REICHSLUFTSCHUTZBUND RANKS AND RANK INSIGNIA:  Germany Third Reich. 1933-1945.  The Reichsluftschutzbund (National Air Defense League) had a rank structure and wore insignia clearly related to that of the Luftwaffe.  As was common with other organizations associated with the National Socialist German Worker's Party, rank titles and insignia of the National Air Defense League went through evolutionary steps.

Table 81-1. Reichsluftschutzbund Rank and Rank Insignia 1 July 1940

Rank

Equivalent Rank

(Luftwaffe Rank)

Collar Patch

(basic shape was a parallelogram to fit the collar)

Shoulder Strap

RLB Prasident Lieutenant General (General)

(in 1930s Colonel)

1941 and later - gilt embroidered wreath with 3 gilt three pointed stars on a white patch with gilt twisted cord piping

gilt embroidered wreath with 2 gilt three pointed stars on a white patch with gilt twisted cord piping

1930s - silver bullion wreath with 2 silver three pointed stars on a lilac patch with silver  twisted cord piping

white strap underlay with gilt shoulder knot of three plaited cords and gilt button
Generalhaputluftschtzfuhrer (Chef des Stabes)

(in 1930s - Vizeprasident)

Major General (Generalleutnant)

(in 1930s Lieutenant Colonel)

gilt embroidered wreath with 1 gilt three pointed star on a lilac patch with gilt twisted cord piping

1930s - silver bullion wreath with 1 silver three pointed star on a lilac patch with silver  twisted cord piping

lilac strap underlay with silver and gold shoulder knot of two plaited cords, 1 gilt plaited rank slide across the knot, and gilt button
Generalluftschutzfuhrer Brigadier General (Generalmajor) gilt embroidered wreath on a lilac patch with gilt twisted cord piping lilac strap underlay with silver and gold shoulder knot of two plaited cords and gilt button and gilt button
Oberluftschutzfuhrer Colonel (Oberst) silver bullion wreath with 2 silver three pointed stars on a lilac patch with silver  twisted cord piping lilac strap underlay with silver shoulder knot of two plaited cords, 2 gilt plaited rank slides evenly spaced across the knot, and gilt button
Oberstabluftschutzfuhrer Lieutenant Colonel (Oberstleutnant) silver bullion wreath with 1 silver three pointed star on a lilac patch with silver  twisted cord piping lilac strap underlay with silver shoulder knot of two plaited cords, 1 gilt plaited rank slide across the knot, and gilt button
Stabsluftschutzfuhrer

(in 1930s LS-Gruppenfuhrer)

Major (Major) silver bullion wreath on a lilac patch with silver  twisted cord piping lilac strap underlay with silver shoulder knot of two plaited cords and gilt button
Hauptluftschutzfuhrer

(in 1930s LS-Hauptfuhrer)

Captain (Hauptman) silver bullion half wreath with 2 silver three pointed stars on a lilac patch with silver  twisted cord piping lilac strap underlay with four parallel silver cords, 2 gilt plaited rank slides evenly spaced across the knot, and gilt button
Luftschutzoberfuhrer 1st Lieutenant (Oberleutnant) silver bullion half wreath with 1 silver three pointed star on a lilac patch with silver  twisted cord piping lilac strap underlay with four parallel silver cords, 1 gilt plaited rank slide across the knot, and gilt button
Luftschutzfuhrer 2nd Lieutenant (Leutnant) silver bullion half wreath on a lilac patch with silver  twisted cord piping lilac strap underlay with four parallel silver cords and gilt button
LS-Obertruppfuhrer

(in 1930s LS-Obertruppmeister)

(Oberfeldwebel) flat silver braid on the outer and bottom edges of lilac patch and 3 three pointed white metal stars lilac cloth shoulder strap with black piping and white metal button
LS-Truppmeister (Feldwebel) flat silver braid on the outer and bottom edges of lilac patch and 2 three pointed white metal stars lilac cloth shoulder strap with black piping and white metal button
LS-Obertruppwart (Unterfeldwebel) flat silver braid on the outer and bottom edges of lilac patch and 1 three pointed white metal star lilac cloth shoulder strap with black piping and white metal button
LS-Truppwart (Unteroffizier) flat silver braid on the outer and bottom edges of lilac patch lilac cloth shoulder strap with black piping and white metal button
LS-Obertruppman (Gefreiter) 1 three pointed white metal star on lilac patch lilac cloth shoulder strap with black piping and white metal button
LS-Truppman Private (Flieger) plain lilac patch lilac cloth shoulder strap with black piping and white metal button

Notes: There is some uncertainty as to the evolution of Reichsluftschutzbund insignia and titles.  The ranks and insignia noted for 1930s in this table seem to be consistent with the early stages of organization of other Third Reich organizations and is based on what appears to be contemporary insignia charts.  However, the expansion of the organization starting in 1935 makes it likely that there may have been other intermediate stages.   

Sources: Davis, Brian L., Uniforms and Insignia of the Luftwaffe, Volume 2: 1940-1945, London, United Kingdom, Arms and Armour Press, 1995.  Awender, Christoph, "Reichsluftschutzbund," location http://chrito.users1.50megs.com/uniformen/heer/rlb/rlb.htm, 2000.

Entry 0381 - posted 8 August 2003