BACKGROUND: The M44 field blouse was the final uniform developed for the German soldier during WWII and was a complete departure from the previously used uniforms. The M44 field blouse was officially introduced on September 25TH 1944 and followed the basic cut and design of the short British battledress tunics in an attempt to conserve materials and labor. Generally the M44 field blouses were manufactured in a distinctive new shade of material designated field-grey 44, which had a considerably more olive/brown coloration then the earlier field-grey color. 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. On May 2ND 1939 the OKH, Oberkommando des Heeres, (High Command of the Army), authorized wear of a distinctive edelweiss tradition badge by Mountain Troop personnel to be worn on the upper right sleeve of the service, dress and field uniforms. The design of the badge was based on a badge worn by the WWI German Alpine Corps. On introduction the badge was on a blue/green badge cloth base, but in early 1940 this was altered to a field-grey wool base. Of Note: A metal edelweiss with stem was designed for wear on the mountain cap and a stemless edelweiss was authorized for wear on the visor cap. Original regulations, unsuccessfully, dictated the edelweiss’s were to be removed from wear if the personnel were transferred out of a Mountain Troop unit. On November 12TH 1944 regulations were altered to permitted continued wear of the edelweiss after transfer out of a Mountain Troop unit as long as the individual had combat experience with the Mountain Troops.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Waist length, field-grey, wool/rayon blend construction field blouse with a vertical, six button front closure, small fold back lapels and a lay down collar. The field blouse has two non-pleated, patch breast pockets with straight edged button down flaps. The right breast has a M44 pattern, machine woven national eagle in subdued matte grey threads on woven, field-grey rayon base with original factory stitching to the tunic. The left breast pocket has two horizontal thread loops for wear of an award. The field blouse has straight cut, dual-ply, hemmed sleeves with a vertical slash to the outside seam with dual, stitched, button eyelets and a single corresponding fit adjustment button. The upper right sleeve has a pre-1940 pattern mountain troops sleeve edelweiss. Rank pip is hand sewn to the left sleeve. The edelweiss is neatly handstitched to the sleeve. Comes with a pair of slip-on "M44" pattern shoulder straps. The reverse of the lay down collar has the typical zig-zag reinforcement stitching and a small, extended, wool tab with a stitched button eyelet and a single button positioned beneath the left side with a corresponding button positioned beneath the right side to ensure a secure neck closure in inclement weather. The collar has the second pattern, general issue EM/NCO’s collar tabs as introduced on May 9TH 1940 for wear by all branches of service. The machine woven collar tabs feature light grey/green ribbed litzen with mouse grey branch of service and center stripes. The collar tabs are machine stitched directly to the collar with no backing material. The interior breast panels are partially lined in grey rayon. The lining has a horizontal slash patch pocket with a single button closure to both the left and right breast. The lining also has dual, vertical grey rayon straps with four stitched eyelets to each positioned at each side panel just beneath the armpits, designed to secure the belt support hooks. Tunic is nicely Rbnr# marked. Buttons all look to be original stitching. The field blouse is roughly size 34" chest. Near mint and nice!

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $2,369.00

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