Kappenabzeichen on postcards

IR 38

The badges of the 38th infantry regiment of Kecskemét have already been mentioned before. Now I got my hands on one of them again, the helmet-shaped insignia. Not only because it is one of my favorites, but also because it might be interesting to share some important information about it.

The first such piece of information is that, despite all appearances, it is not an assault troop badge. The appearance of the helmet and the hand grenade indicates this. For a long time, the badge was identified as a Sturmtruppe badge at auctions. The most important objection is that the volume describing the history of the regiment, which was published in the 1930s, uses this badge on the cover of the volume. In other words, it was placed on the cover of the book about the regiment as a whole. The other, similar argument is that there was a mini version with a smooth pin, which was certainly issued by the comrades’ association, also after the Great War.

The other interesting thing about the badge is that it was made in several sizes and material versions during the war. The version that can be considered the basic design is the largest (33×48 mm) made of silver-plated tombak plate with black enameled regimental number. A silver version in the same size was also produced in a relatively larger number. The size of the smaller silver badge is 22×31 mm.

But there was a further version of the large badge. I have a personal memory of this. My first 38-er badge was in rather poor condition, without a pin, with a slightly deformed badge body, the enameling of the number remained only in a small corner. What was even more striking was that there was no silver plating on it. As soon as I managed to get a silver-plated copy in better condition, I sold this first one. Then, much later, I came across again a piece wthout silver plating. The enameling of this one, however, was perfect. A plain tombak version of the large helmet insignia was certainly made as well.

So that the badge is not the only thing that stands out in the post, I put a 38 postcard underneath. For the sake of deception, the card was stamped by the regiment’s “hunting detachment”, i.e. early stage assault troop.

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