Imperial German Navy
The Imperial German Navy was the navy created at the time of the formation of the German Empire. It existed between 1871 and 1919, growing out of the small Prussian Navy, which had the mission of coastal defence. Kaiser Wilhelm II expanded the navy, enlarged its mission; the key leader was Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, who expanded the size and quality of the navy, while adopting the sea power theories of American strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan. The result was a naval arms race with Britain as the German navy grew to become one of the greatest maritime forces in the world, second only to the Royal Navy; the German surface navy proved ineffective during World War I. However, the submarine fleet was expanded and posed a major threat to the British supply system; the Imperial Navy's main ships were turned over to the Allies, but were sunk at Scapa Flow in 1919 by German crews. All ships of the Imperial Navy were designated SMS, for Seiner Majestät Schiff; the Imperial Navy achieved some important operational feats.
At the Battle of Coronel, it inflicted the first major defeat on the Royal Navy in over one hundred years, although the German squadron of ships was subsequently defeated at the Battle of the Falkland Islands, only one ship escaping destruction. The Navy emerged from the fleet action of the Battle of Jutland having destroyed more ships than it lost, although the strategic value of both of these encounters was minimal; the Imperial Navy was the first to operate submarines on a large scale in wartime, with 375 submarines commissioned by the end of the First World War, it operated zeppelins. Although it was never able to match the number of ships of the Royal Navy, it had technological advantages, such as better shells and propellant for much of the Great War, meaning that it never lost a ship to a catastrophic magazine explosion from an above-water attack, although the elderly pre-dreadnought SMS Pommern sank at Jutland after a magazine explosion caused by an underwater attack; the unification of Germany under Prussian leadership was the defining point for the creation of the Imperial Navy in 1871.
The newly created emperor, Wilhelm I, as King of Prussia, had been head of state of the strongest state forming part of the new empire. The navy remained the same as that operated by the empire's predecessor organisation in the unification of Germany, the North German Federation, which itself in 1867 had inherited the navy of the Kingdom of Prussia. Article 53 of the new Empire's constitution recognised the existence of the Navy as an independent organisation, but until 1888 it was commanded by army officers and adopted the same regulations as the Prussian army. Supreme command was vested in the emperor, but its first appointed chief was General der Infanterie Albrecht von Stosch. Kiel on the Baltic Sea and Wilhelmshaven on the North Sea served as the Navy's principal naval bases; the former Navy Ministry became the Imperial Admiralty on 1 February 1872, while Stosch became formally an admiral in 1875. The main task of the new Imperial Navy was coastal protection, with France and Russia seen as Germany's most future enemies.
The Imperial Navy's tasks were to prevent any invasion force from landing and to protect coastal towns from possible bombardment. In March 1872 a German Imperial Naval Academy was created at Kiel for training officers, followed in May by the creation of a'Machine Engineer Corps', in February 1873 a'Medical Corps'. In July 1879 a separate'Torpedo Engineer Corps' was created dealing with mines. In May 1872 a ten-year building programme was instituted to modernise the fleet; this called for eight armoured frigates, six armoured corvettes, twenty light corvettes, seven monitors, two floating batteries, six avisos, eighteen gunboats and twenty-eight torpedo boats, at an estimated cost of 220 million gold marks. The building plan had to be approved by the Reichstag, which controlled the allocation of funds, although one-quarter of the money came from French war reparations. In 1883 Stosch was replaced by Count Leo von Caprivi. At this point the navy had seven armoured frigates and four armoured corvettes, 400 officers and 5,000 ratings.
The objectives of coastal defence remained unchanged, but there was a new emphasis on development of the torpedo, which offered the possibility of small ships attacking much larger ones. In October 1887 the first torpedo division was created at Wilhelmshaven and the second torpedo division based at Kiel. In 1887 Caprivi requested the construction of ten armoured frigates. Greater importance was placed at this time on development of the army, expected to be more important in any war. However, the Kiel Canal was commenced in June 1887, which connected the North Sea with the Baltic through the Jutland peninsula, allowing German ships to travel between the two seas avoiding waters controlled by other countries; this shortened the journey for commercial ships, but united the two areas principally of concern to the German navy, at a cost of 150 million marks. The protection of German maritime trade routes became important; this soon involved the setting up of some overseas supply stations, so called Auslandsstationen and in the 1880s the Imperial Navy played a part in helping to secure the establishment of German colonies and protectorates in Africa and Oceania.
