BACKGROUND: In October 1940 Reichsführer-SS, (National Leader of the SS), Heinrich Himmler traveled to Norway to inspect Waffen-SS, (Armed-SS), personnel temporarily stationed there to evaluate winter clothing in anticipation of the inevitable invasion of Russia. This primary evaluation led to the introduction of experimental, fur lined, field-grey, anoraks with integral hoods in December 1940. The SS-FHA, SS-Führungshauptamt, (SS-Operational Headquarters), and the SS-WVHA, SS-Wirtschafts und Verwaltungs Hauptamt, (SS-Economic and Administration Department) were the two departments responsible for supplying and maintaining all personnel of the SS. The SS-FHA was responsible for issuing the initial equipment, supply and maintenance of weapons and ammunition, and the supply of technical equipment and transport vehicles. The SS-WVHA, was responsible for issue of all personal equipment items and clothing items including the anoraks. The three-quarter length anoraks were intended for use by mobile personnel, (Reconnaissance, Patrols etc.), with the standard greatcoats and the fur-lined surcoats utilized by stationary personnel, (Guards, Drivers etc.). The first pattern anoraks were a pull-over design and were a limited issue item with regulations dictating that they were only to be distributed to 10% of the receiving unit’s manpower strength. The anoraks were originally only issued to personnel serving in occupied Norway and parts of Poland for the winter season, (September 15TH to April 15TH), and were to be returned to the units clothing depot in April for storage, repair and cleaning to be reissued the following September. Further testing and design alterations occurred over the next couple of years resulting in the production of the fur lined anorak in January 1943 which were also issued to personnel on the eastern front. The early, pull-over style anoraks proved unpopular with the troops as they were too heavy and hot without enough ventilation and as a result a new pattern anorak, with a full length, button up front closure, was introduced in early 1944, and manufacture of the earlier pattern was discontinued. The early, pull-over style anoraks were to be returned to the units clothing depots to be altered to the button up front closure style although some remained in use for the duration of the war. Both the first and second pattern anoraks were to be worn without any insignia. Of Note: With the fall of Germany’s Italian allies as a result of Mussolini’s deposition and imprisoned on July 25TH 1943 and the subsequent Italian unconditional surrender to the allied forces on September 8TH 1943 the Germans appropriated large stockpiles of Italian clothing and equipment. As a result a certain percentage of later, Waffen-SS, uniforms and headgear items were manufactured in the field-grey Italian material. Also Of Note: In a daring raid on September 13TH 1943 Mussolini was rescued by the Germans and under Hitler’s forceful encouragement began formation of the puppet fascist RSI, Repubblica Sociale Italiana, (Italian Social Republic), on September 17TH 1943, in a failed attempt to restore fascism to Italy. The RSI along with the GNR, La Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana, (Republican National Guard), which was formed on November 20TH 1943, continued to fight in Italy under German command. This example is manufactured in Italian material.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Large, heavy, three quarter length, later pattern, (Circa 1944-1945), fur lined, water repellent, subtly striped, Italian, field-grey, cotton construction anorak with an integral hood. The anorak features a vertical, seven button front closure with an overlapping, wind flap with additional, corresponding, stitched button eyelets. Three of the front closure buttons are absent. The anorak has two, non-pleated, patch, breast pockets and two, diagonally angled, slash, hip pockets all with scalloped, button down, flaps. The anorak has an internal, horizontal, tunnel looped, fit adjustment elastic positioned at the waistline with the stitching visible to the exterior. The anorak has straight cut, non-adjustable, sleeve cuffs with internal, grey rayon, "storm cuffs" with tunnel looped elastic ends. Both the cuffs and the bottom edge of the tail skirt have dual-ply hems and the bottom edge of the tail skirt has a small, vertical, slash at each outer side seam. The anorak has a large, mottled brown and white rabbit fur and sheep’s wool lined, integral hood with three rows of reinforcement stitching and a tunnel looped drawstring to the forward edge. The hood is large enough to accommodate a helmet. The armpits both have opened ventilation slashes. The interior of the anorak is fully lined in machine stitched, patch worked, assorted, mottled brown and white fur and wool with the fur exposed to the interior. The anoraks were cut large enough to fit over the standard uniform and this example would roughly fit a size, 42", (106.7cm), chest. Shows the expected age, period use and wear.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $2,380.00

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