Military funeral

military funeral of Night fighter ace Lieutenant Colonel Helmut Lent

military funeral of Night fighter ace Lieutenant Colonel Helmut Lent

Under a funeral with military honors refers to the design of a funeral or a funeral by members of the military, such funeral are country specific and the particular military tradition established. The funeral with military honors in Germany is usually also part of a state funeral, if this is not expressly reject the relatives.

Military funerals in Germany

Claim to have a funeral with full military honors in Germany, especially:

•Deceased who are entitled to a state funeral

•in and out of service or deceased soldier was killed the Bundeswehr

•People who have come through on duty soldiers or civilian employees of the armed forces or materiel killed

•s deceased former professional soldier of the Bundeswehr, the armed forces, of the army and the army and navy of the Empire

•deceased owner / carrier highest Verdienst-/Tapferkeitsauszeichnungen.

The military honors at funerals are found only at the request of the next of kin of the deceased. Is death in connection with a crime committed by the deceased occurred, or there is reasonable suspicion of involvement in a crime, proved to be no military honors.

The scope of the military ceremony at a funeral service is set out in a Joint Service Regulation. We distinguish between deputation, small and large military escort of honor:

•The delegation is composed of an officer (if possible disciplinary authority for the deceased), a Sergeant, a team grade and possibly two soldiers wreath makers together.

•The small escort of honor includes not only the second six soldiers dead guard (preferably from the group rank of the deceased), a drummer, a trumpeter, and optionally a soldier as religious cushion support. Provided the honor guard is only for admirals and generals and owner of gallantry awards

•The large escort of honor is for people in question (usually lieutenant general) or a similar service position occupied at least the official position of Commanding General. In addition to intensified by a general delegation, it includes a troop flag with flag bearers and two accompanying officers, a Ehrenzug (1.3.27), a military band and wake, ring gear carrier and religious cushion support.

•By order of the President state funerals are performed for a battalion competes instead of Ehrenzugs and the coffin is carried by officers.

The coffin of persons who are buried with military honors, will be at the request of members of a federal service flag covered so that the eagle is looking to the head of the deceased to the right. At the level of the head of a dead headgear (helmet, cap, balaclava, beret), opening downwards screen / edge to the head of the eagle crest is mounted pointing to the coffin. Because under German ceremonial coffin with the flag is lowered into the grave, a second flag being carried for the purpose of transfer to the bereaved separately.

Integral part of the process of the song playing the good comrade during lowering of the coffin into the grave is; present soldiers turn out like the military salute.

From 2000 to 2011, the Bundeswehr has been involved with 68 honorary escort and 43 delegations at funerals of deceased former members of the Wehrmacht, including, for example, with Rudolf Witzig, Michael Pössinger and Erich Topp.

Military funerals to 1945

By 1945, the military funeral was just as common in other countries, was transported from the funeral where the coffin on a horse-drawn gun carriage gun. When senior officer s it was common to carry a saddled horse with boots reversed in the stirrups plugged into the funeral procession, which should symbolize the current lack of leadership of the unit concerned. As honorary signal up to 21 guns were, depending on the rank of the dead given, for T. Cannon with n

Military funerals in other countries

•In the U.S., the process of military funerals and 1945 corresponds to the usual method in Germany. As a song of mourning by a solo musician intoned Buzz “Taps” is used in the United States.

•In the UK it is common practice to keep the past carrying the coffin of the honor guard, the weapon upside down, this tradition is also known from other countries. As dirges of Buzz “The Last Post” can be used, followed by “Reveille”.

•Many countries have for the military funeral also special forms of lockstep s, such Example, in Russia see a very slow, the goose-step compound shape

•At the departure of the military departments of the funeral march no more sorrow, but conventional military marches are often played as a sign of forward thinking.


Even the Roman writer Virgil depicts that the 1st Century BC had been killed in a grudge helmet and weapons. His comrades carried their weapons upside down. This took place in the Middle Ages its equivalent if shields were made ​​with the tip up, as reported by Wolfram von Eschenbach in Parzival in 1200.


•Military forms and ceremonies of the Bundeswehr (= Central regulation of the Bundeswehr ZDv 10/8), (not public).

•Hans-Peter Stone: symbols and ceremonies in German armed forces of 18 to 20 Century (= development of German military tradition. Vol 3). 2nd revised edition. Intermediaries, including Herford 1986, ISBN 3-8132-0238-0.


Funeral Service

Military Customs and Rituals

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