BACKGROUND: The severe cold encountered on the Russian front in the winter of 1941 found the Germans completely unprepared not only in heat retaining cold weather garments but also snow camouflage garments. This resulted in numerous, hastily improvised and makeshift heat retaining and snow camouflage items being utilized including everything from civilian winter clothing to white bed sheets. After the winter of 1941 the Oberkommando des Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), recognized the need for heavier winter clothing and testing began in the spring of 1942 to develop suitable garments. In April 1942 Hitler approved the chosen design, and the first models were issued in the autumn of that year, in the reversible blue/grey/white colourations, 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, hoods and mittens. The winter garments were issued in September and returned to the units clothing depot in April for storage, repair and cleaning to be reissued the following September. 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: Feldgrau, reversible to white, cotton/rayon blend, water repellent, construction, straight legged pants, with a repeating, machine stitched rectangular pattern and an internal padded lining. Buttons are a combination of original and replaced stitched. One suspender is complete, while the other one is torn and missing a section. The pants feature an open fly with an overlapping trapezoidal wind flap with a three button closure and an additional button at the waistband. The pants have two diagonally angled, slash, front pockets with rounded forward edge button down flaps. The pants have an internal, heat retaining padding through-out. The pants were designed large enough to be worn over the standard issue uniform pants and this example is roughly size 38" waist. Well worn and used examples.

GRADE *** 1/2                             PRICE $495.00

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