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"Der Hauptmann" -- the devil is in the details behind this uniform

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Adapted from War Park Weibo release 2022-05-15 13:35

Der Hauptmann is a war drama film directed by Robert Swenck. Starring Max Hubacher, Milan Peschel, Frederick Lau, Alexander Fehling, amongst others. It was released at the Toronto Film Festival on September 7, 2017. Based on a true story, the film tells the story of a 19-year-old ordinary Luftwaffe Fallschirmjäger, Willi Herold, who becomes the so-called Emslandlager camps executioner during the last two weeks of World War II.

The protagonist was originally a deserter. By chance, he picked up a uniform of an Air Force captain and transformed himself into an officer on the secret mission of the Führer. With this, he begins a dark, cruel and absurd journey. Judging from the plot of the film, the protagonist himself is powerless, but with this uniform, it gives him a “magical transformation”. Like the Rings in the Lord of the Rings movie, the so-called owners are just hosts. This article will further elaborate about the details of the devil behind this uniform.

The protagonist is wearing a regular uniform of the Luftwaffe. The top is made of a blue-gray four-pocket cardigan jacket, a white shirt and a black tie. The front of the jacket is equipped with four aluminum or zinc hemp buttons, two chest pockets and two hem pockets, all with clamshells and buttons. Officers often wear white threaded borders at their collars.

The rank system of the Luftwaffe is roughly similar to that of the German Army. It is distinguished by shoulder badges, collar badges and armbands supplemented by arms colour, but other details has unique characteristics of the Air Force. The protagonist's uniform arms colour is yellow signifying a paratrooper, with two star as that of a captain's shoulder badges (a second lieutenant would have no stars, a lieutenant would one star), the lower end of the collar is decorated with oak leaves, and the three flying wings represent the rank of captain (one second lieutenant and two lieutenants). So this uniform should belong to a paratrooper captain.

According to the picture above, the medals worn are as follows:

1. 1st Class Iron Cross Ribbon

Conditions for obtaining: Show an extraordinary bravery in battle and completion of mission.

Number awarded: more than 3 million, these are the lowest-level medals in the Iron Cross series.

2. Honours

From left to right are the Western Wall Defence Medal, the Second Class Sabre Merit Cross, the Air Force Service Medal for Four Years, the Consolidated Austrian Medal, and the Combined Sudeten German Medal Prague.

3. First Class Iron Cross Medal:

Conditions for obtaining:

- Awarded the second-class Iron Cross Medal

- There must be three to five heroic combat operations in battle.

- Number awarded: more than 450,000.

4. Air Force Parachute Badge

Conditions for obtaining: Completed six parachute jumps to obtain a paratrooper badge symbolising identity and honour.

5. Silver Medal of War Injury

Conditions for obtaining: Those who have been injured three to four times in combat are awarded.

6. Conventional Commando Medal

Acquisition conditions: German soldiers of non-infantry units, mainly awarded to support personnel but are not eligible for infantry or tank assault medals.

7. Silver Narvik Campaign Shield Armband

Conditions for obtaining: The first campaign shield issued by the German army is a high-level medal. It is awarded to officers and soldiers of the navy, air force and army who participated in the offensive and Defence of the Norwegian port of Narvik.

8. Battle of Crete armband

Conditions for obtaining: It shows that the owner of the uniform participated in the Battle of Crete in May 1941, which was the first large-scale paratrooper assault in history and the biggest loss of German paratroopers.

The protagonist wears a typical Air Force officer's brim hat. The hat consists of blue-gray, black, white line trimming and ribbons. Unlike the national Defence eagle emblem, the air force eagle emblem maintains the posture of wings fighting, and above the right chest pocket of the coat is also the air force emblem. The hat badge is surrounded by oak leaves, with wings symbolising the Air Force on both sides.

This month War Park introduces the same Luftwaffe Captain, released at the same time as the Luftwaffe anti-aircraft unit.

NO017 Air Force Captain (military uniform reference to the movie uniform)

Original Text in Chinese below:


























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