Fahnenschmied nach vorn!

quick intervention by the mounted farrier


Since its establishment in February 1944, the 85. Infanterie Division was stationed inland along the canal coast in northern France as one of the reserve Divisions from the 15. Armee.

In May 1944 the Divisions Artillerie Regiment 185 was doing an alarm exercise.

The horse of one of the Meldereiter in the Stabbatterie has lost a horseshoe, if left untreated the horse will get a limp leg. Therefore he dismounts immediately and takes cover under some trees along the road. One of the reserve Kannoniers is ordered to assist him if needed.

There is a difference in names of smiths in the German army, this is only because of a cavalry tradition as they both do exactly the same. "Beschlagschmied" is a non mounted blacksmith and accompanies the smith wagon, the "Fahnenschmied" is a mounted blacksmith and has his own horse. A career as Hufbeschlagpersonal was possible after completing the specialised army training, the "Beschlagschmiedlehrgangs".
The Hufbeschlagpersonal was one of the most important functions of each mounted unit. Without their experience , the squadron or battery would grind to a halt in a short period of time.
Hufbeschlagpersonal in the German army counted up to 37 000 men.

These two pictures show the early and the late version of the insignia for farrier personnel, the "Abzeichen für Hufbeschlagpersonal.

A 'Melder auf Rad' is sent out to search for the Fahnenschmied and report the incident with the Meldereiters horse. In this case the farrier has the rank of "Fahnenschmiedober-gefreiter".

Fahnenschmied nach vorn!!!

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