Battle Worn Field Blouse & Side Cap, 1944
Battle Worn Field Blouse & Side Cap, 1944 - Contains two pieces: Blouse and Side Cap. The blouse is fabricated from cotton with an olive green tinge to the darker brown colour. Both shoulders are adorned with matching shoulder boards, held in place by silvered metal buttons, while each collar have embroidered four-colour enlisted man collar tabs. The underside of the collar is lined in wool cloth and has been reinforced by the use of stitching in a zig zag pattern, flanked at either end by olive green bakelite buttons. Beside the left side button is a tab sewn at the edge of the collar, and fitted around the left side button. When the collar is rolled up and the tab is released from the left side button and attached to the right side button, it allows a protective and snug fit at the neckline. The front has two pockets, one on each breast with a fold over flap and reinforced button hole for the silvered metal buttons. Above the right pocket is a machine embroidered Army (Heer) eagle, while remnants of khaki threading remain above and on the left pocket, from the placement of various badges and ribbon bars, which have since been lost to time. The front has a vertical row of six silvered metal buttons on the right side, facing an equal number of reinforced button holes on the left, the second button hole from the top with ribbons for the Iron Cross 2nd Class and the East Medal fed through it and sewn in place at either end. Along the waist is a 105 mm band that naturally takes the garment in at the waist, with magnetic metal loops on either side that allows for the placement of a belt. Both cuffs are in the button down style, each with single plastic buttons, one of which is a replacement, with two reinforced button holes for an adjustable fit at the wrist. Inside are two gray cotton pockets, one on each breast, along with the semblance of a strap at the collar, used to hang the blouse on a hook, but it has since severed into two pieces and is missing its mid-section. The left panel is stamped with the acceptance markings but most of it has faded with time. The blouse measures 330 mm across the shoulders and 570 mm in length overall, with numerous interruptions and holes in the fabric, along with light soiling from active use, better than fine. The accompanying side cap is constructed from an olive green tinge to the darker brown wool exterior, fold down panels with gently sloping, downward scallops to the front and forward sides, sewn in place on the front is a machine embroidered Army eagle sitting, its talons gripping a wreath swastika below, the front of the fold down panel with an embroidered national tri-colour cockade, red in the centre and surrounded by rings of white and black, the inside lined in olive green cotton, marked in black ink on the right side but most of it has faded with time, measuring 110 mm x 275 mm, lightly soiled, better than fine.Footnote: With the appearance of this shortened tunic and the abandon of the Feldgrau colour adopted in 1907, it radically changed the look of the Germany army field tunic. Since 1941-42, there had been many different shades of Feldgrau, but AHM No. 603 made official the olive green tinged brown colour. This design was possibly inspired by the British battledress, itself inspired by the dynamic sportswear trends of the time, but is definitely a modified version of the the 1943 Fleubluse, shortened by deleting the waist pockets and adding a wide band of cloth that naturally takes the garment in at the waist. The change in design could also have been inspired by economic shortcomings at the time. The new uniform was the final stage in the transformation of the German soldier's field uniform, but it was not officially adopted until September 1944 and because of this, it was not issued until later on. The defeat of Germany in the Spring of 1945 prevented its generalization.