BACKGROUND: The development of camouflage clothing and equipment had began in the German army in WWI, and continued through the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), era. The German army’s geometric, Splittertarnmuster 31, (Splinter camouflage pattern 31), was originally developed in late 1929 and early 1930 and was first adopted for use with the M31 quarter shelter/poncho in late 1931. Further developments in 1943 modified the original splinter pattern by softly blurring the distinct geometric pattern and slightly altering the coloration. This modified camouflage pattern was designated Sumpftarnmuster, (Swamp/Marsh camouflage pattern), although it is now commonly referred to as the Tan/Water camouflage pattern, which was once again altered in 1944 by an even stronger blurring of the distinct geometric pattern. Further camouflage pattern development continued through-out the war and additional subtly different patterns were created with the intent to equip all personnel with the same camouflage pattern but this was never achieved. The army’s camouflage smocks were officially introduced in late 1942 and were based on the Waffen-SS, (Armed-SS), designed, camouflage smocks which were first developed and distributed in late 1938 with minor differences. The first pattern army smocks were produced in the army’s splinter camouflage pattern and were without an integral hood. The second pattern army smocks came in the army’s swamp/marsh, (tan/water), camouflage pattern and included an integral hood large enough to accommodate a helmet. The smocks were designed to fit over the standard service uniform and as a result were cut quite large. Of Note: Later war production camouflage smocks discontinued use of the integral hood due to fabric shortages. This example is second pattern smock in the swamp/marsh, (tan/water), camouflage pattern, with an integral hood.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Second pattern, light weight, cotton/rayon blend construction, three-quarter length, pullover smock with the machine roller printed, softly blurred, geometric, 1943, swamp/marsh, (tan/water), camouflage pattern in shades of greens, tans and browns to the exterior. The smock has a "V" slash head/neck opening with a central, vertical, opened, dual-ply, front plaquet with seven pair of machine stitched eyelets for a drawstring closure. The smock comes with a heavy, interwoven green cotton drawstring. The smock has two, vertical slash, breast openings with overlapping, straight edged, flaps to allow access to the underlying uniform pockets. The reverse of the right hand side pocket flap is well marked with a faint, black inkstamped Arabic size numeral, "2", indicating size medium, and an RB number. Of Note: The RB numbers, Reichsbetriebnummer, (National factory code numbers), were introduced in late 1942 and were intended to replace the manufacturer’s marks on garments and equipment to conceal the manufacturer’s name and location from the allies, to prevent bombing raids on German industrial factories. The reverse of the right hand side pocket flap also has a faint, mostly illegible, unit issuing authority, black inkstamp. The smock has a horizontal, tunnel loop at the waistline with an inserted, interwoven field-grey cotton, fit adjustment drawstring intact, with dual, corresponding, machine stitched eyelets, situated on either of the waistline. The bottom edge of the tail skirt has a dual-ply, machine stitched hem. The smock has long, raglan style sleeves with straight cut cuffs. The cuffs each have an horizontal, tunnel loop with an inserted, extended, horizontal, fabric tab with a single, machine stitched, button eyelet, and dual, corresponding, unusual, small, pebbled, sheet metal, fit adjustment buttons to each. The smock has open vented armpits for ventilation. The large, integral hood has tunnel loop to the inside forward edge designed to accommodate a fit adjustment drawstring. The tunnel loop has small pieces torn off and the drawstring is absent. The reverse, nape of the neck seam of the hood has lost a few stitches and has a small handstitched repair. The reverse, upper, back panel of the smock has a central, opened, vertical pleat designed for extra room. The interior of the smock is in the unbleached tan of the base material with minor bleed through of the camouflage pattern. The smock is in overall very good condition with light age and usage toning and a couple of small picks and pulls. The small handstitched repair appears to have been period applied. This example is quite large and would fit up to about a size 60", (152.4cm), chest.

GRADE ***3/4                             PRICE $3,139.00

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