H025182 TROPICAL MOTORCYCLIST'S PROTECTIVE COAT. (Tropen Kradmantel)

BACKGROUND: Motorcyclist’s/Dispatch riders were outfitted with special protective clothing that included protective gauntlets with long, extended cuffs and the unique, motorcyclist’s protective coat. Both the coats and gauntlets proved quite popular with the troops for their stylish appearance and serviceability and were commonly worn by non-motorcycle personnel in spite of regulations. The motorcyclist’s protective coat was originally introduced on November 12TH 1934, with a unique design that was specifically intended for wear when riding motorcycles. The motorcyclist’s coat was worn for the duration of the war with minor manufacturing modifications. In late 1940, with the impending German entrance into the North African campaign, tropical uniforms and equipment were quickly developed and issued in time for DAK, Deutsches Afrika Korps, (German Africa Corps), personnel’s arrival in Tripoli in February 1941. Eventually these tropical uniforms would be issued to personnel serving in southern areas of continental Europe. The design of the tropical issued uniforms items essentially adhered to the pattern of the field-grey continental uniforms, although in a different color and material, and included the motorcyclist’s protective coat. Originally the only insignia worn on the motorcyclist’s coat was a single strip of NCO’s tress for NCO ranks of Unteroffizier to Stabsfeldwebel and dual strips of NCO’s tress for officers ranks of Leutnant to Generalfeldmarschall but they were abolished in January 1937 to be replaced with slip on shoulder boards/straps. Enlisted ranks did not utilize any rank insignia on the motorcyclist’s coat as per regulations. Of Note: Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the army’s Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), system. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s could choose to purchase their uniforms from the armed forces clothing depots or to privately purchase garments of higher quality. Although enlisted personnel were issued their uniforms from government supplies they were also permitted to purchase privately tailored uniforms although the price may have been restrictive.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Ribbed, light-weight, khaki/olive, cotton twill construction tropical motorcyclist’s coat with fold back lapels and a large, lay down collar. The coat has a distinctive front closure with dual buttons situated on each upper breast panel with dual, corresponding, button eyelets to the fold back, lapels and a single metal hook and eye positioned at the forward neckline. The coat has a diagonally angled, slash, pocket to the right breast and two, slightly diagonally angled, vertical, slash, hip pockets with scalloped, button down flaps. The raglan cut sleeves have six, small, vertical, tapering darts at the cuffs and a vertical slash to the interior cuff seams with an extended, horizontal, button eyelet, tab and dual, corresponding, fit adjustment buttons to each. The armpits each have an opened, ventilation, slash. The shoulders of the coat have the shoulder strap/board fabric retaining loops and buttons intact. The lay down collar has no collar tabs or any evidence of any ever having been applied, as per regulations. The reverse of the collar has an extended, button eyelet, cotton tab with a single button beneath the left side with a corresponding button beneath the right side for a secure neck closure in inclement weather. The reverse of the coat has a darted, straight edged, partially opened, horizontal, ventilation shoulder yoke to the top and a vertical, tail skirt, vent running from the waistline to the bottom edge of the tail skirt with a three button closure. The interior of the coat has a light weight, tightly woven, khaki/olive cotton mesh lining to the reverse of the external top yoke. Excellent issue and size marking. Buttons look to be all original stitching. The coats were designed to be worn over the standard field uniform and equipment and were cut quite large as a result, with this example being roughly a size 36" chest. Maker marked to "Thiele & Co" with a 1942 Munich Depot marking. Very nice!

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $995.00

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