Uniforms and insignia of the Luftwaffe
The Luftwaffe was the air force of Nazi Germany prior to and during World War II. Luftwaffe styles of uniform and rank insignia had many unique features.
 1935-1945 Luftwaffe Uniform
By Hitler's decision on February 26, 1935, the Luftwaffe was to be officially the third branch of the Wehrmacht as of March 1, 1935. The new Luftwaffe was faced with the problem of uniforms, as they wanted a uniform distinct from those of the other two branches of the Wehrmacht (Heer and Kriegsmarine) and also wanted a clear differentiation in dress of military and civilian flyers.
The basic uniform consisted of a blue-grey single-breasted, open-collared jacket with four pockets and flaps, white shirt and black necktie, blue-grey trousers, black leather boots and a blue-grey peaked cap, side cap or Model 1935 Stahlhelm. Ranks were indicated by collar patches, along with Army-style shoulder boards.
While on field service the jacket would often be worn 'collared up', Army-style, without shirt and tie. The flying suit typically consisted of a beige jumpsuit, leather flying helmet and thick fur-lined boots. Black leather jackets were also worn by fighter pilots. A popular item of clothing was the fliegerbluse, a blue-grey, single-breasted jacket without external buttons, intended to be worn in the confined space of an aircraft.
As Reichsmarschall, Hermann Göring had specialized uniforms and insignia (see photo on right). The collar patches featured crossed batons; the shoulder boards was similar to that of a Field Marshal, but with a Reichsadler clutching the batons.
The Luftwaffe introduced the Fallschirmjäger (Airborne and Glider borne troops) helmet in 1936. With its lighter weight and lack of helmet crimping, the Fallschirmjäger helmet was similar to the Model 1935 Stahlhelm but without a helmet edge. There was also more filling in the internal of the helmet to protect the head during airborne operations.
Though the Luftwaffe had variety of field divisions besides Flak units, it was the Hermann Göring Panzer Regiment - later Division - that was most unique as the premier tank unit of the Luftwaffe. In late 1938 with the creation of the Panzer-Späh-Zug (armored car unit), the personnel of this company of the General Göring Regiment have taken the design of the Army styled black panzer uniform, but with Luftwaffe insignia, shoulder boards and collar patches.
A number of various uniforms evolved in cut and design which were designated to cover any occasion Luftwaffe personnel would encounter. Among these were:
- Flying suit for flying personnel
- Field Dress
- Service Dress
- Guard Uniform
- Undress Uniform for officers and NCOs which lead (on duty)
- Reporting Uniform
- Parade Dress
- Walking-Out Dress
- Informal Full Dress (day) for officers
- Formal Full Dress (day) for officers
- Informal Full Dress (evening) for officers
- Formal Full Dress (evening) for officers (m)Informal Full Dress for NCOs and men
- Formal Full Dress for NCOs and men
- Summer Uniform for officers
- Sports kit
 The Luftwaffe eagle
The Luftwaffe eagle insignia was different from the rest of the Wehrmacht: its wings curved upward and the swastika did not have a circle around it.
 Rank insignia
 See also
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- Roger James Bender: "Air Organizations of the Third Reich-The Luftwaffe", 1972. R. James Bender Publishing