In June 1888 Wilhelm II became Emperor after the death of his father Frederick III, who ruled for only 99 days. He started his reign with the intention of d
The deck department is an organisational team on board naval and merchant ships. The department and its manning requirements, including the responsibilities of each rank are regulated within the STCW Convention; the department is led by deck officers, who are licensed mariners and they are commanded overall by the ship's captain. Seafarers in the deck department work a variety of jobs on a ship or vessel, but they will carry out the navigation of a vessel, from the bridge. However, they are also responsible for supervising and monitoring any maritime cargo onboard, as well as ensuring maintenance of the deck and upper hull structure, monitoring the stability of the ship including loading and discharging ballast water, carrying out mooring operations and anchoring a ship; the deck department is divided into deck ratings. All ranks in the deck department are required to have undertaken training in accordance with the STCW Convention. For officers this involves the passing of an exam to receive a certificate of competency, the level of understanding and certification varies according to ship size.
All ranks are required to have undertaken generic maritime training, which involves time at sea and time in an approved college. International standards under the STCW Code set out the minimum requirements for training, however individual nations have their own maritime training regulations. For example, in the United Kingdom the Maritime and Coastguard Agency ensure that the deck department receive training and examinations in order to assume the responsibilities of their rank at sea. All seafarers of the deck department are required to have undertaken a series of short course training, in various elements under the STCW Convention; this includes general security and lifeboat training, as well as vessel-specific training, such as operations in the polar regions and on tankers. While the master or captain is in overall command of the ship, the chief mate is the head of the deck department; this involves administrative tasks such as scheduling work, quality control, coordinating with other departments, conflict resolution.
The chief mate compiles supply and cost control records, requisitions or purchases stores and equipment. Depending on the number of officers carried, he may not be a watch officer. If the ship carries a second mate and two third mates, he will be a dayworker, with a duty day from 0800 to 1700 ship's time. If only one third mate is carried, he will stand the 4 to 8 watch in addition to handling his executive duties; the ship's other deck officers a second mate and third mate, are members of the deck department. Each watchstanding officer is responsible for the unlicensed crewmen on his watch. In a four-mate ship where the chief mate is a dayworker, the second mate will stand the 4 to 8 watch, because sunrise and sunset fall on that watch. In the days before satellite navigation systems, the second mate shot morning and evening star fixes to determine the ship's position; the second mate is responsible for maintaining the ship's charts and navigational publications, the ship's gyrocompass, all navigational gear.
He keeps the log extract for each voyage used by company management as a short form "howgozit" sheet, covering time at sea, time under pilotage, time in port, types and tonnages of cargoes moved. The two third mates are called the senior third and the junior third; the senior third mate stands the junior third the 8 to 12 watch. While on duty, they are responsible for handling the ship and fixing its position by shooting sun lines, taking hourly fixes from the satellite navigation gear, piloting the ship in coastal waters. See also: First lieutenant § U. S. Navy and U. S. Coast GuardIn the military, the deck department comprises sailors who perform a variety of functions depending on ship type and size. Examples include maintenance and upkeep of the ship, handling of the ship's rigging and ground tackle, coordination of underway replenishment operations, conductance of minesweeping operations and operation of the ship's boats, supervision of diving and salvage operations, serving as shipboard seamanship specialists.
