“Kiss me goodnight, Sergeant Major”

Each Company had a sergeant major responsible for keeping order and the everyday running of the Company, relieving the company commander of such trivial worries. In the Wehrmacht, the position was held by a Hauptfeldwebel known as der Spieβ (“spear”). He was recognized by the two narrow bands on his uniform sleeves, and the black notebook tucked between a couple of the front buttons. Due to him taking care of his “children”, he was also known as die Mutter der Kompanie, “the Mother of the Company”. The photo above is of a wall painting in an army barracks somewhere in Germany, painted by some humorous soldier in 1940. The song linked to below is about the Spieβ‘ colleague in the British army, but I’m sure that some things are universal.

 

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