Ranks of the Luftwaffe 1935–46 / Reihen der Luftwaffe 1935-46

This page features the ranks of the Luftwaffe which were similar to other branches of the Wehrmacht.

General Officers

Rank Shoulder Collar Sleeve - Only if Outer Jacket is Used without Shoulder/Collar Insignia
ReichsmarschallNone
Generalfeldmarschall
Generaloberst
General of the Branch
Generalleutnant
Generalmajor

Officers

Rank ShoulderCollarSleeve
Oberst
Oberstleutnant
Major
Hauptmann
Oberleutnant
Leutnant

Non-Commissioned Officers

RankShoulderCollarSleeve
Stabsfeldwebel
Oberfeldwebel
Feldwebel
Unterfeldwebel
Unteroffizier

Enlisted

Rank ShoulderCollarSleeve
Stabsgefreiter from 1944
Hauptgefreiter until 1944
Obergefreiter
Gefreiter
FliegerNone

Information on Individual Ranks of the Luftwaffe

Reichsmarschall

Reichsmarschall, Marshal of the Reich (translation: Empire or Realm), was the highest rank in the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany during World War II.

History

The rank of Reichserzmarschall was originally created before the 12th century, during the time of the Holy Roman Empire. During the era of the German Empire and World War I, no one in the German Army held the rank.

During World War II, Hermann Göring, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, was the only man elevated to Reichsmarschall. He was promoted by Adolf Hitler, who first declared himself 1st Soldier of German Empire and Supreme Commander, during the 1940 Field Marshal Ceremony on 19 July, primarily to make Göring senior to the other Wehrmacht commanders made Generalfeldmarschall that day, and confirm his position as Hitler’s designated successor.

Nevertheless, on 23 April 1945, when Göring suggested to Hitler that he assume leadership of the crumbling Third Reich, Hitler relieved Göring of his duties and named a new successor, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz. Dönitz’s appointment was made on or before the day of Hitler’s suicide (30 April 1945), but notification by Martin Bormann and Joseph Goebbels was delayed until 1 May 1945.

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