BACKGROUND: 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), personnelís 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 breeches for unmounted personnel essentially adhered to the pattern of the field-grey continental breeches but were manufactured in a different material and color suitable for tropical climates. The first pattern tropical breeches without a built-in belt proved unsuitable and were soon replaced with the second pattern that included the built-in belt. Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the armyís Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), system. The Officers and certain senior NCOís 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: Second pattern, (circa late 1941), light weight, olive/khaki green, cotton construction breeches with a subtly ribbed weave. The breeches feature a vertical, four button French fly, with an additional two buttons positioned on the waistband. The horizontal waistband has a tunnel loop which houses a built-in, integral, khaki/tan canvas web belt with the belt extending from the right side of the fly with a corresponding, tan painted, opened rectangular, triple claw, metal buckle and single vertical belt loop positioned to the left side of the fly. The buckle retains about 98% of its original tan paint. The breeches have two diagonally angled slash front pockets and a small, horizontal slash, watch pocket positioned beneath the right front waistband. The waistband also has a small stitched on metal loop for securing a watch chain still intact. The reverse of the breeches have two small vertical tapering darts and a single horizontal slash pocket to the right seat with a single button closure. The breeches feature exaggerated, outward, ballooning at the thighs and taper inwards down to the cuffs. The reverse of the cuffs each have a short, vertical, tapering dart and the outer cuff seams have a opened, vertical slash 16 (8 to each side) lace up adjustment holes. Laces are absent. The interior waistband lining, the internal pocket bags and a crotch reinforcement panel are all constructed in light weight white cotton. The waistband lining has four, evenly spaced, vertical olive/khaki cotton loops with a suspender button to each and an additional two, vertically extended, cotton tabs with a single button to each positioned at the reverse center. The waistband lining is well marked with black inkstamped sizes and "B 41", indicating the breeches passed through the armyís clothing depot in Berlin in 1941. The waistband lining also has a faint manufacturers inkstamp for "H. Schultz". The buttons are all the natural alloy dish type and appear to have their original stitching. The breeches are roughly size 35" waist. Superb pair of second pattern tropical breeches.

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $669.00

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