BACKGROUND: As a result of observations of the Russian experimentation with the newly developing paratroop personnel in 1928 the Germans began serious consideration of also developing paratroop units and plans were drawn up for formation of such units in late 1935. Both the Luftwaffe and Army eventually established paratrooper units, consisting of voluntary personnel, on January 29TH 1936 and March 31ST 1937 respectively and a paratroop training school was established at Stendal in early 1937.Originally development of special clothing and equipment was undertaken by both branches of service to provide the paratroopers with functional items specifically designed with parachute jumps in mind until January 1ST 1939 when all the paratrooper units were transferred to control of the Luftwaffe. The first pattern, mottled green, jump smock was introduced on March 15TH 1938 and was a, pocket less, short legged, step in model with a dual vertical zipper front closure. This first pattern smock was utilized for testing and evaluation and was found to be somewhat cumbersome which led to the development of the second pattern smock in late 1939. The second pattern, mottled green smock was originally also a pocket less, short legged, step in model with a modified, single, vertical zipper closure. This second pattern smock was also found to be somewhat cumbersome which resulted in a third pattern smock being introduced in mid-1940. The third pattern smocks featured a full length front closure as opposed to the earlier pattern "step-in" coverall styles. The third pattern smocks were originally produced in the early mottled green fabric until late 1940 when the splinter pattern camouflage fabric was utilized. From mid-1942 the smocks were constructed in both the splinter and tan/water camouflage patterns. 

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Smock is constructed of waterproofed mid-weight cotton/rayon blend material with printed splinter pattern camouflage in shades of greens and browns. Smock features a five button French fly type front closure, resulting in the buttons being hidden and un-obstructive when closed. Buttons are original stitching. Smock has a diagonally angled slash pocket to either side of front closure running from the shoulder seam to mid-breast. Pockets have large, brass/alloy, "Elite", zippers and stitched down protective flaps. Breast eagle is present and is original stitching. Lay down collar also has the typical period zig-zag reinforcement stitching to reverse. Smock also has a horizontal slash hip pocket to either side of the front closure with the large brass/alloy "Elite", zippers and stitched down protective flaps. Reverse tail skirt with short vertical slash. Bottom edge of tail skirt has six, evenly spaced, "Prym", snaps to secure tail skirt around upper thighs like the earlier pattern "step-in" models of smocks. Side seams each have a vertical darted opened slash with an extended horizontal fabric closure tab with snap fasteners. When opened the vertical side seam slashes reveals three vertical stitched eyelets at waist line for the belt support hooks. Rear right seat with multi-piece flare pistol pocket. Pocket has a diagonally angled extended fabric tab with dual button holes, with corresponding buttons and retaining loop to body of smock, for the pistol grip, and a small vertically cylindrical pocket for the barrel. Left tail skirt has a horizontal loop for additional equipment. Opened vented armpits. Sleeve cuffs have a small vertical slash to outside seams with dual snap fit adjustment. Interior of cuffs with grey rayon storm cuffs with tunnel looped elastic and dual snap fit adjustment. Unlined interior with tunnel looped fit adjustment strap at waistband and grey rayon reinforcements to reverse of flare pistol pocket and left tail skirt loop. Interior pocket bags are in tan cotton twill and cover most of the internal breast and lower hip areas. Left breast pocket bag well marked with black inkstamped RB number and issue markings. The smocks were designed large enough to fit over the basic uniform and this example is roughly a size 46" chest. Hard to find original splinter pattern smock in excellent condition.

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $

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