Artillerie-Prüfungs-Kommission (APK)

APK Siegelmarken (official stationary seal)

APK Siegelmarken variation with "C" spelling of Commission
The Artillerie-Prüfungs-Kommission (APK = artillery testing commission) was a military authority of the Preußen (Prussian) army and Kaiserliche-Marine (Imperial German Navy) in Berlin. It consisted of staff from the Artillerie and the Kaiserliche-Marine, and concerned itself with all matters of artillery development, acquisition, testing, and field trials. The APK provided specialized expertise and unique trial capabilities for the Großer Generalstab (German General Staff) and the Admiralstab (Imperial Admiralty Staff) by determining requirements and conducting impartial trials and evaluations on new and modified cannons and equipment.
The Artillerie-Prüfungs-Kommission consisted of two specific departments: one for Preußen Feldartillerie (Field Artillery) and Fußartillerie (Foot Artillery), and one for the Kaiserliche-Marine (Imperial German Navy) which included both coastal and naval artillery.

In addition there was a Versuchsabteilung (experimental unit), Versuchskompanie (testing company) and a Depotverwaltung (depot administration) for the APK.

APK Versuchsabteilung Siegelmarken (official stationary seal)
Schießplatz Kummersdorf

In the summer of 1877 Schießplatz Kummersdorf (shooting range Kummersdorf) was established 45 km south of Berlin in Kummersdorf for the Artillerie-Prüfungs-Kommission (APK). All testing took place at Schießplatz Kummersdorf and eventually the APK laboratory was also established there.

The Bundeshaus Berlin (now the German Parliament building) at Bundesallee 216 Berlin served as administration building for the APK until 1918.
In 1888, Schießplatz Kummersdorf was connected with the Schießplatz Jüterbog (shooting range Jüterbog) via a narrow-gauge railroad. The tracks were expanded in 1895 to the standard railway gauge for moving heavy cannons and equipment. In 1915 at Kummersdorf the Artillerie-Meßformationen (Artillery Survey Sections) were developed which were Fußartillerie (Foot Artillery) "flash and bang" detection units for counter-battery fire. They later branched out into seperate skillsets:

  • LM - Lichtmeßtruppe (light measuring) for "flash" counterbattery fire
  • SM - Schallmeßung (sound measuring) for "bang" counterbattery fire
Garde-Fußartillerie issued Pickelhaube

Model 1894 Garde-Fußartillerie (Foot Artillery) Mannschaften issued Pickelhaube worn by Kanonier (Gunner) to Sergeant in the Fußartillerie Prüfungs-Kommission (APK) until 1915.

This example is correctly marked to 2. Garde-Fußartillerie -Regt. (Foot Artillery) which was formed from the APK during the 1914 mobilization.

Shown here is an M1895 Dunkelblau Waffenrock Mannschaften (Other Ranks) shoulder strap for soldiers of the Artillerie-Prüfungs-Kommission (APK).

Although the APK consisted of Preußen Feldartillerie (Field Artillery), Fußartillerie (Foot Artillery), and Kaiserliche-Marine (Imperial German Navy), the uniform worn was the Dunkelblau Waffenrock of the Fußartillerie with Brandenburg cuffs and white shoulder straps. The Dunkelblau Waffenrock was not a dress uniform, it was worn in the field, garrison, and on parade dependant upon condition; newest condition Waffenrock being worn for parades, and more worn Waffenrock being relgeated to field wear until eventual replacement by the Feldgrau Feldrock in 1907/10.

The shoulder strap is designed to be sewn into the shoulder seam of the Waffenrock. Straps were backed in dark blue for the Waffenrock or light grey for the M1907 greatcoat. Issued examples were typically chain-stitched, however, the stiff backing and high quality of this example identifies it as private purchase.
2. Garde-Fußartillerie -Regt. M10/Vereinfachte

The 2. Garde-Fußartillerie -Regt. was formed during the mobilization of 1914 from the Lehrregiment der Fussartillerie-Schiessschule (instructional regiment of the Foot Artillery Shooting School) and the Artillerie Prüfungs-Kommission (APK). Soldiers from both branches of the Fussartillerie retained their shoulder straps.

Shown here is a very rare M10/Vereinfachte (simplified) Feldrock Mannschaften (Other Ranks) shoulder strap for soldiers from the Artillerie Prüfungs-Kommission in the 2. Garde-Fußartillerie -Regt. who manned the 42cm M-Gerät L/12 Dicke Bertha (Big Bertha).

This pattern of shoulder strap was introduced on 03 March 1915 for Preußen; it increased production by removing the slip-on tongue and white branch piping of the M07/10 shoulder straps.
2. Garde-Fußartillerie -Regt. Model 1915

One feature of the new M1915 Bluse, were that shoulder straps were standardized by the use of specific colors for each branch of service. For the Fußartillerie (Foot Artillery) the straps became yellow with red bombs under a red unit number or cypher. For officer boards, the underlay matched the colors of the Mannschaften (Other Ranks) shoulder straps.

Shown here is a vey scarce (but slightly rodent munched) Model 1915 Bluse Mannschaften (Other Ranks) shoulder strap for soldiers from the Artillerie Prüfungs-Kommission in the 2. Garde-Fußartillerie -Regt.