Feuerwerker (ordnance technician or specialist, literally 'fire worker') are specialists in the armed forces of German-speaking countries responsible for the maintenance of ammunition.

From the late Middle Ages until the Early modern period a Feuerwerker was a highly specialised artisan with detailed knowledge of the closely guarded secrets of making gunpowder. Since the 19th century Feuerwerker became a distinguished career in Austrian, German and Russian (Russian: Фейерверкер; Feyerverker) armed forces.

642 Changes in uniforms and armament of troops of the Russian Imperial army
Kanonier (left) and Feuerwerker (right) of the Russian Imperial Army (1878)


In the modern German Bundeswehr, Feuerwerker is the collective designation to non-commissioned officers (OR5 to OR9) and officers of the military functional service (German: Offizier(e) militärfachlischer Dienst, OF1 and OF2) with several years of special training pertaining to construction, maintenance, and destruction of ammunition.

Austro-Hungarian Empire

Feuerwerker was a military rank of the Austro-Hungarian Armed Forces (1867–1918).

In the Austro-Hungarian Armed Forces Feuerwerker was equivalent to:

  • Beschlagmeister I. Klasse (Master-Blacksmith 1st class) cavalry,
  • Feldwebel (en: Master-Sergeant) infantry,
  • Oberjäger (en: Master-Sergeant) of the mountain troops,
  • Rechnungs-Unteroffizier I. Klasse (en: Fiscal master-sergeant 1st class),
  • Regimentshornist (en: Regiment bugler),
  • Regimentstambour (en: Regiment drummer),
  • Wachtmeister (en: Master-Sergeant) cavalry,
  • Waffenmeister I. Klasse (en: Weapon master 1st class) artillery and weapon arsenal,
    • Einjährig-Freiwilliger-Feldwebel (en:Feldwebel - volunteer serving one year), and
    • Kadett-Feldwebel (Officers-Aspirant in rank of Master-Sergeant).
Junior rank
War flag of Austria-Hungary (1918).svg
armed forces rank)

Senior rank

The rank insignia was a gorget patch on the stand-up collar of the so-called Waffenrock (en: tunic), and consisted of three white stars on 13 mm ragged yellow silk galloon. The gorget patch and the stand-up collar showed the particular Waffenfarbe (en: corps colour).

Examples (selection)
Designation Non-commissioned officers OR5/ Feldwebel ranks
K.u.k. Feuerwerker K.u.k. Wachtmeister Oberjäger k.k. Gebrigstruppe 1907-18 K.u.k. Feldwebel Feldwebel des k.u.k. Militärwachkorps
Rank description Feuerwerker Wachtmeister Oberjäger Feldwebel
Branch Artillery Cavalry Mountain
Infantry Militärwachkorps
(English) (Artillery Master Sergeant) (Cavalry Master Sergeant) (Rifles Master Sergeant) (Sergeant) (Master Sergeant of Military Guard Service)

References / sources

  • Word and tradition in the German Army (de: Heer), by Transfeldt – v. Brand – Quenstedt, 6th increased edition, Hamburg 11 H.G. Schulz 1967, p. 80/§104, definition: Feuerwerker.
  • BROCKHAUS, The encyclopedia in 24 volumes (1796–2001), Volume 7: 3-7653-3676-9, page 267, definition: Feuerwerker, Militärwesen.
  • Rest-Ortner-Ilmig: Des Kaisers Rock im 1. Weltkrieg – Uniformierung und Ausrüstung der österreichisch-ungarischen Armee von 1914 bis 1918. Verlag Militaria, Wien 2002. ISBN 3-9501642-0-0.
Albert Feuerwerker

Albert Feuerwerker (November 6, 1927 – April 27, 2013) was a historian of modern China specializing in economic history and long time member of the University of Michigan faculty. He was the president of the Association for Asian Studies in 1991.

Antoinette Feuerwerker

Antoinette Feuerwerker (24 November 1912 – 10 February 2003) was a French jurist and an active fighter in the French Resistance during the Second World War.

Atara Marmor

Atara Marmor (Betty-Anne-Atara Marmor, née Feuerwerker; Clairvivre (Salagnac), Dordogne, France, September 3, 1943 – Bet Shemesh, Israel, September 21, 2003) was a French historian and art collector.

