H025380 WINTER RABBIT FUR VEST. (Pelzunterhemd für Winter)

BACKGROUND: With the first devastating winter of 1941-1942 on the Russian front the German Armed Forces found that they were 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. Numerous winter garments were developed and issued for the winter of 1942-1943 and included the expedient animal skin vests for issue to all personnel serving in Russia during the winter months. The fur vests came in a wide variety of styles and were issued for the winter season, (September 15TH to April 15TH), with other winter garments and were to be returned to the units clothing/storage depot in April, for storage, repair and cleaning, to be reissued the following September. The fur vests gained wide spread popularity amongst the troops serving on the Eastern front. 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. 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.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Long sleeve, waist length, pocket-less, multi-panel, patch work, off-white, rabbit skin construction vest. The vest features assorted sized, rabbit skin panels with machine and handstitched seams and with the fur to the interior and the untanned, off-white hide to the exterior. Buttons look to be all original with the exception of one which looks replaced. Shows heavy period wear and use with some tear and staining which is to be expected. Roughly a size 40" chest.

GRADE *** 1/2                             PRICE $179.00

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