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Old 11-15-2009, 05:05 PM   #2
SprogCollector is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 670

This is an interesting question and, no doubt, open to considerable debate. To be fair, aside from the very first few years, the color grey is unique to the land forces (Heer and land-based naval forces) as both the Luftwaffe and Bundesmarine continued to use slightly modified version of their pre-war/wartime uniforms.

In the immediate postwar years, there were huge stocks of uniforms and fabrics available so many European nations used existing surplus to outfit their newly formed militaries. Also, many armies-in-exile were equipped by the British and it would be logical for these British inspired uniforms to remain in use.

By the 1950s, all-purpose uniforms already starting to give way to task-specific garments -- i.e. dress uniforms and field uniforms.

For the actual color chosen, I have no idea. The original dark grey didn't look too bad, in my opinion. Clearly a return to field grey was out of the question for political reasons. With the air force using blue-grey, the navy using dark blue, and feldgrau out of consideration, there really aren't that many palatable colors remaining. The German military, insofar as I'm aware, has no historical use of khaki -- unlike the US/British/Commonwealth armies.

The double breasted Affenjacke was only around for a few years. The familiar 4-pocket service uniforms were reintroduced in 1957.

The Bundeswehr did/does have a tan summer uniform very similar to those of other NATO countries.
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