Undesignated seamen, or those who have not selected a rating, are the most junior sailors on board and are sent to the deck department for their first assignment. Engine department
The German Navy is the navy of Germany and part of the unified Bundeswehr, the German Armed Forces. The German Navy was known as the Bundesmarine from 1956 to 1995, when Deutsche Marine became the official name with respect to the 1990 incorporation of the East German Volksmarine, it is integrated into the NATO alliance. Its primary mission is protection of Germany's territorial waters and maritime infrastructure as well as sea lines of communication. Apart from this, the German Navy participates in peacekeeping operations, renders humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, they participate in Anti-Piracy operations. The German Navy traces its roots back to the Reichsflotte of the revolutionary era of 1848–52; the Reichsflotte was the first German navy to sail under the black-red-gold flag. Founded on 14 June 1848 by the orders of the democratically elected Frankfurt Parliament, the Reichsflotte's brief existence ended with the failure of the revolution and it was disbanded on 2 April 1852. Between May 1945 and 1956, the German Mine Sweeping Administration and its successor organizations, made up of former members of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine, became something of a transition stage for the navy, allowing the future Marine to draw on experienced personnel upon its formation.
From 1949-52 the US Navy had maintained the Naval Historical Team in Bremerhaven. This group of former Kriegsmarine officers acting as historical and tactical consultants to the Americans, was significant in establishing a German element in the NATO senior naval staff. In 1956, with West Germany's accession to NATO, the Bundesmarine, as the navy was known colloquially, was formally established. In the same year the East German Volkspolizei See became the Volksmarine. During the Cold War all of the German Navy's combat vessels were assigned to NATO's Allied Forces Baltic Approaches's naval command NAVBALTAP. With the accession of East Germany to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990 the Volksmarine along with the whole National People's Army became part of the Bundeswehr. Since 1995 the name German Navy is used in international context, while the official name since 1956 remains Marine without any additions; as of 31 December 2018, the strength of the navy is 16,286 women. A number of naval forces have operated in different periods.
See Preußische Marine, 1701–1867 Reichsflotte, 1848–52 North German Federal Navy, 1867–71 Imperial German Navy, 1871–1919 Reichsmarine, 1919–35 Kriegsmarine, 1935–45 German Mine Sweeping Administration, 1945–48 Volksmarine the navy of East Germany 1956–90 Marine, 1956–present German warships permanently participate in all four NATO Maritime Groups. The German Navy is engaged in operations against international terrorism such as Operation Enduring Freedom and NATO Operation Active Endeavour. Presently the largest operation the German Navy is participating in is UNIFIL off the coast of Lebanon; the German contribution to this operation is two frigates, four fast attack craft, two auxiliary vessels. The naval component of UNIFIL has been under German command; the navy is operating a number of development and testing installations as part of an inter-service and international network. Among these is the Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters, an affiliated centre of Allied Command Transformation.
The COE CSW was established in April 2007 and accredited by NATO on 26 May 2009. It is co-located with the staff of the German Flotilla 1 in Kiel whose Commander is double-hatted as Director, COE CSW. In total, there are about 65 commissioned ships in the German Navy, including; the displacement of the navy is 220,000 tonnes. In addition, the German Navy and the Royal Danish Navy are in cooperation in the "Ark Project"; this agreement made the Ark Project responsible for the strategic sealift of German armed forces where the full-time charter of three roll-on-roll-off cargo and troop ships are ready for deployments. In addition, these ships are kept available for the use of the other European NATO countries; the three vessels have a combined displacement of 60,000 tonnes. Including these ships, the total ships' displacement available to the Deutsche Marine is 280,000 tonnes. A total of five Joint Support Ships, two JSS800 and three JSS400, were planned during the 1995–2010 period but the programme appears now to have been abandoned, not having been mentioned in two recent defence reviews.
