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]

Flag of NATO.svg
rank
Insignia Titul 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
OF-10[2] Luftwaffe epaulette Generalfeldmarschall.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Generalfeldmarschall 3D.svg None.svg Generalfeldmarschall General of the Army Marshal of the Air Force
OF-9 Luftwaffe epaulette Generaloberst.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Generaloberst 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Generaloberst 3D.svg Generaloberst General Air Chief Marshal
OF-8 Luftwaffe epaulette General.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs General der Flieger 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman General der Flieger 3D.svg General of the branch
Lieutenant General Air Marshal
OF-7 Luftwaffe epaulette Generalleutnant.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Generalleutnant 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Generalleutnant 3D.svg Generalleutnant Major General Air Vice-Marshal
OF-6 Luftwaffe epaulette Generalmajor.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Generalmajor 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Generalmajor 3D.svg Generalmajor Brigadier General Air Commodore
Officer ranks
OF-5 Luftwaffe epaulette Oberst.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Oberst 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Oberst 3D.svg Oberst Colonel Group Captain
OF-4 Luftwaffe epaulette Oberstleutnant.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Oberstleutnant 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Oberstleutnant 3D.svg Oberstleutnant Lieutenant Colonel Wing Commander
OF-3 Luftwaffe epaulette Major.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Major 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Major 3D.svg Major Major Squadron Leader
OF-2 Luftwaffe epaulette Hauptmann.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Hauptmann 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Hauptmann 3D.svg Hauptmann Captain Flight Lieutenant
OF-1a Luftwaffe epaulette Oberleutnant.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Oberleutnant 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Oberleutnant 3D.svg Oberleutnant First Lieutenant Flying Officer
OF-1 Luftwaffe epaulette Leutnant.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Leutnant 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Leutnant 3D.svg Leutnant Second Lieutenant Pilot Officer
Non-Commissioned Officer ranks
OR-8[3] Luftwaffe epaulette Stabsfeldwebel.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Stabsfeldwebel 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Stabsfeldwebel 3D.svg Stabsfeldwebel Master Sergeant Warrant Officer
OR-7 None.svg 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
OR-6 Luftwaffe epaulette Feldwebel.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Feldwebel 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Feldwebel 3D.svg Feldwebel Staff Sergeant Sergeant
OR-5 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
OR-4 None.svg 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
OR-3 Luftwaffe epaulette Mannschaften.svg Luftwaffe collar tabs Stabsgefreiter 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Stabsgefreiter 3D.svg Stabsgefreiter from 1944 Private First Class Senior Aircraftman
Luftwaffe collar tabs Hauptgefreiter 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Hauptgefreiter 3D.svg Hauptgefreiter until 1944 Private First Class Senior Aircraftman
Luftwaffe collar tabs Obergefreiter 3D 2.svg Luftwaffe paraman Obergefreiter 3D.svg Obergefreiter Private First Class Leading Aircraftman
OR-2 Luftwaffe collar tabs Gefreiter 3D.svg Luftwaffe paraman Gefreiter 3D.svg Gefreiter Private First Class Aircraftman 1st Class
OR-1 Luftwaffe collar tabs Flieger 3D.svg Flieger Private Aircraftman 2nd Class

See also main articles[edit]

Luftwaffe war badges[edit]

Combined Pilots-Observation Badge Pilot's Badge Luftwaffe Paratrooper Badge
FFundBeob.JPG
Flugzeugführerabzeichen.jpg
Fallschirmschützenabzeichen der Luftwaffe.jpg
Anti-Aircraft Flak Battle Badge Tank Combat Badge of the Luftwaffe Ground Assault Badge of the Luftwaffe
Flak-Kampfabzeichen der Luftwaffe.jpg
Panzerkampfabzeichen der Luftwaffe in Schwarz.jpg
Luftwaffe Ground-Attack Badge.jpg
Observer Badge
Observer Badge.jpg

Luftwaffe flying clasps[edit]

Luftwaffe Flying Clasps
Frontflugspange.jpg

Luftwaffe Flying Clasps were awarded in Bronze, Silver, and Gold with upgrade possible to include diamonds. Pennants suspended from the clasp indicated the number of missions carried out in a given type of aircraft. Flying Clasps were issued for missions completed in the following Luftwaffe aircraft

  • Day Fighters
  • Night Fighters
  • Long-Range Night Fighters
  • Heavy Fighters
  • Air to Ground Support Fighters
  • Bombers
  • Reconnaissance
  • Transport and Glider

References[edit]

  1. ^ WAR DEPARTMENT TECHNICAL MANUAL TM-E 30-451, p. I-6/7
  2. ^ The abbreviation "OF" stands for de: "Offizier / en: officer / fr: officier / ru: офицер"
  3. ^ The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицероф"
  • 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.