Uniforms

Uniforms

What uniform do I get?

Every member of the 352 must have a wool uniform.
The basic requirements for one full wool uniform are: tunic, trousers, boots, undershirt, socks, and soft cover.
Use of camouflage items or summer weight uniforms by any unit member is regulated to the discretion of the unit leader.

What kind of wool uniform should I buy?

The fact that many different types of uniforms were issued and worn throughout the war means that we have a lot more choices to make than our Allied counterparts.
It is up to you! As a club we primarily attend 1944+ events; low boots, M43 hats, trousers, and tunics were prevalent at that time. YET, there are many pictures of German soldiers in Normandie wearing M36 or M40 tunics, with M42 hats and jackboots. It is up to each individual unit member to decide how he would like to forge his impression, and how much money is to be spent. Study the guide below, look at unit pictures, wartime photos, ask in the forum… decide what you like best, while bearing in mind what events each uniform item can be worn at.


Your uniform includes the following:
Tunic
Trousers 
Service Shirt
Boots
Soft Cover 
Overcoat
Sportwear
Helmet

Once you have a complete uniform, the following extra purchases are recommended:
A second service shirt
A second pair of trousers (in case the first pair gets soiled)
A secondary tunic for “walking out dress”

You may then get items as you see fit to personalize your impression. You may wish to get a waffenrock for Saturday night barrack events, or you may want to put together a late war “vampire” impression, but you must get your required items first.

Below are pictures of all of the uniform items that are typical for use:

 


FELDBLUSE/TUNIC:

M36 Feldbluse
This prewar tunic has a “bottle green” collar with scalloped pocket flaps, pleated pockets, and internal belt suspenders.
Produced: 1935-1941
Issued: 1935-1945

This tunic can be used for all events, as it was issued to German army forces throughout the war.

M40 Feldbluse
Collar and shoulderboards changed to a field gray color. The M41 variation has a six button front. Otherwise identical to the M36.
Produced:  1938-1943
Issued:  1938-1945

It is acceptable for all battles 1940-1945.

M42 Feldbluse
The pleats were eliminated on the pockets, and the lining was usually satin instead of cotton twill; internal suspenders were eliminated. The SS models have a five-button front and two eyelets at each belt hook station, instead of three like the Army tunics.
Produced:  1941*-1945
Issued:  1941*-1945

As the name would imply, this tunic started it’s issue in 1942, and would have been well circulated in 1943. It is not acceptable for use in any battles before 1942.

M43 Feldbluse
The scalloped pocket flaps were now eliminated in favor of a straight cut. Army models have a 6-botton front, but otherwise identical to the M42.
Produced:  1943-1945
Issued: 1943-1945

This tunic is not for use in battles before 1943.

M44/45 Feldbluse
Now a totally new jacket was designed. This was such a huge change to the tunic design, that the Germans actually called it “Modelle 1944” or “1945”. Short, two pocket coat, similar to the US Ike Jacket or British battle dress.
Produced:  1944-1945
Issued:  Summer 1944-1945 (First issued to several divisions in the summer of 1944 on a trial basis for approval)

This tunic is for special issue and late war events only, and is generally not allowed for use in our unit. Not for purchase as a primary tunic.

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FELDHOSE/TROUSERS:

 

M34/M36 Feldhose
These trousers actually date back to the 1920s, when a right rear pocket was added to the traditional trousers. The color was “steingrau” (stone gray), a heathered gray felted wool. The trousers were cut fairly full and featured straight legs, two slash pockets in front, a watch pocket and the traditional high waist and V-notched back with rear waist adjustment belt.

M40 Langehosen
Nearly identical to the M36 model, but in feldgrau color. They were issued throughout the war, although they were largely superceded by the M43 Keilhosen during the latter part of the conflict.

M43 Kielhosen
In late 1942 or early 1943, these trousers began to replace the M37 trousers used previously before. They took on a number of improvements that were learned from 3 years of combat experience. The most notable changes from the earlier trousers were tapered ankles to fit the leggings better, a reinforced seat for improved durability, and belt loops.

Hosenträger/Suspenders

Trouser suspendsrs fit all models of issue pants and were tyically green with white piping, these army models had both rope and leather ends that rere color coded to indicate size. Local civilian stocks were also issued, as well as being privately purchased by soldiers. Any period looking loop-end suspenders are acceptable. Alligator clip versions are not authorized.

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HEERESHEMD/SERVICE SHIRTS

Heereshemd/Service Shirt

Collarless pullover shirt made of white cotton knit, this was the shirt in service when the German Army invaded Poland in 1939.

M1941 Service Shirt

This shirt replaced the white heereshemd. It was a pull over style in either varying shades of mouse gray or green, utilizing either “glass,” plastic, or pressed paper buttons. Many variations in both color and pocket style have been seen. Construction can be heavy cotton knit or light cotton twill.

M1942 Service Shirt

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MANTEL/OVERCOAT

M1934 Mantel

This coat came with a bottle-green collar. It is double-breasted field gray wool with 12 buttons with buttonholes on both sides of the front, french cuffs, and two curved flap front pockets. The back has the full length pleat which ends in a long central vent which can be closed by four small buttons. The belting arrangement across the back , combined with two small button tabs on the outer back give the illusion of a triple back pleat. The skirts of the coat have the four required hooks which can be attached to the loops sewn into the side at the waist if fast movement becomes necessary.

