Welcome to DECODED, a blog site for those interested in the period of history between the end of the Second World War and the final reunification of Berlin, Germany. This site is maintained by a Cold War history enthusiast, for other Cold War history enthusiasts and will be a source of information from both sides of the Cold War for history enthusiasts, political science fans, researchers, military history collectors and military veterans alike. Please visit the site regularly for updates. This site by no means is to represent or endorse any political agenda or ideology, information contained within is strictly used for the purpose of education and preservation of history for future generations. Thank you for visiting my blog, and welcome to the brink...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Uniforms of the West German Bundeswehr

West German military regulations regarding uniforms were laid out in the Zentralen Dienstvorschrift ZDv 37/10 "Anzugordnung für die Soldaten der Bundeswehr" or Joint Service Regulation ZDv 37/10 "Dress Code for Soldier's of the Bundeswehr. Chapter 2 of the regulations divided the uniforms of the armed forces into several categories: Dienstanzug or Service Dress was covered in Section III, Kampfanzug or Combat Dress was covered in Section IV, Gesellschaftsanzug or Formal Dress was covered under Section V and Sportanzug or Sports Uniform was covered under Section VI. Each uniform section is differentiated between the respective services of the Bundeswehr.

The Dienstanzug in its basic form is authorized for wear outside of military installations and as a lesser version of a dress uniform when worn within military installations, command posts and at other special events and services. There are also specialized modifications authorized for the Dienstanzug such as different headgear or raincoats all of which is further outlined in the ZDv 37/10.

Heer Uniforms

The Dienstanzug of the Heer in its basic form differs between men and women accordingly. For men, the Dienstanzug uniform consists of a beret or Bergmütze which is the specialized cap worn by the Gebirgsjägertruppe, light grey service jacket known as a Dienstjacke or grey skibluse or the Mountain jacket for the Gebirgsjägertruppe, dark gray trousers, long sleeve service shirt, gray-blue necktie, smooth black belt for wear with the trousers, black socks and black service shoes.For women the only differentiation is the wear of a gray skirt, long sleeve service blouse, a blue necktie, and light gray stockings. A special variant of the Dienstanzug known as the Sommerdienstanzug or Summer Dienstanzug is authorized for wear outside of West Germany and was typically designated for wear south of the 40th parallel north latitude line. This uniform typically worn by personnel on assignment to locations such as Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico or assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas in the United States consists of a sand tan colored uniform variation of the service gray uniform. 

A specialized version of the Dienstanzug known as the Großer Dienstanzug or Great Dienstanzug is only worn on command and special occasions. In this form of the service uniform, boots are worn with the trousers bloused accordingly. A black leather belt is also added worn over the service jacket. In cold weather scenarios, a greatcoat is authorized for weather over the service jacket with the black leather belt over it. In certain scenarios, the beret may be substituted with a helmet.

The primary uniform designated for the Kampfanzug or Combat Dress of the West German Bundeswehr is the Feldanzug, Olivfarben or Olive colored field uniform. This uniform was introduced in the early 1960s to replace the poorly received Feldanzug, jagdmeliert which consisted of a three piece olive-yellow suit which had a goretex like lining and caused discomfort and annoyance amongst the troops. The Feldanzug, Olivfarben was inspired by the olive green service uniforms worn by uniforms of Germany's NATO partners such as the OG-107 uniform worn by the United States Army. The uniform itself consisted of field trousers, a field jacket, field shirt, field cap which could be substituted by a side cap or beret and combat boots. For winter operations a combat field jacket was authorized as well as knitted and leather gloves authorized for wear. In the 1980s an olive green sweater was authorized for wear over the field shirt inspired by the sweaters of the British Army.

In 1990, the Feldanzug, Olivfarben was phased out for the introduction of the Feldanzug, Tarndruck or camouflaged field uniform. This uniform which utilizes the 'speckled' pattern referred to as 'Flecktarn' is the camouflage battle dress of the Bundeswehr.

For social occasions, the Gesellschaftsanzug or evening dress uniform is authorized for wear. This is designated as the Ausgehuniform. It is only authorized for wear by non-commissioned as well as commissioned officers accordingly. Male soldiers Gesellschaftsanzug  consists of a jacket with chain closure, trousers with a black silk dress stripe running along the leg known as a 'Seidengalon', a black 'Torerobund' waist sash or black cummerbund, and a white dress shirt which has concealed buttons, collar, ruffles and embroidery as well as a black bow tie, and black dress shoes. As a variation of the Gesellschaftsanzug, a black silk smoking jacket with a black collar and black silk-covered shoulder epaulettes is authorized for wear. This jacket is worn with miniature versions of awards and decorations. For women, the Gesellschaftsanzug consists of a long dark blue skirt, a white blouse with the federal Bundesadler insignia on the right collar with a long scarf worn across the chest and over the white blouse a dark blue, short velvet jacket is worn. As a modification to the female Gesellschaftsanzug, a short white silk jacket is worn in conjunction with a blue blouse.

