H070257 WINTER RABBIT FUR VEST. (Pelzunterhemd)

BACKGROUND: With the first devastating winter of 1941-1942 on the Russian front the German army found that it was drastically under equipped with cold weather garments to withstand the severe cold and a wide variety of improvised garments including a broad assortment of donated civilian garments were utilized as a temporary solution. To rectify the situation the OKH, Oberkommando des Heeres, (High Command of the Army), began testing heavier winter clothing in the spring of 1942 to develop suitable garments for the Russian front. Numerous winter garments were developed and issued for the winter of 1942-1943 and included the expedient animal skin vests for issue to all personnel serving in Russia during the winter months. The fur vests came in a wide variety of styles and were issued for the winter season, (September 15TH to April 15TH), with other winter garments and were to be returned to the units storage depot at the end of the season for reissue the following year. The fur vests gained wide spread popularity amongst the troops serving on the Eastern front. 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. Originally Officers and senior NCO’s responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and headgear were required to purchase the new winter garments until regulations of December 1942 extended the issue winter clothing to all ranks in the colder theatres of operation.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Waist length, pull over, open sided, sleeveless, ribbed, field-grey cotton twill construction vest with a multi-panel, patch work, rabbit fur lined interior. The exterior of the vest is constructed in four, large, ribbed, field-grey cotton twill panels with a central, vertical, machine stitched seam to both the front and back. The vest has a circular neck opening with a small "V" slash to the front center. The sides of the vest are opened and all the outer edges have dual-ply machine stitched seams. The interior of the vest is fully lined in multi-panel, patch work white, grey and brown rabbit fur. Some of the fur has worn away revealing the underlying rabbit hide. The lower right front panel of the vest has an illegible black inkstamp. The vest is in overall good condition with a few small picks and pulls, light to moderate age and usage toning and a fair amount of rust colored stains. The opened side design would enable the vest to be worn by almost any size chest.

GRADE ***                             PRICE $97.00

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