BACKGROUND: German Naval uniforms and headgear were based on traditional designs that date back to the creation of the Prussian Navy in 1848, and although the uniforms and headgear did evolve during the interim years, many items used during the Third Reich would still have been quite recognizable to the Imperial sailor. The German navy also had a long tradition of brown and white tropical/landing dress that was worn in hot climates with the white uniform also serving as a walking out dress. The tradition was continued through the Weimar era and in 1929 the Reichsmarine introduced new brown and white tropical/landing dress uniforms with stand-up collars. In 1937 the Kriegsmarine introduced new style brown and white tropical uniforms with lay down collars. With the impending entrance into the North African campaign in late 1940 the Kriegsmarine developed another new tropical brown uniform independently from the Heer and Luftwaffe, but retained the 1937 pattern white uniform. Officer and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and headgear and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the OKK, Offizier Kleiderkasse der Kriegsmarine, (Officer’s Clothing Account of the Navy). Although enlisted personnel were issued their uniforms and headgear from government supplies they were also permitted to purchase privately tailored items although the price may have been restrictive. Generally speaking officers bought nice quality, private purchase, uniform items but they could also choose to buy their uniforms directly from the military clothing depots.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, private purchase, 1940 pattern, light weight, light grey, ribbed cotton twill construction tunic features a vertical, four button front closure with small fold back lapels and a lay down collar. The left fold back lapel has an additional button eyelet. The tunic has four pleated, front, patch pockets with scalloped button down flaps. The right breast has two small, vertical and one horizontal thread loops for securing a removable breast eagle. The straight cut, non-adjustable sleeves have simulated French cuffs. The tunic has small opened slashes at each shoulder seam to accommodate the removable "pass-through" style shoulder boards. The shoulders also have small, pointed tipped, fabric tabs with a central stitched eyelet to secure removable shoulder board buttons. The fabric tabs are unstitched at one end and side to access the buttons. The lay down collar has the typical zig-zag reinforcement stitching to the reverse and the collar has no collar tabs as per regulations. The unlined interior is well marked with the purple inkstamped manufacturers name and location, "Engel Hadersleben". The interior forward right tail skirt has a small, mid-weight, white cardstock label with black printed script, stapled in place, The script to the label includes the manufacturer’s name, "F. Engel", and sizing. The tunic is in overall excellent, unissued condition with a couple of small picks and pulls and minimal age toning. The buttons are all the bright, fire gilted, alloy type and feature an embossed, fouled anchor on a subtly horizontally ribbed background field with a raised, simulated twisted rope outer edges. The front closure and pocket buttons are the removable type secured by steel "S", rings. The buttons all of their original fire gilted finish and are still very clean and bright. The tunic is roughly a size 37" chest. Just needs a metal breast eagle and slip on boards. Nice!

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $400.00

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