The Kingdom of Bavaria produced only three generalfeldmarschalls during the Imperial German Period: König Ludwig III, Kronprinz Rupprecht, and Prinz Leopold. König Ludwig III’s appointment was strictly political, an acknowledgment of his stature as ruler of one of the Reich’s four Kingdoms. Württemberg’s Wilhelm II and Saxony’s Friedrich August III received their appointments within relatively close proximity of Ludwig’s. The appointments of Kronprinz Rupprecht and Prinz Leopold, while they had some political weight, were based on their qualifications and contributions to the German war machine. They were excellent field commanders who had earned their promotions.
Today we are offering you a pair of generalfeldmarschall shoulder boards from one of these three men. We do not know which of those three owned this pair. Trying to judge which one was the owner is a matter of pure speculation. At least it is a very limited number from which to choose! These gorgeous shoulder boards measure 2″ x 5″. [We can tell they were meant for a tunic rather than an overcoat (mantel) by their size]. They exhibit alternating rows of silver and gold bullion (often referred to as “Russian Rope”). If one carefully examines the silver row, one can detect the blue chevrons confirming that they hail from Bavaria. In each shoulder board’s center is a handsome set of generalfeldmarschall’s crossed batons. Each one measures 2 1/4″ in length. The board’s reverse sports a red strap that helps to attach each shoulder board to a tunic, which made these shoulder boards of the “slip on” variety. The underlays are made of a red felt.
We have offered a pair of Saxon generalfeldmarschall’s shoulder boards in the past, as well as several from Prussia (naturally, since Prussia boasted the greatest number of generalfeldmarschalls[!]). This set is simply magnificent.