H057479 MOUNTAIN TROOPER'S WIND JACKET. (Windjacke für Gebirgsjäger )

BACKGROUND: During WWII the German army fielded nine Gebirgsjäger, (Mountain Troop), Divisions with an additional six Waffen-SS, (Armed-SS), Mountain Divisions. Generally speaking the Mountain Divisions were specially trained and equipped Infantry Divisions designed for mountainous warfare. Due to the nature of the terrain and the commonly colder climates that the Mountain Divisions were expected to serve in, special clothing, footwear, equipment and support weapons were developed and issued specifically for their use. Primarily the special equipment developed for the Mountain troop personnel consisted of winter warfare and mountain climbing related items and included, skis, ski accessories, crampons, pitons, ice pick axes, snowshoes, snow goggles, etc. etc.. One of the specific Mountain trooper’s clothing items was the wind jacket which was introduced in 1938 and saw limited wear during the war. The wind jackets were designed to fit over the standard uniform and equipment and as a result were cut quite large. Regulations dictated that no collar tabs or national breast eagles were to be worn on the wind jacket but slip on shoulder straps/boards, EM’s and junior NCO’s sleeve rank insignia and the Mountain trooper’s Edelweiss insignia were to be worn. The different branches of service within the German army were allocated a specific, identifying, waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), with light green being chosen for Gebirgsjäger, (Mountain Troop), personnel which was displayed as piping on the shoulder straps/boards. Of Note: 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 including the wind jacket. The design of the Edelweiss badge was based on a badge introduced by Emperor Franz-Joseph I in 1907 for the Austro-Hungarian Alpine troops and granted for wear by Imperial German Alpine troops in 1915 as an honorary emblem of bravery. Of Note: The Edelweiss, (Noble White), (scientifically, {Leontopodium Alpinum}), is a European Mountain flower of the Asteraceae, (Sunflower), family which tends to flourish in inaccessible, rocky, limestone locations at altitudes ranging from roughly, 6,560 to 9,515 feet, (2,000 to 2,900 meters), making it a most suitable emblem for Mountain troops. 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 Edelweisses 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. Generally EM/NCO personnel utilized machine embroidered or woven Edelweisses while Officer’s ranks wore higher quality, hand embroidered Edelweisses. The Mountain Troops proved themselves especially valuable in all the mountainous theatres of the war including the Carpathians, Norway, the Balkans and Greece and Northern Italy as well as Crete.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Olive drab, waterproofed, cotton duck construction, three quarter length, double breasted style, Mountain trooper’s wind jacket with small, fold back, lapels and a large, lay down collar. The jacket features dual, vertical, parallel, rows of five, front closure buttons with the corresponding button eyelets on the left front panel. The jacket also had a single, metal hook and eye positioned at the forward neckline for a secure closure, although the hook is absent. The jacket has two, slightly diagonally angled, slash, lower breast pockets and two, pleated, horizontal, patch, hip pockets all with scalloped, button down, flaps. The jacket has no breast eagle as per regulations. The dual-ply, straight cut, sleeve cuffs each have a horizontal, fit adjustment strap, with a single button eyelet, machine stitched to the inner seam with dual, corresponding, fit adjustment buttons to each. The reverse of the jacket has a central, vertical, machine stitched seam, an opened, reverse pleat to the upper section and a non-adjustable, half-belt with two ornamental buttons, machine stitched to the side seams at the waistline. The jacket has cotton shoulder strap/board retaining loops and black bakelite buttons intact but the slip on shoulder strap/boards have been removed. The large, 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 the typical zig-zag reinforcement stitching and an extended, fabric tab with a single button eyelet and corresponding button beneath the left side with an additional corresponding button beneath the right side for a secure neck closure in inclement weather. The unlined interior of the jacket has dual-ply, front closure panels. The interior, right side, front closure panel is well marked with black inkstamped "Gr II" for the size and a 1944 date. The front closure, pocket, cuff and half-belt buttons are all the large, molded, black bakelite type while the shoulder strap/board buttons are the smaller, molded black bakelite type and all but one shoulder strap/board button appear to have their original stitching. The wind jackets were designed large enough to fit over the standard field uniform and this example is roughly size 40" chest. Superb condition.

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $999.00 (Or Best Offer)

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