The larger ships would have been tasked for strategic troop transport and amphibious operations, were to displace 27,000 to 30,000 tons for 800 soldiers. The German Navy will use the Joint Support Ship HNLMS Karel Doorman of the Royal Netherlands Navy as part of the integration of the German Navy Marines in the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps as of 2016; the naval air arm of the German Navy is called the Marinefliegerkommando. The Marinefliegerkommando operate 55 aircraft; the German Navy is commanded by the Inspector of the Navy supported by the Navy Command in Rostock. HQ German Navy, Rostock Einsatzflottille 1 1st Corvette Squadron, Warnemünde 1st Submarine Squadron, Eckernförde Submarine Training Centre (Ausbildungszentrum Unte
The coxswain is the person in charge of a boat its navigation and steering. The etymology of the word gives a literal meaning of "boat servant" since it comes from cock, a cockboat or other small vessel kept aboard a ship, swain, an Old English term derived from the Old Norse sveinn meaning boy or servant. In rowing, the coxswain sits in either the bow or the stern of the boat while verbally and physically controlling the boat's steering, speed and fluidity; the primary duty of a coxswain is to ensure the safety of those in the boat. In a race setting, the coxswain is tasked with motivating the crew as well as steering as straight a course as possible to minimize the distance to the finish line. Coxswains are responsible for knowing proper rowing technique and running drills to improve technique. A coxswain is the coach in the boat, in addition to following the orders of the team coach, the coxswain is connected to the way the boat feels, what's working, what needs to be changed, how. A successful coxswain must keep track of the drill, pace, words of the coach, feel of the boat, direction of the boat, safety.
During a race, a coxswain is responsible for steering, calling the moves, responding to the way the other boats are moving. Success depends on the physical and mental strength of the rowers, ability to respond to the environment, the way in which the coxswain motivates the rowers, not only as individuals but as members of the crew. In the Royal Navy in the days of sail, the coxswain was a petty officer or chief petty officer who commanded the barge of a captain or admiral; the coxswain was the senior chief petty officer aboard a smaller vessel such as a corvette or submarine, responsible for the steering and assumed the duties which would be performed by the chief boatswain's mate and master-at-arms aboard larger vessels. In World War II pilots of landing craft were referred to as coxswains. In the Royal Canadian Navy, the appointment of coxswain is given to the senior non-commissioned officer aboard a ship, the equivalent to a command master chief petty officer in the US Navy. For larger vessels such as a destroyer, frigate or the Harry DeWolf-class ships, a coxswain holds the rank of chief petty officer 1st class.
For submarines, a coxswain holds the rank of chief petty officer 2nd class. For Kingston-class coastal defence vessel, a coxswain holds the rank of petty officer 1st class or CPO2; the term was sometimes used aboard merchant ships for the senior petty officer in charge of the helm. The fictional Israel Hands, for example, was the coxswain of Hispaniola in Treasure Island. In Royal Navy Sections of the Combined Cadet Force, the rank of Cadet Coxswain is the highest that a cadet can achieve, except in the rare occurrence that they are promoted to the rank of Cadet Under Officer; the Rank of Coxswain equates to the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer in the Royal Air Force Sections, the rank of Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major in the Army Sections. In the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, the position of Coxswain is appointed to the cadet with the rank of Cadet Chief Petty Officer First Class; this would be the equivalent of the position of Regimental Sergeant Major in the Royal Canadian Army Cadets held by a Cadet Chief Warrant Officer.
In the United States Coast Guard and United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, the coxswain is the person in charge of a small boat. The coxswain has the authority to direct all boat and crew activities during the mission and modify planned missions to provide for the safety of the boat and the crew. Before a person can be assigned to be a coxswain, they have to go through a qualification procedure, be certified and maintain the certification to be a coxswain. Upon certification, they are awarded the Coxswain Badge; this qualification procedure requires a significant amount of practice in boat handling as well as previous experience as a boat crew member. Any Coast Guardsman may become a coxswain upon proper qualification. An advancement to boatswain's mate second class requires that the individual qualify as and maintain certification as a coxswain. A commanding officer or officer in charge of a land based unit with boats has to be certified and stay certified as a coxswain on all boats in the unit or be relieved of command.
