A quick guide to German "Waffenfarbe"
The German Army instituted a color-coded system to indicate specialties within a given branch of service, called "Waffenfarbe"—literally "arms color." Used extensively by the German Army and Air Force during WWII, the system was also retained in a less detailed form by subsequent German armies. For example, the East German army (NVA) used essentially the same color codes for their uniforms in the period 1956-1990, and the West German "Bundeswehr" also kept some of the basic colors. The United States, too, has a similar system—light blue for infantry, yellow for cavalry, red for signals—which, as far as caps are concerned, is only seen on the formal "dress blue" visor hats.

For most German caps, the Waffenfarbe is indicated by the piping that runs around the perimeter of the top, as well as along the edges of the cap band. Some of these colors were discontinued or changed during the course of the war, so some functions repeat.

Please note: the colors shown below only give you a general indication of the shades involved. Because of variances in computer screens, browsers, etc. (plus the fact that nobody much agrees on what the correct colors are anyway), it is not possible to provide a truly accurate chart. This page will also look better on a PC than on a Mac.

Color Shade Use
Gold General officers in the
Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe
Silver Luftwaffe officers and
general officers in the SS
White Infantry
Army sport and music schools
Black Engineers
Construction units
Railway engineers
Blue Dark blue Medical personnel
Supply troops
Light blue Transportation
Field post office
Motor technical school
Supply training personnel
Sky blue Administration
Blue-gray Specialist officers (Sonderführer)
Brown Copper Mechanized reconnaissance
Motorcycle personnel
Light brown Concentration camps (SS)
Golden brown Signals (Luftwaffe)
Green Dark green Specialists
Reserve officers
Administrative personnel
Light green Mountain troops
Police (Schutzpolizei)
Grass green Panzer grenadiers
Armored infantry
Motorcycle units
Gray Dark gray Propaganda
Himmler's staff (SS, until June '42)
Light gray General officers
Himmler's staff (SS, from June '42)
Yellow Golden yellow Cavalry
Flight crews (Luftwaffe)
Lemon yellow Signals
War correspondents
Field post office
Orange Field police
Garrison troops
Motor technical school
Pink Light pink Motor technical school
Rose Panzer
Anti-tank troops
Salmon Geologists
Red Bright red Artillery
Bordeaux Smoke and chemical troops
Anti-gas school
Legal services
Crimson Veterinary
General staff
Violet Chaplains and field bishops






   Hit Counter