As Germany’s military fortunes waned, and retreats rather than advances became common on all fronts, the chaotic situations that often ensued stretched the capabilities of the Feldgendarmerie to its limits.A new police force was required to assist in bringing order out of this chaos, and one which would have full authority to do so with any means necessary.
In September 1944, the creation of a new force, to be known as the Feldjägerkorps was announced.
This force, comprising three Battalions ( later increased to Regimental status) was to be formed from front line combat experienced soldiers who had been decorated for gallantry with at least the Iron Cross Second Class (this criteria was not always adhered to), thus giving them the moral as well as legal authority to direct other troops.Their main purpose was to main order and discipline immediately behind the front lines, to round up stragglers and to gather any useable men and materials and direct them to the front.
The theoretical strength of each “Regiment” was five companies, each consisting of 30 officers and 90 NCOs. Feldjäger operated in small patrol units consisting of one officer and three NCOs.Soldiers operating as Feldjäger wore the uniform of their originating unit, with no special Waffenfarbe colour .
When on duty, they wore a red armband on the left sleeve, bearing the legend “Oberkommando der Wehrmacht / Feldjäger“ or “OKW / Feldjäger” in black.
One of the known designs of armband worn by the Feldjäger
It was also intended that Feldjäger should also wear a Gorget, identical to the Army Feldgendarmerie type but with the “Feldgendarmerie” scroll replaced by one bearing the inscription “Feldjägerkorps”.
Whilst such Gorgets were certainly manufactured, testimony of surviving members of the Feldjägerkorps suggests that they were certainly not widely issued.
An exceptionally rare original example of the Feldjägerkorps Gorghet (Bill Shea)
Feldjäger also carried a special Ausweis as a further indication of their status and authority.
A rare example of a Feldjäger Ausweis. This example was carried by a Luftwaffe NCO serving with Feldjäger Gruppe V.