Austro-Hungarian Army

The Austro-Hungarian Army (German: Landstreitkräfte Österreich-Ungarns; Hungarian: Császári és Királyi Hadsereg) was the ground force of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy from 1867 to 1918. It was composed of three parts: the joint army (Gemeinsame Armee, "Common Army", recruited from all parts of the country), the Imperial Austrian Landwehr (recruited from Cisleithania), and the Royal Hungarian Honvéd (recruited from Transleithania).

In the wake of fighting between the Austrian Empire and the Hungarian Kingdom and the two decades of uneasy co-existence following, Hungarian soldiers served either in mixed units or were stationed away from Hungarian areas. With the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 the new tripartite army was brought into being. It existed until the disestablishment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following World War I in 1918.

The joint "Imperial and Royal Army" (kaiserlich und königliche Armee or k.u.k.) units were generally poorly trained and had very limited access to new equipment because the governments of the Austrian and Hungarian parts of the empire often preferred to generously fund their own units instead of outfitting all three army branches equally. All of the Honvédség and the Landwehr regiments were composed of three battalions, while the joint army k.u.k. regiments had four.

The long-standing white infantry uniforms were replaced in the later half of the 19th century with dark blue tunics, which in turn were replaced by a pike grey uniform used in the initial stages of World War I. In September 1915, field gray was adopted as the new official uniform colour.The last known surviving member of the Austro-Hungarian Army was World War I veteran Franz Künstler, who died in May 2008 at the age of 107.


Brive-la-Gaillarde (French pronunciation: ​[bʁiv la ɡajaʁd]; Limousin dialect of Occitan language: Briva la Galharda) is a commune of France. It is a sub-prefecture of the Corrèze department. It has around 50,000 inhabitants, while the population of the urban area was 89,260 in 1999.

Although it is by far the biggest commune in Corrèze, the capital is Tulle. In French popular culture, the town is associated with a song by Georges Brassens.

David Feuerwerker

David Feuerwerker (October 2, 1912 – June 20, 1980) was a French Jewish rabbi and professor of Jewish history who was effective in the resistance to German occupation the Second World War. He was completely unsuspected until six months before the war ended, when he fled to Switzerland and his wife and baby went underground in France. The French government cited him for his bravery with several awards. After the war, he and his wife re-established the Jewish community of Lyon. He settled in Paris, teaching at the Sorbonne. In 1966, he and his family, grown to six children, moved to Montreal, where he developed a department of Jewish studies at the University of Montreal.

Discovering History in China

Discovering History in China: American Historical Writing on the Recent Chinese Past is a book by Paul A. Cohen introducing the ideas behind American histories of China since 1840. It was published by Columbia University Press in 1984 and reprinted with a new preface in 2010.

Cohen presents a sympathetic critique of the dominant paradigms associated with John K. Fairbank and the historians he trained which shaped the field of Area Studies after World War II: "China's response to the West" (or "impact-response") and "Tradition and Modernity," which were popular in the 1950s, and Imperialism, which became fashionable in the 1960s in response to American involvement in Vietnam. Cohen, himself trained by Fairbank, sees these paradigms as placing China in a passive role and not being capable of change without a Western impact.


Feldwebel (Fw or F), literally "field usher", is a non-commissioned officer (NCO) rank in several countries. The rank originated in Germany, and is also used in Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, and Estonia. The rank has also been used in Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria.

Feldwebel is a contraction of feld meaning "field" and weibel, an archaic word meaning "usher". Weibel comes from the Old High German weibôn, meaning to go back and forth.

There are variations on feldwebel, such as Oberstabsfeldwebel ("Superior Staff Field Usher"), which is the highest non-commissioned rank in the German army and air force.

Feuerwerker (name)

Feuerwerker is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Antoinette Feuerwerker (1912–2003), French jurist and French Resistance fighter

David Feuerwerker (1912–1980), Swiss-French rabbi, professor of Jewish historySee also

Heinz Schweizer

Hauptmann Heinz Schweizer (18 July 1908 – 5 June 1946) was a Luftwaffe Feuerwerker or armourer, specifically a bomb disposal operator, during World War II.

He is noted for his role in saving a group of political prisoners at the end of the war.Most German bomb disposal during World War II was carried out by the Luftwaffe. Feuerwerker or armourers were given specific and extensive training in bomb disposal, although by the late-war period this was replaced by experience and examination alone, as for the British system. A bomb disposal section or Sprengkommando was led by an officer or Oberfeuerwerker (Senior NCO) with three or four Feuerwerker. Simple labouring, such as excavation for buried bombs, was carried out by prisoners: either criminals or political prisoners, but not prisoners of war. Citizens of occupied countries were also used, within those countries. These prisoner labourers were in turn guarded by Luftwaffe guards. Relations between Luftwaffe members and prisoners appear to have been cordial, for the political prisoners at least, if not the criminals.

