If the soldier is
prevented from saluting because he is carrying or
holding objects, etc., the salute is indicated by
walking past at attention & standing or sitting at
attention. Saluting while seated is allowed only
if circumstances require it or if the salute cannot be
given while standing, e.g., in an enclosed vehicle, in
open moving vehicles, etc. In all other cases,
subordinates are required to stand while saluting.
Enlisted men must also
salute uniformed civilian Wehrmacht officials, as well
as military chaplains in vestments, including former
officials of the Wehrmacht, the old army & the old
navy who are in uniform.
All salutes should be
quickly & crispy executed. They begin five
steps in front of the superior & end two steps
past, or are given upon entering & leaving a room.
In rooms inside of
barracks (including the canteen), official buildings,
or other accommodations, the command for
"Attention!" shall be given by the duty
officer, etc., when officers & platoon sergeants
(company sergeants) enter their own company's space,
etc. Everyone stands at attention facing the
superior until the superior says "At
ease!" or leaves the room. The person
of most senior rank announces the superior. In
offices, "Attention!" is not commanded &
the superior is not announced. Salutes are
performed from the seated position, as long as the
superior does not speak to the subordinate.
In enclosed spaces
other than barracks, such as public transportation,
waiting rooms, boarding houses, garden cafés,
theaters, concert halls, & lecture rooms, a salute
is to be given if a superior & a subordinate
approach within greeting distance of each other.
The salute should be performed as appropriate to the
Whoever is the first to
notice a superior informs his companions in a timely
manner of the need to salute.
Before saluting, remove
cigars from your mouth, hands from your pockets,
etc. Offering a greeting with a whip or similar
item in the saluting hand is not permitted.
When on horseback,
perform the salute at a walk if a duty-related task
does not prevent it. Subordinates wishing to
overtake a superior on horseback must ask permission
to do so (except during field exercises, maneuvers,
etc.) Cyclists, drivers, & riders salute by
sitting at attention.
by individuals should not be performed:
- by drivers
of motor vehicles or military driving
instructors accompanying student drivers,
while the vehicle is in motion;
- by cyclists,
wagon-drivers, & horseback riders, or
passengers in motor vehicles, if saluting
compromises traffic safety or their own
- by soldiers
on duty in a unit. If such a soldier is
spoken to by a superior, he stands or sits
at attention: at shooting practice or on
combat duty, & while drilling with
- While on
bridle paths or in riding arenas by
specific orders of the garrison leader or
- by mounted
by Units in Formation
are performed by units in formation only
within the garrision area or billets, & by
battalions under the leadership of (NCOs
and) enlisted men, who salute:
Fuehrer & Chancellor of the
Minister of War,
officers, including counterparts
in the regional police who are in
banners & standards of the old
army & the former seagoing
battle flags of the old navy, as
announced by the
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy,
& the banners of the regional
in Formation with Headgear
marching on foot salute by parade-stepping.3
Command (while marching with route
step): "Quick step, march!"
"Attention! Eyes right (left)!"
When the command "Attention!" is
heard, begin to parade-step. At the end of
the salute, the command "Forward,
march!" will be given, or "Route step,
march!" if the route step is to be used.
marching units on horseback or in vehicles, the
command to salute is "Attention! Eyes right
(left)!" When "Attention!" is
heard, sit at attention as prescribed. When the
command "Eyes right (left)!" is given,
personnel in the back seat of a vehicle turn their heads
& look to the opposite4 side. The
salute ends when the command "Ready, front!"
units with vehicles salute upon a sign from the
commander, which is to be repeated by any accompanying personnel
except the driver of the vehicle.
on foot that have halted, the commander says
"Attention! Eyes right (left)!" For
units on horseback or in vehicles that have halted, the
command is [also] "Attention! Eyes right
(left)!" Look at the superior officer.
If he is walking or riding along the unit, every head
should be turned toward him & every gaze should rest
on him until he is two steps past, then the head &
eyes should automatically face forward. If units
are dismounted, they step to their horses or vehicles
when the command "Attention" is given.
