Marksmanship Awards 

1. Marksmanship Awards Model 1920

Marksmanship awards in form of sleeve stripes were instituted on December 22, 1920 and starting from that date traditional Imperial lanyards were banned for wearing. Nevertheless that order wasn’t followed immediately in the post-war chaos and some officers continued to wear their lanyards obtained during their military service in the old army. The most remarkable example is that of the Bavarian Oberst Rudolf Stolberger who according to photographic evidence  have chosen to retain his lanyard received in 1913 until at least 1936.

The decree introduced marksmanship awards in ten grades for outstanding performance with small arms and on artillery duty. Entries in personal documents regarding exact grade of Imperial lanyard obtained by military personnel before the Great War and corresponding award documents were taken into consideration when issuing new model of marksmanship stripes.

Marksmanship awards M1920 were introduced in a form of rectangular cloth 8 cm long stripes of braid (0,8, 2,4 and 3,5 cm wide) and were sewn on the left cuff of the tunic with the top one 2 cm under the edge of the cuff. The distance between stripes was 0,5 cm.

Dark green stripes were made of cotton, wool or mohair  with aluminium stripes.

Sharpshooters wore additional distinctive V-shape 8 cm chevron open at the top at an angle of about 120 degrees.

Three additional decrees that followed in 1921, 1922 and 1923 introduced minor changes to regulations.

Thus, decree of May 16, 1921 stipulated that marksmanship awards were to be retained by military personnel after promotion to the first officers’ rank or that of a military official.

According to the decree of July 30, 1922 military personnel in the rank of Oberfeldwebel had to wear marksmanship awards 0,5 cm below NCO sleeve braid.

The decree issued on July 05, 1923 stated that braid on marksmanship awards was to be made of aluminium thread instead of previously used silver thread.

The table below shows all grades of M1920 marksmanship awards: 1-10 corresponding to 1-10 grades and 11th to sharpshooters’ grade. 

Schiessauszeichnungen 1

2. Marksmanship Awards Model 1928

Schiessauszeichnungen additionalNumber of marksmanship grades was increased from 10 to 24 according to the decree of January 27, 1928 and since then spectre of arms was significantly widened comprising rifles, carbines, light and heavy machine guns, mortars and artillery guns.

The above mentioned decree of May 16, 1921 regulating wearing of marksmanship awards by officers and military officials was still applied.

Lower grades (1-4) had a form of dull grey 8 cm long cloth stripes. Those for privately purchased tunics were of bright silver color.

Higher grades’ stripes differed in width – 1,7 cm  for the 5th grade, 2,3 cm for the 9th grade, 2,9 cm for the 13th grade, 3,5 cm for the 17th grade and 4,1 cm for the 21st grade. In the case of narrow 8 mm wide braid the central stripe was 1,5 mm wide.

Sharpshooters retained their distinctive V-shape chevron and as it could have been awarded several times an additional second chevron was sewn below.

The table below shows all grades of M1928 marksmanship awards: 1-24 corresponding to 1-24 grades, 25 – to sharpshooters’ grade and 26 – to subsequent award of sharpshooters’ grade. 

Schiessauszeichnungen 2

WR_army_10 WR_army_11 WR_army_12 WR_army_21

WR_army_23 WR_army_26 WR_army_28