In May 1943 Schweizer recovered an unexploded bouncing bomb from a Lancaster, 'E Easy', that crashed on its way to the target during Operation Chastise, the Dambuster raid.

On 28 June 1943 he was awarded his Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes (Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross) as Hauptmann (W) and leader of Sprengkommando 1/IV Ratingen-Düsseldorf.In 1945, Hauptmann Schweizer learned that the SS were about to execute a number of political prisoners. Together with his junior assistant, army officer Oberleutnant Werdelmann, he went to their camp. Claiming that a number of unexploded bombs required an immediate large team of labourers, he had the threatened prisoners released to his own custody. He took them to his headquarters at Kalkum in the Ruhr until they could be released to the advancing American Army.Schweizer was murdered on 5 June 1946 in Klobbicke/Biesenthal.

List of Légion d'honneur recipients by name (F)

The following is a list of some notable Légion d'honneur recipients by name. The Légion d'honneur is the highest order of France. A complete, chronological list of the members of the Legion of Honour nominated from the very first ceremony in 1803 to now does not exist. The number is estimated at one million including about 3,000 Grand Cross.

List of people involved with the French Resistance

People involved with the French Resistance include:

Apolônio de Carvalho (1912-2005), Brazilian revolutionary

José Aboulker (1920-2009)

Berty Albrecht (1893-1943)

Dimitri Amilakhvari (1906-1942), French-Georgian Prince

Louis Aragon (1897-1982), poet, novelist and editor, husband of Elsa Triolet

Raymond Aron (1905-1983)

Pierre Arrighi (1921-1944)

Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie (1900-1969)

Henri d'Astier de la Vigerie, Roman Catholic conservative politician

Lucie Aubrac (1912-2007)

Jacqueline Auriol (1917-2000)

Josephine Baker (1906-1975)

Louis Bancel (1926-1978), sculptor

Raoul Batany (1926-1944), assassin of Arthur Marissal

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish writer, winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature

Georges Bégué (1911-1993), SOE

Robert Benoist (1895-1944)

Georges Bidault (1899-1983)

Monique de Bissy (1923-2009)

Georges Blind (1904-1944)

André Bloch (1914-1942), SOE

Denise Bloch (1916-1945)

Marc Bloch (1886-1944), historian, founded the Annales School of historiography

France Bloch-Sérazin (1913-1943), chemist, bomb-maker for the Resistance

Tony Bloncourt (1921-1942)

Marc Boegner (1881-1970)

Cristina Luca Boico (1916-2002)

Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle (1922-1942), assassinated admiral François Darlan

Claude Bourdet (1909-1996), co-founder of Combat

Pierre Brossolette (1903-1944)

Jean Cavaillès (1903-1944)

Albert Camus (1913-1960), French novelist, winner of the 1957 Nobel Prize in Literature

Marcel Carné (1906-1996), French film director

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), French photographer

Rouben Melik (1921-2007), French-Armenian poet

Shapour Bakhtiar (1914-1991), later to become Prime minister of Iran during last days of Iranian Revolution

Roger Carcassonne (1911-1991)

Donald Caskie (1902-1983)

Jacques Chaban-Delmas (1915-2000)

René Char (1907-1988)

Peter Churchill (1909-1972), SOE

Eugène Claudius-Petit (1907-1989)

Marianne Cohn (1922-1944)

Roger Coquoin (1897-1943)

Daniel Cordier (born 1920), secretary of Jean Moulin and later historian

René-Yves Creston (1898-1964), Breton artist and ethnographer

Nancy Cunard (1896–1965), poet, writer and anarchist who worked in London as a translator

Jacques Decour (1910-1942), French writer

Charlotte Delbo (1913-1985)

Jacques Desoubrie (1922-1949)

Martha Desrumeaux (1897-1982)

François Ducaud-Bourget (1897-1984), Roman Catholic priest

Jacques Duclos (1896-1975)

Marguerite Duras (1914-1996), French writer

Jacques Ellul (1912-1994)

Paul Éluard (1895-1952), French poet

Henri Honoré d'Estienne d'Orves (1901-1941), French right wing naval officer

Joseph Epstein (1911-1944)

