Probably one of the most misunderstood elements of Bavarian uniforms during the First World War is that of Aschingerborte or Borte. Borte was introduced as part of the new 1916 uniform regulations, formally introduced in an order issue by the King of Bavaria on April 1, 1916 and it intended as a means of providing an simple method for distinguishing the Bavarians from the rest of the German Army (before this, the distinct “lion” buttons performed this function). Also, with the introduction of the 1916 regulations, all the distinct buttons of the various German states were replaced with the rimless “crown” buttons.
Essentially there were four varieties of Aschingerborte:
- Bright Silver – Blue for the 1916 pattern feldgrau (field gray) peacetime tunic (Feldgrauer Friedensrock)
- Matte Silver – Blue for the 1916 pattern field tunic (i.e. the “Bluse”)
- White – Blue for the feldgrau (field grey) 1916 pattern peacetime tunic
- Grey – Blue (like my original example pictured below) for the 1916 pattern field tunic (Bluse)
The Borte was to run along the entire collar edge
Below is a piece of original EM/NCO Borte for the field tunic/Bluse:
Below are original Borte for the officer tunics:
Below are examples of the Borte mounted on tunics:
In the above portrait of a Bavarian sergeant, one can see the Borte running along the bottom edge of the collar of the Bluse with the NCO Tresse running above it.
In the above two pictures of the 1916 Pattern Bluse, one can see the Borte running all the way along the edge of the collar. This tunic appears to be an officer’s tunic.
The above tunic is the 1916 Pattern Enlisted/NCO Peacetime Tunic that was worn by a sergeant. Note that the Borte only runs along the front edges of the collar.
The tunic above is the field jacket or “Bluse” with the Borte only running along the front edges of the collar. As an economy measure, on December 10, 1917, Cabinet Orders (Orders no. 190 754 V 3 and 219 587 V 3) were issued directing that the Borte was only to be worn on the front edges of the collar.
The above is just a brief overview and no doubt there will be changes as new information is discovered.