A coxswain is assigned to a boat by the command authority and can only be relieved by the commanding officer/Officer in Charge, executive officer/Executive Petty Officer, or senior officer present. The coxswain’s authority is independent of rank and/or seniority in relation to any other person on board the boat. Unlike the commanding officer of a cutter or ship, a coxswain does not automatically have command authority. Helmsman Navy boat crew United States Coast Guard Regulations 1992, COMDTINST M5000.3, Section 5‐1‐8.) "Coxswain". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7. 1911. Joseph McMillan. "Other Traditions of the United States Naval Services: Other Ceremonies and Customs: Boat Hails". Sea Flags. Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 11 August 2015. Linked as "U. S. Navy Coxswain's responses to hails"
A non-commissioned officer is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers obtain their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks. In contrast, commissioned officers hold higher ranks than NCOs, have more legal responsibilities, are paid more, have more non-military training such as a university diploma. Commissioned officers earn their commissions without having risen through the enlisted ranks; the NCO corps includes all grades of corporal and sergeant. The naval equivalent includes all grades of petty officer. There are different classes of non-commissioned officer, including junior non-commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers; the non-commissioned officer corps is referred to as "the backbone" of the armed services, as they are the primary and most visible leaders for most military personnel. Additionally, they are the leaders responsible for executing a military organization's mission and for training military personnel so they are prepared to execute their missions.
NCO training and education includes leadership and management as well as service-specific and combat training. Senior NCOs are considered the primary link between enlisted personnel and the commissioned officers in a military organization, their advice and guidance are important for junior officers and in many cases to officers of all senior ranks, who begin their careers in a position of authority without practical knowledge and experience. In the Australian Army, lance corporals and corporals are classified as junior NCOs, while sergeants and warrant officers are classified as senior NCOs. In the New South Wales Police Force, NCOs perform supervisory and coordination roles; the ranks of probationary constable through to leading senior constable are referred to as "constables". All NCOs within the NSW Police are given a warrant of appointment under the Commissioner's hand and seal. All officers within the Australian Defence Force Cadets are non-commissioned. ADFC officers are appointed by the Director-General of their respective branch.
In the Canadian Forces, the Queen's Regulations and Orders formally defined a non-commissioned officer as "A Canadian Forces member holding the rank of Sergeant or Corporal." In the 1990s, the term "non-commissioned member" was introduced to indicate all ranks in the Canadian Forces from recruit to chief warrant officer. By definition, with the unification of the CF into one service, the rank of sergeant included the naval rank of petty officer 2nd class, corporal includes the naval rank of leading seaman. NCOs are divided into two categories: junior non-commissioned officers, consisting of corporals/leading seamen and master corporals/master seamen. In the Royal Canadian Navy, the accepted definition of "NCO" reflects the international use of the term. Junior non-commissioned officers billet with privates and seamen. Conversely, senior non-commissioned officers billet with warrant officers; as a group, NCOs rank below warrant officers. The term "non-commissioned members" includes these ranks.
In the Finnish Defence Force, NCO's includes all ranks from corporal to sergeant major. Ranks of lance corporal and leading seaman are considered not to be NCO ranks; this ruling applies to all branches of service and to the troops of the Border Guard. In France and most former French colonies, the term sous-officier is a class of ranks between the rank-and-file and commissioned officers. Corporals belong to the rank-and-file. Sous-officiers include two subclasses: "subalternes" and "supérieurs". "Sous-officiers supérieurs" can perform various functions within a regiment or battalion, including commanding a platoon or section. In Germany and German-speaking countries like Austria, the term Unteroffizier describes a class of ranks between normal enlisted personnel and officers. In this group of ranks there are, in Germany, two other classes: Unteroffiziere mit Portepee and Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee, both containing several ranks, which in Austria would be Unteroffiziere and Höhere Unteroffiziere.
In the New Zealand Defence Force, a non-commissioned officer is defined as: " In relation to the Navy, a rating of warrant officer, chief petty officer, petty officer, or leading rank.
Rank insignia of the German Bundeswehr
The rank insignia of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany indicate rank and branch of service in the German Army, German Air Force, or the German Navy. They are regulated by the "presidential order on rank designation and military uniform". The'ZDv-37/10 – Anzugsordnung für Soldaten der Bundeswehr' gives the dress order and design variations. Further, the Federal Office of Equipment, IT, In-Service Support of the Bundeswehr provides numerous details; the different types of rank insignias might be distinguished as follows: Shoulder straps or boards Cuff titles or sleeve insignias Mounting loops or straps The rank insignias of all service personnel will be explained on the example of shoulder straps to the basic uniform or everyday uniform in order provide a general overview. As to naval persons in uniform there will be additionally depicted sleeve insignias on the uniform jacket. Pertaining army persons in uniform there will be shown next shoulder straps of the uniform jacket. Variations of the first instance depicted rank insignias will be explained in more detail.
