BACKGROUND: Development of self-propelled assault artillery to support the infantry in a close fire support role began in the late 1930's and continued through-out the war. With the development of these new weapons it was decided that crew personnel would require a uniform designed specifically for wear in the close constrains of their vehicles. The black panzer wrap uniform had proven practical in the confines of tanks, but it was determined that the color was too conspicuous for use while performing the close support role as the assault gunners were quite often required to leave their vehicles for observation within close range and view of the enemy. This consideration led to the introduction of the field-grey Sturmartillerie uniform on May 29TH 1940, with the same design and cut of the Black panzer wrap uniform. Originally test examples of the Sturmartillerie uniform were manufactured with a blue/green collar which was altered to a field-grey collar by the time of its official introduction. The field-grey assault artillery wrap tunic remained the same through-out the war. The black wool Panzer and the field-grey Sturmartillerie uniforms both proved to be practical garments but also proved to be hard to clean and maintain and hot and uncomfortable in the summer months and in the warmer climates of southern continental Europe. As a result of this and with an eye on conserving materials, regulations of May 5TH 1941 introduced a lighter weight, reed green uniform in the same basic design as its predecessors. The new reed green uniforms were to be utilized by all armored personnel and were designed to serve double duty as they would fit over the wool Panzer and Sturmartillerie uniforms in colder weather to prevent wear and tear and be less conspicuous and also could be utilized by itself as a summer uniform. In early 1942 a slightly modified, second pattern, wrap uniform was introduced with the addition of vertical slashes at the waistband to accommodate a belt and an additional large, patch pocket applied to the left breast. 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. The different branches of service within the army were allocated a specific, identifying, waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), which was generally displayed on the shoulder straps/boards and the collar tabs.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Second pattern, (Circa 1942-1945), light weight, reed green, hbt construction, waist length, double breasted style tunic with small fold back lapels and a large lay down collar. The tunic also has a single metal hook and eye positioned at the forward neckline for a secure closure. Original M39 pattern breast eagle is machine sewn to the tunic. The left breast has a large, vertically rectangular, patch pocket with a scalloped button down flap. The side seams of the tunic each have a small, vertical slash, positioned at the waistline to accommodate a belt. The reverse of the tunic has a central vertical seam and two, vertical, tapering darts. The straight cut, dual-ply, sleeve cuffs each have a vertical outside seam slash with a single button closure. The tunic has open vented armpits. The unlined interior has a horizontal, tunnel looped, grey cotton, fit adjustment drawstring, with an HBT, (Herring Bone Twill), weave positioned at the waistline. All original buttons and stitching. Nice "WB" depot and size markings with a 1943 date. The wrap tunics were cut large enough to fit over the standard wrap tunics and this example is roughly size 38" chest. Mint, super rare & hard to find original. Nice!!!!!

GRADE ****3/4                             PRICE $5,995.00 (Or Best Offer)

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