Valentin Feldman (1909-1942), French philosopher

Antoinette Feuerwerker (1912-2003), wife of David Feuerwerker, member of Combat

David Feuerwerker, (1912-1980), rabbi of Brive-la-Gaillarde, member of Combat

Marie-Madeleine Fourcade (1909-1989)

Henri Frager (1897-1944)

Henri Frenay (1905-1988), founder of Combat, minister in the first post-liberation government

Varian Fry (1907-1967), American journalist

Cristino García (1914-1946)

Geneviève de Gaulle-Anthonioz (1920-2002), niece of General de Gaulle

Salomon Gluck (1914-1944), physician

Gheorghe Gaston Grossmann (1918-2010) (changed his name from Grossman to Marin after he returned to Romania after World War II)

Henri Marie Joseph Grouès (1912-2007), better known as Abbé Pierre, (Catholic priest and Maquis

William Grover-Williams (1903-1945), Anglo-French racing driver

Albert Guérisse (1911-1989)

Georges Guingouin (1913-2005), communist resistance

Virginia Hall (1906-1982), American spy, SOE

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), American writer and journalist

Michel Hollard (1898-1993)

Arthur Honegger (1892-1955)

Max Hymans (1900-1961)

René Iché (1897-1954), artist, sculptor

Vladimir Jankélévitch (1903-1985)

Éliane Jeannin-Garreau (1911-1999)

Louis Jourdan (1921-2015), French actor

Germain Jousse (1895-1988)

Bernard Karsenty (1920-2007)

Marcelle Kellermann

Maurice Kriegel-Valrimont (1914-2006)

Marcel Langer (1903-1943)

Joseph Laniel (1889-1975)

Jacques Lecompte-Boinet (1905-1974)

Édouard Le Jeune (1921-2017), former Senator

André Leroi-Gourhan (1911-1986)

André Le Troquer (1884-1963)

Jacques Lusseyran (1924-1971)

André Malraux (1901-1976) ("Colonel Berger"), French writer and government minister

Missak Manouchian (1906-1944), poet, leader of the eponymous network as part of FTP-MOI

Robert Marjolin (1911-1986)

Lucien Julien Meline (1901-1943)

Jean-Pierre Melville (1917-1973), French film director

Pierre Mendès-France (1907-1982), French politician

Edmond Michelet (1899-1970), last to leave Dachau while aiding the sick, twice government minister after the war

Jacques Monod (1910-1976), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1965)

Jean Moulin (1899-1943), head of the CNR

Prince Louis Napoléon (1914-1997), pretender to the French Imperial throne

Eileen Nearne (1921-2010), SOE, Agent Rose

Camille Nicolas (1895-1967), French Resistance Leader

Andrée Peel (1905-2010), Agent Rose

Édith Piaf (1915-1963), French singer

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973, Spanish artist)

Jean Pierre-Bloch (1905-1999)

Christian Pineau (1904-1995)

Eliane Plewman (1917-1944), SOE

Georges Politzer (1903-1942)

Francis Ponge (1899-1988)

Jean Prévost (1901-1944), writer, conceived and organized the Maquis du Vercors

Paul Rassinier (1906-1967), member of Libération-Nord

Serge Ravanel (1920-2009)

Gilbert Renault (1904-1984)

Jean-François Revel (1924-2006), French writer and philosopher

Marc Riboud (1923-2016), photographer, participated in the Maquis du Vercors

Madeleine Riffaud (born 1924), French poet and war correspondent

André Rogerie (1921-2014), French writer and Holocaust survivor

Alexander Sachal (born 1924), Russian artist

Armand Salacrou (1899-1989)

Raymond Samuel (1914-2012), alias Raymond Aubrac

Odette Sansom (1912-1995), SOE

Jorge Semprún (1923-2011), Spanish writer, member of FTP and then FTP-MOI, later Culture Minister of Spain

Ariadna Scriabina (1905-1944), daughter of composer Alexander Scriabin, co-founder of the Armée Juive

Claude Simon (1913-2005)

Susana Soca (1906-1959), Uruguayan poet and socialité

Raymond Sommer (1906-1950, French racing driver

Suzanne Spaak (1905-1944), sister-in-law of Paul-Henri Spaak

Evelyne Sullerot (1924-2017), historian and sociologist

Violette Szabo (1921-1945), SOE

François Tanguy-Prigent (1909-1970)

