Field Marshal Baton for Erwin Rommel (Marschallstab)
- The seven styles of Nazi-era batons
- The first baton awarded was to Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg. This baton’s shaft had a light blue velvet covering material. It is now in the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.
- The first air force baton awarded was to Hermann Göring after his promotion to field marshal. Though it was designed similarly to the Blomberg baton with a light blue velvet shaft covering, it incorporated the air force Balkenkreuz symbols. Additionally, the end caps were inlaid with many small diamonds. It is now kept in the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Columbus, Georgia.
- The next baton awarded was to Grand Admiral Erich Raeder. This baton’s shaft had a dark blue velvet covering. This baton differed from other batons by having a chain link pattern sewn over the crosses, eagles and anchors. At the end of the war, the baton was reportedly disassembled and sold in pieces.
- Nine army batons were awarded in the summer of 1940 to newly promoted field marshals. The batons’ shafts had red velvet coverings and differed only in identifying inscriptions on the end caps. Eight more batons of this style were later awarded to other field marshals upon their promotions. The first group was manufactured for 6,000 RM (about 30,000 USD in 2012) each. Most of the batons are now in museums or private collections.
- Three air force batons were awarded in the summer of 1940. They had blue velvet covering and the Balkenkreuz design, differing only in individual end cap inscriptions. One more baton of this style was awarded in 1943. The 1940 air force batons were slightly more expensive to manufacture than the 1940 army batons.
- The only other navy baton was awarded to Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz. It had a blue velvet shaft covering and incorporated a U-boat symbol on one of the end caps. It is now in the Shropshire Regimental Museum, Shrewsbury, UK, and was donated by Major General J. B. Churcher, who captured Dönitz at war’s end and stole the baton.
- The only Reichsmarschall baton was presented to Hermann Göring in 1940. While similar looking to the other 1940 batons, it incorporated exceptional materials. The shaft was white elephant ivory, not velvet-covered metal. The end caps incorporated platinum in the inscription banding and over 600 small diamonds. The baton was manufactured for 22,750 RM (about 130,000 USD in 2012). It is now in the US Army’s West Point Museum, Highland Falls, NY.