Special units

Searchlight units’ craft badge

In the excellent post of Miklós Szanyi (here) we could read about the formation of the spotlight branch, and here we are talking about the branch craft badge of the special unit.

In contemporary photographs, the badge in question rarely appears on the soldiers’ collars or field caps. Both insignia can be found on a contemporary 1917 illustration board. The early designation of the special team type is clearly visible:

It was published in the Decree Gazette issued to the Hungarian Royal Army on March 17, 1917, where the wearing of metal badges for special units of the Hungarian Royal Army was regulated by Circular Decree No. 25256 / eln 7. The ordinance states that soldiers subordinated to the Honvéd Searchlight Companies and Swarms, as well as the Searchlight Training Squadron (where a specific course of the technical devices was conducted), wear a tombac  branch badge on their collars and on the left side of their caps. The soldiers assigned to the headlight service, who did not belong to the staff of the above formations, could only wear the badges on a collar, they could wear the badge of their unit on the left side of its cap.

The badges worn on the collar were made with an imperial crown for the headlights of the common (KuK) formations and with the Hungarian holy crown for the soldiers of the Honvéd troops. The crew and staff officers wore a silver badge and the officers a gold badge. No embroidered version of this badge has been seen as in the case of other craft badges, only metal design of the collar lapel badges have come up.

Minor differences can be detected in the design of the cap badges. Their fixation was solved by means of one or two small holes for sewing or a vertical pin.

The lance corporal on the photo wears both badges. By the way, her outfit is extremely interesting. He is wearing spurred riding boots with a sword used by pioneers on the side. He wears the searchlight badge on his collar, while he wears the cap badge of the 309th Infantry Regiment between the two buttons of his field cap. Its shoulder strap is fastened by a button designated for artillery. The craft cap badge is also well visible on the cloth pad on the left side of his cap.

The representation of the badge in the decree is somewhere halfway between the forms of the two badges discussed:

I would like to thank our friend Ferenc Bálint for the generous permission to the publication of the wearing photo.

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