M1940 Mantel

The M40 overcoat has a field gray collar. It is a double-breasted field gray wool with 12 buttons with buttonholes on one side only (a labor saving step on the part of the Germans). Otherwise, it is identical to the M34 style coat.

M1942 Mantel

This third style of overcoat was introduced in late 1942 in response to the Russian winter. It featured an enlarged collar which affords much more protection when raised up around the neck and lower face. In all other respects, it is identical to the M40 pattern shown above, and the back details are as on the Model 34.

 

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STIEFFEL/BOOTS

Schnurschuh/Ankle Boots

Issued after 1942 when leather was becoming short, the Germans started to use low quarter boots. Common models used eyelets, but other versions used a combination of eyelets and hooks. Boots would be worn with proper gaiters and leather shoe laces.

Marschstieffel/Jack Boots

Pattern 1939, with tall uppers and brown in color. Each soldier would than use black dye or polish to finish them. Regardless of type or style, all boots must have leather soles and heel, and have a full complement of hobnails. NO RUBBER SOLES ALLOWED.

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FELDMUTZE/SOFT COVERS

M34/38 Feldmütze

Prewar style sidecap. Introduced in 1934, the cap went through minor changes and reached its final version in 1938. They initially featured a “soutache” or branch ribbon, in the color of the wearers branch of service (infantry, artillery, etc.). Use of soutache was discontinued in 1942 but could be seen occasionally throughout the war. Standard insignia was the national eagle and a separate tricolor cockade.

M42 Feldmütze

After the harsh Russian winter, the M34 was redesigned to allow protection of the face and neck from cold by adding a buttoned wool flap. Insignia could be identical to the M34, or a one-piece “T” shaped insignia containing both the eagle and cockade.

M-43 Einheitsfeldmütze

This final variation of the Heer mutze added a bill and a teardrop-shaped body with high crown. Standard insignia was a trapezoid containing the national emblem and the cockade. The “T” shaped insignia and separate insignias seen on earlier caps were also used. Wool trapezoid insignia are NOT correct!

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SPORT KIT

Sport Shorts and Tank Top

 

Sport Tracksuit

Sport Shoes

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STAHLHELM/HELMETS

You must have a helmet to participate in a battle event. All Reenactment clubs we participate with require hard covers for safety reasons.

M35 Stahlhelm
In 1934 testing began on an improved steel combat helmet that bore a similar design to World War I models. The Supreme Commander of the Army officially accepted the helmet on 25 June 1935. The basic design was similar to the World War I helmet, although it was more compact, lighter in weight, and carried an updated look representative of the growing Wehrmacht. The helmet was press formed in several stages using sheets of molybdenum steel. Separately inserted hollow rivets replaced the large air vent lugs found on World War I helmets. The rim of the helmet continued to be rolled under for a smooth edge. The M1935 received the updated M1931 liner system as well as a newly designed chinstrap. The new chinstrap replaced the older carbine clip and roller-buckle styles found on earlier transitional helmets. Beginning 1 July 1935 requisitions for the M1935 were placed through the Procurement Office of the Army and Navy located in Berlin. The M1935 was the first helmet worn at the outbreak of World War II and many were used to the very end of the conflict. Nearly 1.4 million M1935 helmets were manufactured in the first two years following of the helmet’s introduction. Heer M1935 helmets are characteristic of smooth field gray painted finishes bearing the silver Armed Forces Eagle decal (Wehrmachtsadler) and National tricolored shield.

M40 Stahlhelm
The M1940 helmet first appeared in March 1940 following a redesign of the manufacturing process which now incorporated more automated stamping techniques. The first helmets issued received only one decal on the left side of the helmet. In 1943 this factory applied decal was discontinued in order to comply with orders issued by the Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht. Helmets of this type were characteristic of having rolled edges and stamped air vents that were embossed directly into the steel shell. Paint configurations ranged from medium to very dark (almost black-green in color) with various degrees of texture. Some helmets also exhibited a “slate grey” color that was either field or factory applied. The interior of the helmet remained smooth painted unless it was factory or field modified and then re-issued. Many M1940 helmets appear heavier in weight when compared to M1935 or M1942 helmets. This is specifically true of helmets that were manufactured by the Quist firm. These helmet shells are generally well formed and heavy compared to other German helmets of the era. Most M1940 helmets received the second pattern zinc liner band system.

M42 Stahlhelm
The last wartime upgrade to the standard helmet took place on 6 July, 1942 as part of an overall restructuring of Germany’s wartime production efforts. At the request of the Army High Command, the rolled edge found on M1935 and M1940 helmets was discontinued as a measure of economy. On 1 August, 1942 the first M1942 helmets were placed into production. Many M1942 helmets bear the signs of rapid hot stamping as demonstrated by rippled stress marks in areas where the steel is shaped to form rounded corners. The M1942 was mass-produced until late 1944 and early 1945 when most facilities were overrun by Allied armies or simply left idle by the lack of sufficient materials for the production of helmets. Initially helmets received a single Heer decal on the left side of the helmet. This was discontinued in 1943 as part of an effort to improve concealment in the field as well as to reduce cost and time of overall helmet production. Colors found on M1942 helmets range from medium to dark field grey. Virtually all helmets show texture of some sort in the paint finish. The texture can be very fine or extremely course. 

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