BACKGROUND: The development of camouflage clothing and equipment had began in the German army in WWI, and continued through the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), era. The German army’s geometric, Splittertarnmuster 31, (Splinter camouflage pattern 31), was originally developed in late 1929 and early 1930 and was first adopted for use with the M31 quarter shelter/poncho in late 1931. Further developments in 1943 modified the original splinter pattern by softly blurring the distinct geometric pattern and slightly altering the coloration. This modified camouflage pattern was designated Sumpftarnmuster, (Swamp/Marsh camouflage pattern), although it is now commonly referred to as the Tan/Water camouflage pattern, which was once again altered in 1944 by an even stronger blurring of the distinct geometric pattern. Further camouflage pattern development continued through-out the war and additional subtly different patterns were created with the intent to equip all personnel with the same camouflage pattern but this was never achieved. After the devastating winter of 1941-1942 on the Russian front the German army found that it was drastically under equipped with cold weather garments to withstand the severe cold and a wide variety of improvised garments including a broad assortment of donated civilian garments were utilized as a temporary solution. To rectify the situation the OKH, Oberkommando des Heeres, (High Command of the Army), began testing heavier winter clothing in the spring of 1942 to develop suitable garments for the Russian front. In April 1942 Hitler approved the chosen designs and the first models were issued in the autumn of that year, in the reversible blue/mouse grey/white colorations, which was modified to camouflage pattern/white combinations in 1943. Included with these new garments were heavy, padded, reversible winter suits which consisted of a parka, pants and separate hoods and mittens. Of Note: These garments were also produced in non-reversible models. The winter parkas were a standard issue item and were distributed to all EM/NCO’s for the winter season, (September 15TH to April 15TH), with other winter garments and were to be returned to the units clothing depot in April for storage, repair and cleaning to be reissued the following September. Originally Officers and senior NCO’s responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and headgear were required to purchase the new winter garments until regulations of December 1942 extended the issue winter clothing to all ranks in the colder theatres of operation. Although the suits proved quite effective they were very difficult to keep clean and launder which resulted in regulations dictating that the white side was only to be worn on the exterior when absolutely necessary.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Three quarter length, water repellant, cotton/rayon blend construction, double breasted style parka with the machine roller printed, softly blurred, geometric Swamp/Marsh, (Tan/Water), pattern camouflage in shades of green, tan and brown to one side, reversible to white. The parka features a large, overlapping, vertical, six button front closure with a smaller, overlapping, wind flap. The parka has two, diagonally angled, slash hip pockets with straight edged, rounded forward corner, button down flaps, positioned at either side of the front closure, at the waistline. The parka has a machine stitched, horizontal, tunnel loop at the waistline, with a small, vertical, slash positioned at either side of the front closure, designed for a fit adjustment draw strap. The small, vertical ,slashes run right through the parka and permitted the draw strap to be utilized on either the camouflage or the white side. The draw strap is present. The bottom edge of the tail skirt also has a machine stitched, horizontal, tunnel loop, with an inserted, adjustment drawstring. The straight cut, sleeve cuffs each have machine stitched, horizontal, tunnel loop, with a small, vertical, slash positioned at the outside sleeve seam, with an inserted, horizontally extended cotton/rayon, fit adjustment, tab with a single button eyelet to each. The small, vertical, slashes run right through the parka and permitted the cuff fit adjustment, tabs to be utilized on either the camouflage or the white side. The parka has an unpadded, dual-ply, integral hood, which is large enough to accommodate a helmet. The hood has four, small, tapering darts and a tunnel loop designed for a fit adjustment drawstring to the forward edge and an additional three tapering darts to the center seam. The hood’s tunnel loop has a white cotton fit adjustment drawstring intact. Small stitching repair to the back side of the hood seam where it attaches to the jacket. The parka is fully reversible to white with all the same features as on the camouflage side. The parka has an internal, heat retaining padding through-out. Buttons look to be complete, most have been re-stitched. Marked "2" for medium and also Rbnr# marked. The parkas were designed large enough to fit over the standard service uniform and this example is roughly size 42" chest. Shows the expected period use and light wear but overall nice condition.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $875.00

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