* above: description to person in uniform “ Heer Bundeswehr“ and „Luftwaffe Bundeswehr“. However, this type of rank insignias is rather in practice. Beside the rank insignia on light-grey shoulder straps, as shown above, there is to army persons in uniform a version on dark grey cloth; this version of shoulder straps will be worn to uniform overcoat. Naval persons in uniform, of the enlisted personnel rank group, wear seldom the dark blue jacket with the above indicated cuff titles, because enlisted mariner in the age below 30 years prefer to wear the white shirt or blue shirt instead of the uniform jacked. Sleeve insignias on shirts more simple, but pertaining form and dimensions identically to those on jackets. In the place of stripes, with parts of metallic spinning fibers wire yarn, the oblique chevrons are made from golden-yellow or steel-blue spinning fibers without any metallic parts of wire yarn. For Army and Air Force personnel in Bundeswehr dress uniform, as well as for all female soldiers, shoulder straps are mandatory.
However, male naval persons in uniform wear cuff titles, known from the jacket. Deviating from the description above, naval enlisted personnel of the Guard Battalion of the MOD-Germany are exempted from wearing any sleeve rating mark on all uniforms. In opposition to the ZDv 37/10, in representative military units for enlisted personnel and non commissioned officers the background of the basic uniform gorget patches shows the specific corps colour of the appropriate armed service, special troop, corps or assignment. In deviation from the description above, on the service jacket and skiing blouse colour pipings or cops background colour on gorget patches are dropped. Mounting straps or loops are in principle identical to the design of the shoulder straps, depicted above. From this point of view it might be sufficient to demonstrate exemplarily the different versions of design, instead to show a complete list. Official procured; the field uniform type of mounting straps, used most, shows black or golden emblems on stone-grey/ olive-colour basic textile.
Similar performed mounting straps do exist for different coloured uniform parts as well as to Army, Air Force and Navy persons in uniform. Army persons in uniform for example wear on shoulder straps to the grey pullover, black mounting straps with bright-grey emblems. For naval persons dark-blue mounting straps are widespread in particular to the ship-parka. For Air Force pilots' flying suits there exists a version of mounting straps with bright-grey emblems on dark-blue basic textile; the Air Force double-wing is mounted to other parts of the flying suit, is intentional omitted on mounting straps. By amendment of the "Presidential Order on Rank Designation and Uniform of Soldiers" on February 7, 1996, it was decided that the silver-colored rank insignia on the camouflage fighting suit would become obsolete, they will be replaced by black-colored ones. According to the ZDv 37/10, ”Until official procurement of the newly designed olive-green mounting loops with black-colored rank insignias, the old-fashioned mounting loop with grey-colour rank insignias may be worn."
In practice, the replacement of the obsolete grey-colored mounting loops by the new fashioned black-colour version is complete. However, on unicolored flying suits of army pilots and aviation technicians, mounting loops with grey-colored rank insignias conform to the regulations; the following below depicted gallery of mounting loops are in use in conjunction with the 5- or 3 color flecktarn fighting suit. However, this particular versions are not neither mentioned and depicted in the ZDv 37/10, nor procured. Mounting loops in 5- and 3-color flecktarn are de facto in contradiction to the P
Feldwebel "field usher", is a non-commissioned officer rank in several countries. The rank originated in Germany, is used in Switzerland, Finland and Estonia; the rank has been used in Russia, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria. Feldwebel is a contraction of feld meaning "field" and weibel, an archaic word meaning "usher". Weibel comes from the Old High German weibôn, meaning to go forth. There are variations on feldwebel, such as Oberstabsfeldwebel, the highest non-commissioned rank in the German army and air force; the rank is used in several countries: Swedish fältväbel, Russian фельдфебель, Bulgarian фелдфебел, Finnish vääpeli and Estonian veebel. In Swiss German the spelling feldweibel is used; the Landsknecht regiments first installed Feldwaibel to keep the men at line at the battlefield. The rank is used in German Air Force, it is grouped as OR6 in NATO, equivalent in the US Army to Staff Sergeant, or in British Army / RAF to Sergeant. In army/air force context NCOs of this rank were formally addressed as Herr Feldwebel.
