldwebel.svg Unterfeldwebel Sergeant Corporal
Luftwaffe collar tabs Unteroffizier 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Unteroffizier 3D.svg Fahnenjunker Flight Cadet Officer Cadet
Luftwaffe epaulette Unteroffizier.svg Unteroffizier Corporal Corporal
Enlisted ranks
Luftwaffe epaulette Mannschaften.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Stabsgefreiter 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Stabsgefreiter 3D.svg Stabsgefreiter from 1944 Private First Class Senior Aircraftman
Luftwaffe epaulette Mannschaften.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Hauptgefreiter 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Hauptgefreiter 3D.svg Hauptgefreiter until 1944 Private First Class Senior Aircraftman
Luftwaffe epaulette Mannschaften.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Obergefreiter 3D 2.svg Luftwaffe paraman Obergefreiter 3D.svg Obergefreiter Private First Class Leading Aircraftman
Luftwaffe epaulette Mannschaften.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Gefreiter 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Gefreiter 3D.svg Gefreiter Private First Class Aircraftman 1st Class
Luftwaffe epaulette Mannschaften.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Flieger 3D.svg Flieger Private Aircraftman 2nd Class

Service colors (Waffenfarbe)[edit]

The branch of the Luftwaffe in which personnel served was indicated by the color of the collar tabs (German: Kragenspiegel).

Color Branch
White General Officers and Marshals of the Air Force
Gold Yellow Aircrews (Fliegertruppe)
Airborne Parachute Troops (Fallschirmtruppe)
Ground personnel
Orange Recalled officers
Crimson General Staff of the Air Force
Brown Signals and Communications Command
Purple Legal
Red Anti-aircraft Defense troops (Flak Division)
Ordnance
Pink Air Force Engineers
Black Pioneer
Construction Units
Blue Air Force Medical Corps
Light Green Radar Units
Light Blue Transportation
Dark green Attached Wehrmacht troops under Luftwaffe command

References[edit]

  1. ^ WAR DEPARTMENT TECHNICAL MANUAL TM-E 30-451, p. I-6/7
  • Mitcham, Samuel W. (2008). The Rise of the Wehrmacht: The German Armed Forces and World War II, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-275-99659-8. 
  • Ruffner, Kevin Conley (1990). Luftwaffe Field Divisions 1941-45. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-100-7.