L004660 TROPICAL KNEE-HIGH BOOTS. (Tropen Stiefel)

BACKGROUND: In late 1940, with the impending German entrance into the North African campaign, the army quickly developed and issued tropical uniforms, footwear and equipment in time for DAK, Deutsches Afrika Korps, (German Africa Corps), personnel’s arrival in Tripoli in February 1941. The army pattern tropical footwear consisted of a khaki/olive canvas and brown leather construction knee high, lace up, boots and short, lace up, ankle boots as it was determined the canvas would wear better in the tropical climate. At the same time the Luftwaffe also developed and introduced their own version of the tropical uniform and equipment independently from the other branches of service but utilized the army’s versions of the tropical footwear. Besides the army’s standard issue, tropical, knee high, lace up boots another similar, knee high type of boot was produced that eliminated the upper laces and replaced them with a fold over panel with dual closure strap and corresponding buckles. Although the introductory regulations for the tropical, knee high, non-lace up boots is unknown it is believed they were produced specifically for the Luftwaffe. Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the Luftwaffe’s Verkaufabteilung, (Air-Force Sales Department), 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. Although enlisted personnel were issued their uniforms from government supplies they were also permitted to purchase privately tailored uniforms although the price may have been restrictive.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The multi-piece, tan canvas, blackened and tan leather construction, knee high, Luftwaffe style boots with sheet metal fittings, are roughly, 15 1/2" tall from the top of the heel to the top of the back calf section. The calves of the boots are constructed in woven tan canvas with a dual-ply, central, vertical, tan leather reinforcement spine to the reverse. The foot and interior ankle portions of the boots are constructed in four, blackened leather panels with a large, forward, foot panel and a smaller interior ankle and two smaller heel panels. The boots have a vertical, front opening with seven, parallel pair of black painted, magnetic sheet metal, lace up grommets to the lower section positioned below a roughly, 10" tall, overlapping canvas panel with an internal, protective canvas, dust flap. The black fabric laces are included. One of the internal, protective canvas, dust flap is in reed green canvas while the other is in tan canvas. One side of the overlapping, front opening panel has a inset, vertically oval, opened center, sheet metal grommet to both the top and bottom edges with a corresponding long, tan leather closure strap machine stitched to the lower outside calves and corresponding, leather reinforced, blued, sheet metal gripper buckle to the outer top edges of each boot. Buckles are most probably post war replaced/restored. The closure straps were to be inserted through the bottom grommet, run up the interior of the front opening, inserted through the top grommet and buckled for a secure closure. The reverse of the overlapping, front opening, panels have tan leather reinforcement strips to each side and a rivetted on, internal, vertical, sheet metal stiffening panel to one side. The boots have stacked leather heels and forward soles. The forward soles of each boot have the remnants of twelve steel hobnails, while the heels have inset, steel "horseshoe" plates. The instep has the typical diamond shaped wooden retaining dowels. The interior top edge of each boot are trimmed with a strip of reinforcing tan leather. The interior leather reinforcement strips are both well marked with impressed numerals, and the interior calves both have faint, red inkstamped numerals. The boots are in overall, fairly good condition with a few small picks and pulls and areas of moderate to heavy age and usage toning including what appears to be a dark heat induced stain to the front opening panel of one boot. The boots are roughly size 7 1/2. Seldom encountered, Luftwaffe style, knee-high tropical boots.

GRADE ***                             PRICE $1,550.00

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