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Kriegsberichter insignia question
Old 11-02-2009, 01:25 PM   #1
Ernst-H
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Default Kriegsberichter insignia question

Asked this question in the SS-section also but got no replies and the topic has allready moved to second page. Thought I'd try here also.

I know of the "SS-Kriegsberichter" cufftitle and have seen pictures here on the forum of a "Luftwaffe Kriegsberichter" cufftitle.

Other branches do seem to have had their own group of Kriegsberichter.

But did these men also have their own distinguisable cufftitle or did they wear a generic design ?

For example:
Kriegsmarine-Kriegsberichter ?
Heeres-Kriegsberichter ?
NSDAP-Kriegsberichter ?
OT-Kriegsberichter ?
Polizei-Kriegsberichter ?
RAD-Kriegsberichter ?
..etc

Just wondering

Thanks
Ernst
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:57 PM   #2
Alexander Zöller
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Ernst,

this is a subject that I'm very interested in myself - but do not know much about

On the matter of cufftitles worn by the SS-Kriegsberichter, see this link, especially post # 13.

As regards the branches of the Wehrmacht, apart from "Kriegsberichter der Luftwaffe" there existed a cufftitle "Kriegsberichter des Heeres". The Kriegsmarine does not appear to have introduced a corresponding cufftitle for their war correspondents.

The generic cufftitle "Propagandakompanie" was introduced on August 16, 1938 (OKH/AHA Nr. 2790/38 g.Kdos.). It was worn by members of the Propagandakompanien (WH/LW/KM) regardless of whether they happened to be war correspondents or not. Schlicht/Angolia speculate that this CT was phased out when the Wehrmacht's propaganda units were given the status of a service branch (Propagandatruppen).

As far as other formations go, there certainly existed Berichter of the OT, Polizei (Orpo), RAD, Reichsbahn, Transport-Einheiten, etc, but I'm not aware of any cufftitles being worn by these correspondents.

Best,

Alexander
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:49 AM   #3
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Alexander, it seems you have knowledge of this subject. Do you know about the types of collar litzen and shoulder boards for Kriegsberichters in the Heer? I have heard that they used a light-grey waffenfarbe, but did they have a specific style of collar litzen or shoulder boards?

I also wonder about any form of rank structure and duties. At first I only knew of Kriegsberichters, but have since heard of Bildberichters and Filmberichters. Do these jobs have any form of structure in a platoon?
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:23 PM   #4
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gdfuseddie,

the light-grey Waffenfarbe was introduced on 25 January 1943, when the propaganda units were turned into a full-fledged weapons branch (Propagandatruppen). I'm not aware of any specific style of litzen or boards being worn.

Regarding designations, 'Kriegsberichter' was the generic term for the German war correspondents. Based on their journalistic products, they were classed as follows:

Bildberichter: photographs
Filmberichter: moving film
Wortberichter: written articles
Rundfunkberichter: radio broadcasts
Kriegsmaler: paintings
Kriegszeichner: press drawings

A correspondent could combine functions, e.g. he could be both a Bildberichter and Filmberichter, meaning that he would take photographs as well as shoot moving-film footage. But typically an individual would be specialized in only one of these departments.

For the platoon structure as of 1939 see the attached photo. This is from von Wedel, Die Propagandatruppen der Deutschen Wehrmacht, Neckargemünd 1962 (= Die Wehrmacht im Kampf, Bd. 34), p 27.

The structure as it would appear on paper is a bit of a mute question as the Kriegsberichter platoons would rarely operate in that configuration. A common way to obtain material for the press, Wochenschau, etc, was to select, say, one photographer, one film cameraman and one journalist, perhaps along with a driver and auxiliary personnel, and dispatch them to cover a particular area or event. The composition of these small squads would be altered as required. This led to the platoon leader's function being more or less suspended.

Regarding ranks, especially early during the war many war correspondents would start with a lowly EM rank, which led to serious problems as their authority was called into question. WPr tried to solve this by giving them Sonderführer (Z) status, which at least in theory elevated them to the rank of Leutnant/Oberleutnant. This still proved insufficient, so they ended up sending a whole lot of correspondents on proper officer courses

Alexander
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:57 AM   #5
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Thanks for that Alexander, that is very helpful. Cheers
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:32 PM   #6
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I know this is an older thread, but some pertinent information gleaned from a former member of a Propagandazug, who served from the French campaign through the end:

The textbooks tell us that until the end of 1942 PK members wore signal yellow Waffenfarbe and a PK cuff title, then in early 1943 they switched to "Mausgrau" or "Lichtgrau" and dropped the cuffband. Interestingly, his recollection is that yellow was indeed used early in the war, bu that he NEVER wore a cufftitle nor saw any on fellow troops in his unit. He said MAYBE some officers wore them, but none of the EM or NCOs. He also recalled that later in the war some PK soldiers were still sporting their old yellow shoulderboards despite the changeover, though he is remembers that all officers made the change to Mausgrau rather quickly-- he recalls himself and his comrades wearing the yellow boards well into the later part of the war.

Here it is just conjecture, but based on his understanding of how his PK operated, he believes a journalist attached to a combat unit would have been much more likely to wear a "Kriegsberichter des Heeres" cufftitle than a "Propagandakompanie" one.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:50 AM   #7
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Thanks for that little bit of in-sight. It's good to find anything out about this subject as it is one which very little appears to be known.

Cheers
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:36 PM   #8
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What I find interesting is how often the reality of things are different from what it supposed to have been. I've done a bit of East German collecting, and even in a system that was highly regimented and saw nothing but peace and plentiful (in some cases comically plentiful) supply, the reality of what soldiers actually wore is often considerably different from what the Dienstvorschriften say and uniform transition periods could last years. With the supply and logistical problems of WWII, I imagine things were often VERY non-standard, especially in rather marginal and non-essential units such as the Propagandakompanien. I'm sure if a PK re-enactor neglected to wear a cufftitle for a 1941 impression, or wore yellow piping to a late-1943 event, he'd be chastised for it, but there were no authenticity officers in WWII, just lots and lots of authenticity.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:36 AM   #9
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Just found this thread through a search, and am happy I did so as I am trying to do research in putting together this type of impression for reenactments/living history presentations. If any new information comes to light regarding insignia, organization, equipment, etc. I'd sure appreciate knowing about it.

Warren
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