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Uniform differences

Discussions on Axis uniforms, headgear and insignia.
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Uniform differences

Postby Jeremy Chan on 09 Apr 2004 13:23

What did Heer service uniform look like, did it differ much from field uniform and how different?
What were the differences in Heer ceremonial and parade uniform? In the plate below, they look almost the same. Were there any other differnces and what was the difference in their functions? Was there a 'full-dress' uniform in the Heer, or the rest of the Wehrmacht or W-SS?
What did Waffen-SS, Luftwaffe and KM ceremonial and parade uniforms look like?
Did the three services of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS have a mess dress for formal 'ballroom' type occasions as below? (Those below RFC officers in mess dress) I've seen a photo of a Heer soldier in walking-out uniform similar to field uniform. In that case was the walking-out uniform below an early pattern?
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Postby HPL2008 on 09 Apr 2004 15:42

This is a highly complex subject, about the finer points of which whole books could be (and have been) written; but I'll try to answer your questions by concentrating on their most important points and omitting all the exceptions, variations and minor details:

What did Heer service uniform look like, did it differ much from field uniform and how different?


Service uniform and field uniform had many uniform items (for example the field blouse) in common, so the appearance of both was not really radically different. Differences included the weapons and equipment worn with these different orders of dress and things like the obvious absence of camouflage items from the service uniform. Service dress regulations differed in some points between those for other ranks, NCOs and officers, as did those for any other order of dress.
By the way, there were even two different sub-categories of service dress, the "Dienstanzug" and the "kleiner Dienstanzug". One example for the differences between these: other ranks and junior NCOs wore the field cap with the "Dienstanzug" and officers and senior NCOs were permitted to wear the peaked cap, while all personnel irrespective of rank wore the peaked cap with the "kleiner Dienstanzug".


Was there a 'full-dress' uniform in the Heer, or the rest of the Wehrmacht or W-SS?


All branches of the armed forces had their own individual regulations for full dress uniforms.

What did Waffen-SS, Luftwaffe and KM ceremonial and parade uniforms look like?


The armed SS formations used the black service uniform for ceremonial and parade duties as well as for "walking out"; this practice was discontinued shortly after the outbreak of war.
The Heer used the Waffenrock tunic for said purposes, but this, too, was discontinued shortly after the outbreak of war.
The Luftwaffe used the Tuchrock tunic and the Kriegsmarine used dark blue tunics for officers and senior petty officers and white or blue shirts (according to the season) for other ranks and junior petty officers as well as a dark blue jacket in autumn and winter or poorer weather.

Did the three services of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS have a mess dress for formal 'ballroom' type occasions as below?


The general term used for that type of formal uniform would be "Gesellschaftsanzug", with the full evening dress version being called "großer Gesellschaftsanzug".
For such occasions, the Heer and the Marine did not have a special uniform as such but used uniform items also found for the parade and/or "walking out" uniforms. (Example: Full evening dress for a Heer officer included the peaked cap, Waffenrock with white collar liner, white gloves, brocade dress belt, dress aiguillettes, full-size decorations and high boots)
The Luftwaffe and the SS did have special uniforms for their formal dress, including short "monkey jackets" for full evening dress; the SS also had a special uniform for occasions not warranting the use of full evening dress. (This was a black uniform incorporating a double-breasted jacket and long trousers)


I've seen a photo of a Heer soldier in walking-out uniform similar to field uniform. In that case was the walking-out uniform below an early pattern?


Wear of the field blouse for "walking out" was allowed by the Heer from 1934 on and prohibited again in 1936 as soon as the respective unit had been fully supplied with the Waffenrock. In 1937, wear of the field blouse was permitted again for "walking out" on workdays while the Waffenrock was to be worn for "walking out" on Sundays and holidays. The Waffenrock's manufacture was discontinued early on in the war (although soldiers who already had one were permitted to continue wearing it for "walking out") and eventually the field blouse was worn again for "walking out".

Detailed information on all uniform types of the three branches of the Wehrmacht can be found in Adolf Schlicht and John R. Angolia's "Uniforms And Traditions" series of books; these also include detailed tables on the components of the different orders of dress. As for the SS' uniforms, I'd recommend Andrew Mollo's "Uniforms Of The SS" series.
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Postby Jeremy Chan on 10 Apr 2004 15:15

Well, thanks a lot HPL. Are there any illustrations or photo galleries around of those uniforms? I hope others can help, but HPL, you still helped heaps. I've read some accounts of a 'summer uniform' issued by the Heer. When was this, and is there any more detail; I believe it was made of a demin material? Regarding ceremonial uniforms, was the officers' brocade dress belt worn with both the ceremonial uniform and the parade uniform? In the Luftwaffe, was the main field uniform the fliegerbluse ensemble?
Thanks
Last edited by Jeremy Chan on 10 Apr 2004 15:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jeremy Chan on 10 Apr 2004 15:29

Wow, thanks a lot, Christoph! The Kriegsmarine ceremonial uniform looks similar to that of the Royal Navy.
cheers!
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Postby HPL2008 on 10 Apr 2004 21:24

Colonel SteelFist wrote:Are there any illustrations or photo galleries around of those uniforms?


Of course, Christoph has already provided quite extensive material above, but allow me to add a few threads of my own that also include photographs of original examples of some of the uniforms we're talking about here:

viewtopic.php?t=31318
viewtopic.php?t=41583
viewtopic.php?t=41486


I've read some accounts of a 'summer uniform' issued by the Heer. When was this, and is there any more detail; I believe it was made of a demin material?


You're probably reffering to the reed green drill uniform. (= schilfgrüner Drillichanzug) At first, this uniform was of the same cut as the earlier (off-white to light cement grey) drill uniform , i.e. of a very simple cut with unbuttoned and unpleated pockets etc. A later pattern of reed green drill uniform was introduced ca. 1942, and this would be the one we're talking about here: It was of basically the same cut as the field blouse and was intended to be used as a summer uniform as well. The material was usually a herringbone (= "Fischgrät") twill material.

Just for the sake of completeness: Officers ot the Heer had another type of summer uniform as well, the officers' white tunic (= weißer Rock der Offiziere). This tunic was no field uniform though, its wear was restricted for walking out, sports events and as part of the kleiner Gesellschaftsanzug for certain other occasions.

Regarding ceremonial uniforms, was the officers' brocade dress belt worn with both the ceremonial uniform and the parade uniform?


The officers' brocade dress belt (= Feldbinde) was worn with the following orders of dress:

- Parade dress (= Paradeanzug)
- Reporting dress (= Meldeanzug)
- Mess/evening dress (= kleiner Gesellschaftsanzug) (on appropriate occasions)
- Full evening dress (= großer Gesellschaftsanzug)

In the Luftwaffe, was the main field uniform the fliegerbluse ensemble?
Thanks


Basically, yes. The Fliegerbluse was the prescribed type of jacket for the Feldanzug. (= Field uniform) Of course, there were exceptions to that rule, for example the use of shirtsleeve order and/or tropical uniforms in hot theaters, leather flight jackets for pilots, the black field uniform of the "Hermann Görig" units' tank crews etc.
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