WWII GERMAN POLICE FELDGENDARMERIE GORGET -
A gorget originally was a steel or leather collar designed to protect the throat. It was a feature of older types
of armour and intended to protect against swords and other non-projectile weapons. Later, particularly from the 18th
century onwards, the gorget became primarily ornamental, serving only as a symbolic accessory on military uniforms.
The German adopted the gorget concept and made it more ornamental. The example show here was used by the police.
The Feldgendarmerie were the military police units of the armies of the German Empire, including the Wehrmacht,
from the mid 19th Century until the conclusion of World War II.
This page is a recognition and identification guide for WWII German collectibles. Multiple
detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined points
that should be noted.
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guide is included here to address this question. The value of the collectibles is reviewed
over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth of the German
items in the collector's market is illustrated.
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Early incarnations of the Feldgendarmerie came into being on an ad-hoc basis through mobilizations of the Germany
army as a whole, most notably in the wars of 1866 and 1870. At the outbreak of the First World War the
Feldgendarmerie comprised 33 companies. They each had 60 men and two NCOs. By 1918, the number of companies had been
expanded to115 units.
After World War I all military police units were disbanded and no police units existed in the post-war Weimar
Republic. Garrison areas were patrolled by regular soldiers functioning as military police.
When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, Feldgendarmerie were reintroduced into the Wehrmacht. The new units
received full infantry training and were given extensive police powers. A military police school was set up at
Potsdam, near Berlin to train Feldgendarmerie personnel. Subjects included Criminal code, general and special
police powers, reporting duties, passport and identification law, weapons drill, self-defence techniques, criminal
police methodology, and general administration.
All prospective candidates served at a Feldgendarmerie command after the first term of examinations. Courses
lasted one year and failure rates were high: in 1935 only 89 soldiers graduated from an initial intake of 219
candidates. Feldgendarmerie were employed within army divisions and as self-contained units under the command of
an army corps. They often worked in close cooperation with the Geheime Feldpolizei (Secret Field Police), district
commanders and SS and Police Leaders.
The gorget is amde of aluminum. It is fairly light weight. A chain with aluminum links is attached to
each side. The design consists of multiple pieces attached separately to the base. A plastic button is
placed on each end. A large eagle is set in the center. A gray scroll with light yellow letters that
spell "FELDGENDARMERIE" is secured in the lower section and follows the contour of the base.
The items that are painted light yellow glow in the dark. The paint from the buttons is almost all gone.
The back of this gorget has a cardboard looking cover. This is one of the types of backings available but
not the only one that was produced.
The following photo shows the pebbling that is found on the plastic scroll attached as a separate piece.
Notice that most of the texture on the button has been removed.