SweGGate Theme Military  Old ranks
SweGGate Theme: Military


A few old military ranks
Rank Used in period Comments
Förare 16th - early 19th century Literal meaning: guide. Modern: driver (of car, train etc)
Junior officer. Main tasks were to 
1  assist the fänrik.
2  carry the company banner (the phrase föra fanan = carry the banner) during march but handed it over to the fänrik during battle
3  organize march roads and camp locations
4  oversee the military aspect of care for the sick and wounded. The medical tasks were performed by the fältskär
Do not confuse with furir (below)
(described in De la Chapelle's book 1669 and Söderman's book 1679)
Furir 16th - 20th century [from old words for animal food] Junior officer. Main tasks were to 
1  organize camp and lodging for military units (or royal travelling party)
2  acquire food for animals and personnel
Later a rank in the army (cf 1940)
Fältväbel early 1600 - 1833 [from Ger feldwebel] a position in an army company = the senior (counting service years) underofficer (non-commissioned officer). The title was changed to fanjunkare in 1833. (Note that fanjunkare is also a rank - not necessarily in the position named fanjunkare)
Bardskär middle ages [from Ger bart = beard, scherer = cutter] originally a barber who, when he was part of a military unit, also performed surgical procedures like cutting open infected wounds, amputations etc.
Also barskärare, bårdskärare.
Fältskär 1571 - 1896 [fält = (n) field, skär from skära = (v) cut]. From 1571 the formal military title for the "bardskär". Their tasks were mainly medical assistants performing koppning, åderlåtning, lavemang, badning (baths) etc. Also named badare (= bather).
There have been civilian fältskär as well

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Last updated by F Hae 2004-12-29 08:06 © Fredrik Haeffner, 2005