BACKGROUND: The severe cold encountered on the Russian front in the winter of 1941/42 found the Germans completely unprepared not only in heat retaining, cold weather garments but also snow camouflage garments. This resulted in numerous, hastily improvised and makeshift heat retaining and snow camouflage items being utilized including everything from civilian winter clothing to white bed sheets. After the winter of 1941/42 the Oberkommando des Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), recognized the need for heavier winter clothing and testing began in the spring of 1942 to develop suitable garments. In April 1942 Hitler approved the chosen design, and the first models were issued in the autumn of that year, in the reversible blue-grey/white colorations, which was modified to camouflage pattern/white combinations in 1943. Of Note: These garments were also produced in non-reversible models. Included with these new garments were heavy, padded, reversible winter suits which consisted of a parka, pants, hoods and mittens. These new winter garments were generally constructed with a repeating "quilted" pattern to secure the internal padding in place, and it is assumed they were modeled on captured Russian winter suits. The exterior of the new winter garments were treated and designed to be relatively wind and water proof and the parkas and pants were designed to fit over the standard German uniform and as a result were cut large. With the new winter suits the German soldiers would now have three layers of clothing consisting of winter underwear, the standard uniform and the winter suits and although this proved to be a marked improvement over the standard continental winter garments the Germans still suffered from the severe cold encountered in Norway, Finland and especially Russia. The new winter garments were a standard issue item and were distributed to all EM/NCO’s for the winter season, (September 15TH to April 15TH), with other winter garments and were to be returned to the unit’s clothing depot in April for storage, repair and cleaning to be reissued the following September. Originally Officers and senior NCO’s, responsible for purchasing their own uniforms, 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. Although the suits proved quite effective they were very difficult to keep clean and launder which resulted in regulations dictating that the white side was only to be worn on the exterior when absolutely necessary.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Full length, cotton/rayon, quilted construction blue/grey greatcoat under jacket. Near mint, nice super large size. Original draw strings are complete. Only the cuff buttons are missing. Nice Rbnr# marking.

GRADE ****3/4                             PRICE $298.00

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