This is an absolutely first-rate Husaren-Regiment von Zeiten (Brandenburgisches) Nr 3 regimental Wachtmeister’s (Sergeant Major) Interim Attila. [Although we are selling it separately, the correct belt for a Prussian Husaren NCO or enlisted man’s attila is available as item number 15-561. We would prefer to see the two go together]. The incredible tunic comes from one of THE oldest Prussian Husaren-Regiments. It was founded in 1730 (during König Friedrich der Große’s reign), eleven years before the next three Husaren-Regiments were founded. It was garrisoned at Rathenow and attached to the III. Armeekorps. First, I want to address the tunic owner’s rank. In the Imperial German Army, the term “Feldwebel” was often used. Any sergeant might be referred to as a “Feldwebel.” In fact, the German Army contained three sergeant levels. The lowest rank was “Sergeant,” the middle rank was “Vizefeldwebel,” and the highest was simply “Feldwebel.” In the U.S. these ranks, from lowest to highest were “Buck Sergeant,” “Sergeant 1st Class,” and “Sergeant Major.” Next, I have another interesting tidbit to share. In the Infanterie, a Sergeant Major was known as “Feldwebel.” The Kavallerie had a different term (like Rittmeister instead of Hauptmann, which was “Wachtmeister” (it was “Vizewachtmeister” for the 1st Sergeant’s equivalent). I have taken the time to explain these gradients so you would better understand this attila’s significance, as well as realizing that the Wachtmeister was the Regiment’s most important NCO. He did not report to Leutnants, Oberleutnants, or Rittmeisters. He was responsible to the Regimental Commander and HIS deputy, who were the Regiment’s commanding officers. The Wachtmeister was responsible for enforcing regimental policies and procedures. Generally, if a junior officer wanted to do one thing and the Wachtmeister another, that junior officer had to hope his reason was good enough. Often, it was NOT. If a Wachtmeister put a word in a junior officer’s ear, if the junior was smart, he would think twice about going forward with his actions!
Our tunic is red (the same shade used by the Leib-Garde-Husaren-Regiment, which used gold for its buttons and other tunic trim) rather than Husaren-Regiment Nr 5’s dark-red. As it is an Interim Attila, the frogging and tresses are all white. In contrast, the tunic sports silver-toned rosette and barrel buttons. The obverse has ten silver rosette buttons (five on each side of the tunic’s center). Five barrel buttons secure the tunic’s center. The collar displays the silver bullion tape that signifies an NCO, and large, silver sergeant’s buttons. White trim and more silver bullion tape runs down to the sleeves. What look like TWO sets of two sewn-in loops appear on the tunic’s left breast. (This was my first thought). Then I began thinking that the attila was for a Wachtmeister, who would have been in the army for quite awhile and probably had accumulated quite a few decorations. I pulled the bit of braid up in the center and saw where a ribbon bar could have fit under it. So I became convinced that it was in fact ONE set of loops that measure 3 7/8″ in width, which would accommodate a fairly long ribbon bar! The obverse’s final detail is the white NCO/enlisted man’s shoulder straps. They are made of cotton. Each is secured by a small silver button that displays the number “4,” for Squadron Nr 4 (Eskadron Nr 4). As we move to the reverse, we see the white tresses extending down from just under the shoulder to the vented areas, where they expand to six different pieces. We also see two additional silver barrel buttons.
The uniform’s interior reveals one very important detail. We first see that it is a privately purchased piece that was NOT depot issued. (One would not expect a Senior NCO to draw his uniforms from government stores)! The liner is cotton rather than silk. As this was an Interim Attila, we can see our man was very practical. Knowing that he would be in the field during warm days, cotton would breathe more easily than silk and keep him cooler as he perspired. Now, here is the detail that tells us that he was a Wachtmeister. He has a rather large pocket on his interior left breast. It enabled him to carry a notebook to mark down what was happening in the Regiment and what was needed. One might see a pocket like this in an officer’s tunic, but not in a “junior” NCO. Only this specially-ranked Sergeant would possess such an addition. The tunic is in amazing condition. It came to us from a very advanced uniform collector, along with a Husaren-Regiment Nr 11 regimental commander’s attila.