PRUSSIA – TUNIC – OBERLEUTNANT – DRAGONER-REGIMENT NR 2 – M-1915 DESIGN – FELDGRAU – IDENTIFIED.
Today we are offering a very exciting, IDENTIFIED, feldgrau tunic that was recently unearthed among an advanced collector’s treasures. Originally, it was part of a three-uniform group that had all belonged to the same individual. Its original owner chose to retain the officer’s prewar dunkel-blau tunic and mantel. The dunkel-blau tunic was the only one of the three garments with visible identification. That said, the officer’s name was “Erhardt von Schweinitz.” The tunic’s previous owner is an expert, published author on the Imperial German Kavallerie. He informed me that the arrangement of the tunic’s shoulder boards, more specifically their single pips, tell us that Oberleutnant von Schweinitz survived the war (something about which I was unaware). This great information should further assist one’s research about the Oberleutnant.
The M-1915 tunic’s feldgrau material is a very fine, wool twill that is buttery-smooth to the touch. It features a single row of eight subdued, crowned buttons down its front. Another two buttons adorn each cuff. A black velvet trim line extends from the tunic’s collar edges down along the outside center tunic flap, and also adorns the cuffs’ edges. Interestingly, four pockets appear on the tunic’s obverse – two at the breast and two at the hip. All four pockets feature flaps without any buttons.
The tunic’s shoulder boards reveal that they are for an Oberleutnant serving in Prussia’s 1. Brandenburgisches Dragoner-Regiment Nr 2. [The regiment was founded in 1689 (rendering it the oldest Dragoner-Regiment within the Imperial German Army, as well as one of its most prestigious Kavallerie units. The regiment was garrisoned at Schwedt a.O. and attached to the III. Armeekorps]. The previously-described black trim served as a key component of 1. Brandenburgisches Dragoner-Regiment Nr 2’s uniform edges, its epaulettes, its shoulder boards, and so on. The boards’ underlay is also appropriately black. A very few, scattered, moth nips are appear on the exterior, and are NOT detractive to the tunic’s overall presentation.
The shoulder boards are sewn-into the 1. Brandenburgisches Dragoner-Regiment Nr 2 uniform, which is a bit unusual for a junior officer. They are of the M-1915 subdued, wartime variety. Their regimental numbers also are subdued, as are their buttons, which are larger than those on average shoulder boards. Even more intriguingly, the single Oberleutnant’s pip is placed ON his regimental number. The latter takes the place of an “A.d.” retirement designation, and informs us that he survived the war. [I do find it curious that he was in the army for such a long time and only attained the rank of Oberleutnant. Furthermore, NO loops appear on the tunic for a medal bar, for a 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class, or other medals. NO 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class ribbon appears in his buttonhole, either].
The 1. Brandenburgisches Dragoner-Regiment Nr 2 tunic’s reverse displays six more subdued, crowned buttons (three per side) on the vent flaps, as well as more black trim. Its interior features a complete, high-quality, gray silk liner that is in excellent condition. A single pocket is present in the interior. It also has another detail I have not seen before, a strap with a button extending down from the sleeve. I have no clue as to its purpose.
In conclusion, this is a very fine, mid-to-late-war 1. Brandenburgisches Dragoner-Regiment Nr 2 tunic constructed of the superior materials that one expects for a nobleman. Its virtues are plentiful. It is feldgrau, in very fine condition, associated with a famous regiment, and (to top it all off) IDENTIFIED.