The leaders go to their prescribed positions. The
salute ends when the command "At ease!" is
Formation Without Headgear
formation without headgear give the same salute as those
with headgear. However, in this case, the unit
commander gives the German greeting if he is also
hatless (in a sports uniform, for example).
Units in Formation, Salutes are Not to Be
- off post or
outside of billets.
- when on the
march after the command "At ease!"
has been given or during a halt. When
a troop is marching past a commander, each
individual looks at him while at
attention. Foot soldiers tighten their
rifle slings on command.
- by fatigue
details with work tools. Only the
commander salutes or greets.
- by street
patrols. The commander & men of
the patrol salute or greet individually.
personnel to whom no salute is owed by the unit in
formation are merely saluted or greeted by the
commander. When marching with the route step (or
when at ease), any soldier is free to greet civilians.
is a mutual obligation to salute between:
personnel among themselves, as long as the
regulations concerning salutes are not in
question, including personnel of the
regional police & former personnel of
the Wehrmacht, the old army, or the old navy
who are uniform.
personnel. the police & the local police
(gendarmes); forestry officials in public
service & the railway police, the
members of the DLV & RLB, the SA &
its organizations, the SS, the NSDFB, the
FAD & the political leaders of the NSDAP.
are further required to salute:
- the banners
& ensigns of the police, the DLV &
RLB, the SA & its branches, the SS, the
NSDFB ("Steel Helmets"), the Reichstreubund,
the Kyffhaeuserbund veterans'
association, the FAD, the Hitler Youth,
& the political organizations of the
national socialist movement, when they are
marching in formation. Exceptions are
SA & SS command-post flags & the
pennants of the Bund Deutscher Maedel
(BDM) & Jungvolk youth
- while the
German national anthem or the Horst Wessel
Song are played.
approaching or entering memorials.
- at all
- superiors in
civilian cloths, if they are known to the
in uniform & wearing headgear, the type of salute to
use is summarized in the regulations on saluting.
uniform who are not wearing headgear or who are dressed
in civilian clothes use the German greeting.
with a lower rank or less seniority should salute
first. It is a matter of honor among soldiers -
even if the person who is being saluted is not part of
the Wehrmacht - to execute each salute in a crisp &
same conditions discussed previously, the obligation to
salute does not apply to certain individuals (e.g.
drivers of motor vehicles, mounted messengers, etc.)
salute is expected when members of foreign armed forces
salute first. Units in formation do not
salute. If a salute is to be given, the senior
officer of the post or the naval commander will so
superior returns a soldier's salute by answering "Heil!"
or "Good morning," etc., the greeting is
answered using the same wording & adding
"(superior's rank), Sir!"
greet units in formation by saying "Heil!"
& adding the branch of service or force. The
unit answers "Heil!" & adds
"(superior's rank), Sir!" The Minister
of War is answered with "Heil, General,
Sir!" The Fuehrer & Chancellor of the
Reich is answered with "Heil to the Feuhrer!"
Following the July 20th assassination attempt on Hitler,
the military salute was changed. The traditional
"Military Salute" of the hand to the cap visor
or rim of the helmet, was then forbidden. The
"German greeting" or "Party salute"
was ordered to become the official salute of the
Wehrmacht. Many soldiers viewed the "German
greeting" as ridiculous & impractical.
One veteran commented that after this new order,
"it was not uncommon to observe entire companies
carrying their mess tins in their right hands to avoid
being compelled to demonstrate their 'loyalty to the
2 "German greeting" (Deutscher
Gruß) - the German name for the Nazi salute
[Translator]. Even though this was an official
regulation, it is advised that reenactors do not do this
salute due to its political affiliation.
3 "Parade-stepping" (Exerziermarsch)
- the German name for goose-stepping. [Translator]
4 "Opposite side" - Apparently,
passengers in the rear seat faced in the opposite