Paul Tarascon (1882-1977), World War I flying ace

Drue Leyton (1903-1997), also known as Dorothy Tartière

Germaine Tillion (1907-2008), French anthropologist

Charles Tillon (1897-1993), member of FTP

Elsa Triolet (1896-1970), writer, wife of Louis Aragon

Tristan Tzara (1896-1963), French-Romanian poet

Berthe Vicogne-Fraser (1894-1956)

Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier (1912-1996)

Jean-Pierre Vernant (1914-2007), French philologist and anthropologist

Pierre Villon (1901-1980), member of FTP, one of the three leaders of the Committee of Military action created by the Conseil National de la Résistance

Jean de Vomécourt (1899-1945)

Philippe de Vomécourt (1902–1964)

Pierre de Vomécourt (1906-1986)

Nancy Wake (1912-2011), SOE

Madeleine Truel (1904-1945)

Traian Vuia (1872-1950), Romanian inventor

Gabrielle Weidner (1914-1945)

Johan Hendrik Weidner (1912-1994)

Simone Weil (1909-1943)

Jean-Pierre Wimille (1908-1949, French racing driver

Chuck Yeager (born 1923), American test pilot, one of the Allied pilots shot down over France who made it back to England with the help of the Resistance

Margareta Slots

Margareta Slots or Margareta Cabiljau (died 1669) was the royal mistress of king Gustav II Adolf of Sweden and the mother of his illegitimate son Gustav of Vasaborg.

Margareta Slots was the daughter of the Dutch merchant Abraham Cabiljau and Maria van Leest. During the Ingrian War Slots met Gustav at the siege of Pskov in 1615. At the time she was married to the Dutch military engineer Andries Sessandes, who fell in battle at Pskov soon after (October 1615).

In 1616, she and Gustav had a son, Gustav Gustavson; Gustav acknowledged her son and granted her an allowance. She then married the paper maker Arendt Slots, who died a few years later, and then the petardist and "Feuerwerker" (artillerist and gunpowder maker) Jacob Trello (died 1632), and was given the estate Benhamn in Uppland, where she lived with her husbands, often asking for favours from the king.

In 1625, she was involved in an incident. The bailiff Jacob Galle threatened her with confiscation after she had prevented her tenants to take part in royal construction work. As a response she visited Galle, asked if he had not heard of the privileges granted her by the monarch, and struck him with her stick, after which Galle was beaten by her servants. Galle died of the injuries and she was accused for his murder, but no legal action against her is mentioned.Reportedly, she met Gustav Adolph only once, in 1630, after their relationship had ended.

Ranks and insignia of the Russian armed forces until 1917

The Imperial Russian Army (Russian: Ру́сская импера́торская а́рмия, РИА) and the Imperial Russian Navy (Russian: Российский императорский флот) used ranks and rank insignia derived from the German model. However, the entire rank system was also closely connected to the Russian military traditions. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the Red Army abolished the entire Imperial system of ranks and rank insignia, while military units and formations of the opposing White movement retained the Imperial rank system until 1923.

René de Naurois

Abbé René de Naurois (24 November 1906 – 12 January 2006) was a French Catholic priest, chaplain, and ornithologist.

Rose Warfman

Rose Warfman (née Gluck; 4 October 1916 – 17 September 2016) was a French survivor of Auschwitz and member of the French Resistance.

Salomon Gluck

Abraham Salomon Glück, (5 November 1914 – c. 20 May 1944), was a French physician and a member of the French Resistance.

Sprouts of capitalism

The sprouts of capitalism, seeds of capitalism or capitalist sprouts are features of the economy of the late Ming and early Qing dynasties (16th to 18th centuries) that mainland Chinese historians have seen as resembling developments in pre-industrial Europe, and as precursors of a hypothetical indigenous development of industrial capitalism. Korean nationalist historiography has also adopted the idea. In China the sprouts theory was denounced during the Cultural Revolution, but saw renewed interest after the economy began to grow rapidly in the 1980s.


Wachtmeister (Wm) (ge: for master-sentinel; watch-master) is in Austria and Switzerland a military rank of non-commissioned officers (NCO). The Wachtmeister was initially responsible for the guard duty of the army. Later it became the Feldwebel equivalent NCO-grade of the Cavalry and Artillery. Besides Austria and Switzerland today, the rank was also used for example in Germany, Russia, and Poland (wachmistrz).

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