Collar: Dark green (NCO tress on bottom and
front). Closed by a metal hook and eye.
Pockets: Two breast pockets and two hip pockets;
all with scalloped pocket flaps and box pleats. Lower pockets bellowed.
Cuffs: Slash cuffs with
Rear Vent: Simple slash at the back
Buttons: Pebbled field
grey metal buttons (except field dressing pocket and cuff vents, which had horn buttons;
marksmanship lanyards were also attached by a horn or pressed-paper button hidden under
the wearer's right shoulder strap).
has breast pockets, as well as a pocket on the left lower skirt, in which a field dressing
was carried. Additionally, 12 holes in the tunic were provided, in sets of three;
these were for the additional of metal belt hooks, which were themselves attached to cloth
suspenders fitted inside the jacket. This system was designed to support the weight
of the field equipment, which was intended to be worn completely on the belt with no
|The field dressing was a medicated
cotton pad supplied with guaze to secure to a wound; used primarily to cover gunshot and
small shrapnel wounds, each soldier was supposed to carry one in the inside pocket of his
straps were designed to be removable, fitted to the uniform by the button and a cloth loop
near the shoulder.
many changes to the field blouse were made during the war, the basic designation of
"Feldbluse" did not; the Germans did not draw a distinction between the
different types, and never referred to the different tunics by the terms that collectors
have now adopted - M40, M41, M42, and M43.
The first changes to the design of the
Feldbluse came in 1940, when the dark green collar was abandoned in favour of a field grey
collar matching the rest of the uniform. Minor variations in wool quality and colour
can be seen in this period as well.
At some point before 1942, an additional
button was added to the tunic front, making a six-button front closure.
as an economy measure, the box pleats on the pockets were removed. The pocket flaps
retained the scallop, however.
Photos of girlfriends and wives wearing their men's
uniforms seem to have been common; this woman wears a tunic with breast pockets lacking
the box pleats - consistent with the 1942 changes, yet note that a dark green collar has
nonetheless been added.
In 1943, new production field blouses had the pocket
flaps altered so as to be cut straight across. The interior tunic lining and
internal cartridge suspenders were also deleted; by this time external equipment
suspenders had long been in use. This late war style of tunic, often referred to as
an "M43", was often seen worn open at the collar, with well defined lapels.
By this point, the tunic had also been lengthened slightly in comparison to earlier
models of the Field Blouse.
All the while, material used in the
construction of uniforms in Germany had downgraded; by the time the changes collectors
refer to as "M43" were made, uniform cloth was made up of hybrids containing
less than 50% wool. Uniform colours varied widely, from the original green-grey
known as "field grey" to slate grey and even shades of brown. Buttons came
to be painted grey rather than field grey as well.
In September, 1944, the new Field Uniform 44 was
introduced. The Field Blouse for this new uniform was remarkably similar to the US
"Ike" jacket, itself inspired by British Battle Dress. The new uniform,
made from shoddy recycled wool, had two patch pockets on the breast, and a broad 10 cm
waistband in place of a tunic skirt. The pockets, lapels and sleeve cuffs remained
styled after the latest patterns of Field Blouse.
As can be seen on the other pages regarding
insignia, the quality of such additions as shoulder straps, breast eagles, and collar
patches all degraded during the war. Above, is an early war "M36" style
tunic with dark green collar, dark green shoulder boards, BEVO breast eagle and green
backed "second pattern" collar patches. This is in stark contrast to the
"M44" field blouse shown below, made of a gabardine-like twill rather than wool,
with third pattern collar patches, field grey shoulder boards, and the final pattern
mouse-grey coloured breast eagle. Note the uniform buttons, also, are in field grey
above, and the dark grey used on late-war uniforms below.
It should be noted that while garments released
from the factory were usually fitted with whatever insignia was on hand, there was no
"correct" pattern or type of insignia for any German field blouse (including the
1944 Field Uniform). Soldiers were permitted, on an individual basis, to apply older
patterns of insignia to their newly issued uniform garments. Some soldiers even
changed the collars on so called "M42" and "M43" field blouses to dark
green, months and even years after all newly made blouses from the factory ceased having
dark green collars. There were no standards for "uniformity' with regards to
these details in the German Army, and most late-war photos show a motley array of
dark-green and field grey shoulder straps, mixtures of national insignia breast eagles,
and varieties of the three types of collar patches, both backed and unbacked.