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Braunschweiger Totenkopf Traditionsabzeichen

Braunschweig Totenkopf Cockade

Additional metal cockade in the shape of a “death’s head”, i.e. skull with jawbone and crossed long-bones as a traditional symbol of fearlessness in front of death was authorized to be worn by the ranks of the Braunschweigisches Husaren-Regiment Nr.17 on September 17, 1883. As the regiment did not receive their “Landeskokarde” in state colours (i.e. blue with a yellow ring) until 1897, only round Prussian one was worn on a cap band while Totenkopf cockade was attached to a cap top.

Wearing of that distinctive honorable insignia was extended to military personnel of Braunschweigisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.92 on January 27, 1912. Nevertheless photographic evidence indicates that Totenkopf cockade was sometimes still continued to be worn unofficially by former soldiers from the 92nd Brunswick Infantry Regiment even after their transfer to other units as a proof of affiliation to their initial regiment. Braunschweig-pattern Totenkopf cockade was eventually worn by personnel of the 3.Landsturm-Infanterie-Ersatz-Bataillon “Braunschweig” (X.17).

Braunschweiger Totenkopf was worn attached to the face of cloth headgear, between Imperial and state round cockades. Two different patterns of a Totenkopf cockade are known to exist, issued piece and privately purchased one (Eigentumsstück).

Issued cockade was integrally flat with relatively moderate profile and distinctively round eye sockets. It was worn by lower ranks attached by three prongs to issued round visorless field caps, or Krätzchen and to visor caps, or Schirmmütze. 

Privately purchased insignia made of silvered brass or zinc had considerably different appearance in terms of fine work on the details of a death’s head, its general shape and embossed profile. “Whining” eye sockets seem to be its most distinctive feature. This type of a Braunschweiger Totenkopf was worn by officers and lower ranks on privately purchased visor caps (Schirmmütze). 

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Braunschweig Totenkopf 1