Feldwebel gained its widest usage under the German military beginning from the early 19th century. The highest-ranking non-commissioned officer until 1918, the Feldwebel acted as Company Sergeant Major. By contrast with some other countries, the position and duty of Regimental Sergeant Major never existed in Germany. From 1877 veteran NCOs could be promoted to the rank of Feldwebel-Leutnant; this Army Reserve officer ranked with the Commissioned Officers, but was always inferior to the lowest Leutnant. From 1887 the Offizierstellvertreter ranked as a kind of Warrant Officer between Feldwebel and the commissioned officers. There were three further NCO ranks: Vizefeldwebel and Unteroffizier; the Gefreiter was not an NCO as he had no powers of authority, was a higher grade of private soldier. After World War I, in the German Reichswehr and Wehrmacht, the Feldwebel grade was divided into several ranks: Feldwebel Oberfeldwebel Stabsfeldwebel Feldwebel and above were Unteroffiziere mit Portepee. In 1921, the rank of Sergeant was renamed Unterfeldwebel.
Unterfeldwebels did duty as squad/section leaders. The Stabsfeldwebel rank was reserved for those who had enlisted for 25 year terms of service in the pre-war German military and those who were enlisted for shorter terms were not eligible to hold this rank; the appointment of Hauptfeldwebel could be held by Oberfeldwebels only. NCOs of a lower rank holding this position were titled Hauptfeldwebeldiensttuer. Not all Heer NCO's in this grade were called Unterfeldwebel, Feldwebel and Stabsfeldwebel which are ranks in the infantry tradition. In some other service branches, for example, the equivalent ranks were. Cavalry and artillery: Unterwachtmeister, Wachtmeister and Stabswachtmeister Waffen-SS: SS-Scharführer, SS-Oberscharführer, SS-Hauptscharführer and SS-Sturmscharführer In the modern German Bundeswehr, Feldwebel is considered a Senior NCO, due in part to the large number of Corporal positions which exist as junior grades; the modern Bundeswehr NCO ranks are as follows: Junior NCOs – Unteroffizier, Stabsunteroffizier Fähnrich ranks: Fahnenjunker, Fähnrich and Oberfähnrich are ranks only held by Officer aspirants Portepeeunteroffizier The sequence of ranks in that particular group is as follows: OR-9: Oberstabsfeldwebel / Oberstabsbootsmann OR-8: Stabsfeldwebel / Stabsbootsmann OR-7: Hauptfeldwebel / Hauptbootsmann OR-6a: Oberfeldwebel / Oberbootsmann OR-6b: Feldwebel / BootsmannRemark The abbreviation "OR" stands for "Other Ranks / fr: sous-officiers et militaires du rang / ru:другие ранги, кроме офицеров"!
Feldwebel was a typical infantry rank of the k.u.k. Austro-Hungarian Army, it might have been comparable to NCO-rank OR5/ Sergeant ranks in Anglophone armed forces. In the k.u.k. Austro-Hungarian Army Feldwebel was equivalent to: Beschlagmeister I. Klasse cavalry, Feuerwerker artillery, Oberjaeger of the mountain troops and rifles, Rechnungs-Unteroffizier I. Klasse, Regimentstambour, Wachtmeister cavalry, Waffenmeister I. Klasse artillery and weapon arsenal, Einjährig-Freiwilliger-Feldwebel, Kadett-Feldwebel. Rank insignia was a gorget patch on the stand-up collar of the so-called Waffenrock, consisted of three white stars on 13 mm ragged yellow silk galloon; the gorget patch and the stand-up collar showed the particular Waffenfarbe. Examples Feldwebel of the k.u.k. Army See In the Bulgarian army, фелдфебел existed from the late 19th century to the late 1940s, when the German-type military organization was phased out in favor of a new doctrine, identical to the Soviet one; the Estonian rank of "veebel" is derived from