This is a Kaiserliche Marine Vizeadmiral’s pair of shoulder boards. [The Imperial German Navy featured only four Admiräle ranks, while the Imperial German Army boasted five General Officer levels. The missing naval rank was equivalent to the Army’s Generaloberst(respectively equivalent to the U.S. Army’s four star general). The Kaiserliche Marine’s four Admiräle ranks were Konteradmiral, Vizeadmiral, Admiral, and Großadmiral (the last rank awarded to only SIX men from its inception in 1901 through its last recipient in 1918)]. Vizeadmiral was a very high rank whose recipients generally commanded fleets, squadrons, and other large tactical units or administrative posts.
Each shoulder board measures 4 ¼” x 2 7/16.” They closely resemble an Army General’s shoulder board pattern of two gold Russian bullion ropes enclosing a silver bullion rope sporting chevrons that are half black, one quarter red and one quarter white (Imperial Germany’s national colors). A single silver-toned pip on each board indicates the Vizeadmiral’s rank. The shoulder boards’ dark-blue felt underlays further confirm their Kaiserliche Marine status. Their reverses also reveal the straps that helped hold the boards securely on the tunic, along with a small gilt toned button at the opposite end.
These are very rare Navy shoulder boards in absolutely gorgeous condition. They would make welcome additions to any serious naval collection.