The First World War

War-time Uniforms

At the beginning of the war uniforms were simplified. There were still officer´s coat-tails, but the collars changed from dark madder red stand-up collars in favour of field-grey turn-over collars, with dark madder red piping. Otherwise the uniform reflected the style of the Heer tunic. Piping remained in the dark madder red colour.

To illustrate the uniforms we would like to introduce here a member of the Korps and his uniforms.

Bremme's career in the German Imperial Volunteer Automobile-Corps was typical for the Corps. He was the owner of a brewery in the city of Barmen . He entered in the Corps on the 11th of August in 1914, as so many just after the hostilities had begun.

Bremme served as the driver of his own Automobile in the so-called Beskidenkorps, which was commanded by the cavalry general "von der Marwitz". As a skilled engineer and owner of a factory, he founded electric power stations in the area where his unit served.

We see Bremme as the chauffeur of Willhelm II and the General von der Marwitz at the 29th of January 1915 in an open car. It is remarkable to see the two metal rods in front of the car. They were mounted as protection against cables which were sometimes stretched over the roads by the enemies.

After the take over of the DFAC by the Kaiserlicher Kraftfahrer Korps on the 1st of August 1916, Bremme - as every former members of the DFAC, had to under go military basic training which lasted eight weeks.

The former members of the DFAC, which had an officers status - not a rank, lost their position and were demoted back to normal soldiers. A fact highly deplored by the men of the former DFAC. To make the situation a little bit more tolerable for the former gentlemen drivers, they were advanced very quickly back in the military ranks. This advantage was also given to their mechanics, who were of course, not becoming officers.

Corresponding with that Bremme had been advanced to the rank Unteroffizier in November 1916, and as of December 15th 1916 he became a Vizefeldwebel. On the 22nd of March in 1917 he was promoted back to Leutnant, now military rank.

We see two uniform tunics and the dagger which belonged to Bremme.

The left tunic is from the early wartime and was still made in the quality of peace time.

The right tunic is a lighter summer jacket, already simplified in the style of the KKfK.

The side weapon worn is the standard dagger in the pattern from around 1910.

Interestingly Bremme wore a Prussian Heer Portepee on this dagger. Regarding the portepee worn with the Automobile Corps dagger, some members chose to wear the large Prussian sword knot complete with leather strap and three rows of silver stitching with large silver acorn.

This knot was worn instead of the silver bullion strap and acorn with red and black stripes.

It is not known if this was a personal preference or there was a supply problem with the silver bullion knot. This same Prussian sword knot has also been seen on daggers being worn by members of the Prussian Aero Corps.

These uniforms and the dagger are being published here for the first time. It is a true treasure for the collector who is interested in the Corps.


The German Imperial Automobile Corps and its daggers - By Vic Diehl and H.Hampe