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  #1  
Old 25th January 2005, 05:16
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Luftwaffe Rank Question[s]

  1. Fähnrich / Fahnenjunker - I understand these are officer candidate ranks. Are these 2 spearate ranks?
  2. Would the progression of promotion be as follows:
    Fähnrich / Fahnenjunker - Oberfähnrich - Leutnant?
  3. Stabsfeldwebel - Would the Stabsfeldwebel be the senior NCO or similiar to a 'Warrent Officer'? How does this rank differ from a Hauptfeldwebel?

TIA
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Old 25th January 2005, 14:39
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ad 1: Yes, but
Fahnenjunker equals an "Unteroffizier". Actually he is the one responsibel for the flag, and the actual bearer.
Fähnrich equals a "Feldwebel" or "Wachtmeister"
Oberfähnrich equals an "Oberfeldwebel" or a "Stabsfeldwebel".

ad 2:
He could start even lower:
Soldat/ Unteroffiziersanwarter- Fahnenjunker- Fähnrich- Oberfähnrich- Leutnant.
And to make it a little more difficult, you don't have to take all steps. It depends on a lot of circumstances.

ad 3:
I don't know if it is correct to directely compare the different rank systems by name. I was told this shouldn't be done because the different ranking systems are really different to each other.

Stabsfeldwebel: Simple: It's one rank higher then the Hauptfeldwebel. But this simplification is more then crude. The different ranks are coupled to the assignment (Tätigkeit und/ oder Funktion in German), or specialisation, not so much on the carreer or promotion.
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Old 25th January 2005, 15:39
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Thanks Christian....
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Old 30th January 2005, 16:35
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Ian Jewison Ian Jewison is offline
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Just to add a little more to the rank of Stabsfeldwebel:

To achieve this rank an Oberfeldwebel must have reached 12 years service, after that period of time he was promoted to Stabsfw.

This rank is higher than Hauptfeldwebel as this was an appointed "Regimental Sergeant Major", however anyone with the rank of Unteroffizier and above could fill this position.....not based on time served! Hptfw. or "der Spieß" was the one to fear!!!

Similiar can be said about Stabsgefreiter, an Obergefreiter who has reached 6 years service is then promoted Stabsgefr.

Also Fahnenjunker does not mean Unteroffizier, it is an appointment that the Flieger/Soldat is an officer candidate and as such can have the rank Fahnenjunker-Gefreiter.

Normal sequence of officer candidate ranks would be:

Flieger - Wehrsoldgruppe 16
Fahnenjunker-Gefreiter - Wehrsoldgruppe 15
Fahnenjunker-Unteroffizier - Wehrsoldgruppe 14
Fähnrich - Wehrsoldgruppe 13
Oberfähnrich - Wehrsoldgruppe 12
Leutnant - Wehrsoldgruppe 10


Oberfeldwebel and Stabsfeldwebel were in Wehrsoldgruppe 11

/Ian
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Old 30th January 2005, 23:36
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Hi Ian et al,

If one joined the Luftwaffe as a volunteer (Freiwilliger) in 1936 and began the war as a Leutnant der Reserve, how would your career path have developed in the three years running up to war? I.e. how would the ranks you've listed above fit into that time slot?

I don't even know how long you'd serve as a Kanonier/Flieger - is it 18 months? Two years? And then do you go back to barracks every year for further schooling and promotion?

And at what point do you switch from being an active soldier to a reservist?

:?: :!:

All the best,
Karl
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Old 23rd February 2005, 13:40
Rheinland2002 Rheinland2002 is offline
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Hauptfeldwebel in the old German Forces was never an rank!!! The german word for this position is "Dienststellung", that mean, that mean, that also an ordenairy Unteroffizier can hold this position.
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Old 23rd February 2005, 13:54
Rheinland2002 Rheinland2002 is offline
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1936 served as an volunteer, the major question is for long you serve?
I think, the man has the Abitur and he will become an Officer and sign for 4 Jahre. After six months of basic training as an Flieger he will be promoted to an GefreiterOA (Offiziersbewerber) Her goes to the Luftkriegsschule mybe in Berlin-Gatow, became an Fahnenjunker after another six months. Then, when his Instructors and Teachers mean, its time, he became Fähnrich-Oberfähnrich and at least Leutnant. After his servicetime for 4 Jahre he leave the Luftwaffe and became a member of the Offiziersreserve der Luftwaffe. This officers shown a small blue band inside the rankcollarpatch together with the yellow, red, or what ever branchcollar.
During the war the Luftwaffe use the "Kriegsreserveoffiziersbewerber" systems. It's different in many details.
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Old 23rd February 2005, 14:03
Jens Jens is offline
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IIRC

"Hauptfeldwebel" means in english "main sergeant" or "Spieß". This should be an experienced sergeant i.e. "Oberfeldwebel" and was often called Mother of Company. So this was an temporary rank in a special position (most important sergeant of company). He was responsible for bringing food and organisation and so on. A normal "Unteroffizier" as "Spieß" was only a wartime solution due shortage of Sergeants.
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