The Sportanzug or Sports Uniform is worn primarily during physical training events and in its basic form consists of a blue tracksuit available in two variations. One variation consists of a pair of blue shorts and a blue shirt and the second variation a blue pair of sweatpants and a windbreaker jacket. Different forms of the Sportsanzug are also available in regards to the type of activity being conducted. Other variations include a  swimwear / swimsuit, sports jersey, sports shorts, sports socks, sports shoes for indoor and plastic-coated sports facilities and sports shoes for the terrain.

Other uniforms are authorized for wear by specialized branches within the Army such as the Sanitätsdiensttruppe who when serving in military hospitals wear uniforms similar to civilian doctors consisting of a consisting of a white shirt and white trousers. Rank insignia is worn on the shirt.  Medical personnel in the field environment are authorized the wear of the white armand with the red cross insignia on the left arm of the uniform. Aviators assigned to the Heeresfliegertruppe are authorized the wear of the Flugdienstanzug, or flight service dress consisting of an olive green one piece Nomex flight suit and soldiers assigned to armored units such as the Panzertruppen are authorized the wear of the Panzerkombination or Panzerkombi, a one piece uniform with pockets secured by zippers rather than buttons. The Panzerkombi is made of flame retardant Nomex material similar to the  Flugdienstanzug which is fire retardant in the event of  direct contact with fire, taking several seconds to catch fire, thus increasing the chance of survival by the crewmember in the event of a vehicle fire. On the back of the Panzerkombi, is an internal rescue loop, which is hidden under a Velcro slit where a wounded crew member can be saved easily in an emergency without assistance from the vehicle.

Luftwaffe Uniforms

The Dienstanzug for the Luftwaffe is similar to that of the Heer instead differentiating by color utilizing the colors of the Luftwaffe. For men, the Dienstanzug consists of a blue sidecap, a blue service jacket, blue trousers, a long sleeve service shirt, a blue necktie, smooth black trouser belt, black socks and a pair of black shoes. For women, the Dienstanzug consists of a similar uniform but authorizes the wear of stockings. As with the Army versions, there are specialized variations which include a greatcoat, with black gloves and a visor cap as well as a version with a blue jacket or blue pullover sweater with West Germany's flag on the shoulders of the sweater.

The Luftwaffe also has a form of the Sommerdienstanzug, or Summer Dress uniform of the sand tan color which is authorized for wear in overseas postings. It is essentially the same as the Army variation worn with Luftwaffe insignia and Luftwaffe issued headgear. The Luftwaffe also maintains its own variation of the Großer Dienstanzug as well as the Gesellschaftsanzug. Others uniforms worn by Luftwaffe personnel include Air Force approved versions of the medical service uniform as well as a blue gray version of the Flugdienstanzug for those on flight status.

Bundesmarine Uniforms

The Dienstanzug for the Bundesmarine is similar to that of the other branches of the Bundeswehr yet more reminiscent of Navy's around the world. It however differs amongst enlisted personnel and non-commissioned and commissioned officers. For enlisted personnel or Mannschaften, the uniform consists of a white service middy with blue collar and black tie, worn with black trousers and the white round 'Donald Duck' style sailors cap with a black cap tally with gold lettering denoting the service of the sailor. This uniform is available in a white or dark blue version for wear during summer or winter accordingly. The Dienstanzug for Non-Commissioned Officers or Commissioned Officers consists of a white peaked cap, dark blue service jacket, dark blue trousers, a white long sleeve service shirt, a long black tie, a black trouser belt, black socks and a pair of black shoes. For females, a dark blue skirt and long sleeve white blouse is authorized for wear with the Dienstanzug as well as stockings.

Like the Heer and Luftwaffe, the Bundesmarine has an alternate version of the Dienstanzug authorized for wear depending on the order of the day which may include a jacket, greatcoat, sweater or Colani coat.

The Bundesmarine also maintains a version of the Sommerdienstanzug but also maintains a secondary specialized uniform unique to its service. The weiße Sommerdienstanzug or White Summer Dress Uniform is authorized only for wear by the personnel of the Bundesmarine and consists of a white jacket and trousers, along with a white long sleeve shirt and dark blue tie. For women a white skirt is authorized for wear with the weiße Sommerdienstanzug.

Unlike the other services of the Bundeswehr, the Bundesmarine signifies rank with insignia embroidered onto the lower sleeves of the uniform rather than utilizing shoulderboards. Shoulderboards are however worn on uniforms such as the Sommerdienstanzug or weiße Sommerdienstanzug. On the enlisted personnel the rank insignia is usually sewn halfway upon the middy sleeve.

The Bundesmarine maintains its own Kampfanzug referred to as Bordgefechtsanzug or Board Battle Uniform. This uniform consists of a dark blue zipper jacket, a light blue shirt and dark blue trousers with leg pockets. The uniform is made of fire retardant aramid materials for better protecting the wearer from fires. Specialized board shoes and headgear are authorized for wear with the Bordgefechtsanzug. For cold weather operations there is a dark blue parka authorized for wear. For use during wet weather there is an orange wetsuit authorized for wear as well as specialized cold protective clothing. Soldier of the U-boat service also maintain their own specialized protective clothing.

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