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Something to ponder
Old 05-29-2018, 02:51 PM   #61
Ironheart
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Default Something to ponder

Here is something for you gentlemen to ponder.
Have you ever wondered why in so many photos of Erich Hartmann why he is wearing so many different jackets during his service between 1942 and 1945?

I will tell you what he told me......LICE! He said it was near impossible to be rid of them on the Eastern front. He said after several weeks of sleeping on the ground in a tent with no bathing facilities that the lice was overwhelming. They would try cleaning, beating their clothes with rocks or holding them to fires to kill them. When the clothing got so loaded with them and the frustration got to them they just threw it all in the fire. He said it was the worst during the Russian winter. They went through tons of uniforms because of lice. So which do you think they could afford to destroy if they had to? Uniforms or private purchase? He went through a lot of uniforms on the Eastern front until he could ever get back to a city to get properly bathed and the lice destroyed. He told me that after he was captured by the Russians and then escaped that he preferred to wear his camo jacket. I am not saying he wore it everytime…...but you had to rotate to lend time to kill the lice. The other issue he said was that in his private purchase jacket he stuck out in the field. Very visible to the keen eyes of the Russian soldiers. After he escaped, he preferred to wear camo or a neutral color to blend in with the environment. Also, he mentioned that the Russians did not recognize the café racers as viable German Uniform and were subject to be executed as a spy. Herr Hartmann said, he preferred not to be executed as a spy but a Warrior of the Fatherland. You can believe or not, but this is what he told me in 1988.
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:44 PM   #62
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Jeez, you ask for a photo, I spend a couple of minutes on the internet, find one for you and post it. Then you attack it. "(N)ot a reliable photo..."

I never voiced any opinion about how often, or where or when these jackets were worn.

My personal opinion is that some who had them certainly wore these in combat, but that most who had them probably did not, but instead wore in combat their issue jackets. My other opinion is that small tailors (predominantly in France), in towns bordering air bases, were happy to make these on request for flyers. These have never been "hyper-rare", in my experience, but would certainly be considered very scarce. I have probably a dozen LW flight jackets, but only one of these (although I have seen a few over the years). What I really would like to have is a "Great White", but am not holding my breath.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:18 PM   #63
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How do you delete a message? I can not find it on here

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Thats the point
Old 05-29-2018, 09:37 PM   #64
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Default Thats the point

Exactly Leroy, No insults were intended I hope you accept my apology.... I said very early on that very few.....note that I said very few ever wore them in combat. That is when others on here started implying that I was incorrect in my information. People were making the comments that everyone who wore café racers wore them on combat flights. And that is not true!
But my information did not come from some willy nilly concept but from these Aces themselves. They are the ones who told me in casual conversation. Back in the 1980's I had no interest in WW2 or their artifacts they gave me. I was only interested in making money from my commissions. But in recent times when I started salvaging all this stuff from my storage and looking this stuff up I was surprised by some of the myths being spread around. First off, I did not have internet again until 2 years ago. The first time I had it for one year back in 2002 then closed it down. Then just 2 years ago I got it again because I was court ordered to. Long story. I have had full custody of my 12 yo daughter since she was a baby, but the mother was making things difficult making claims that she could not reach me by phone so she could have her visitation rights. Just a ploy by her. Anyway, Once I got the internet I was shocked by so much information that is there and what IS NOT there. You are correct on your statement, but I was not slamming your photo you posted I was only relating that it does not clearly define the circumstances of how these men are wearing the jackets. It does not clearly relate whether or not they are really POW's during wartime or if it is after the surrender etc. It did not clarify the circumstances how it is they are with Wehrmacht soldiers without weapons walking and assisting one another as well as their injuries. What time period is it? What area of the country is it? Is it during the actual wartime or after the surrender? See what I mean? The photo has no clarification with it. What I was getting at about POW's is look through photos of actual POW camps where the Luftwaffe pilots were sent to and see if you find pilots wearing these café racer jackets. Watch the films of captured pilots as they are marched through cities (like London) on their way to camps. Here in Texas there were several POW camps and I never saw a single pilot wearing one. My ex father in law was a guard at one.....he never saw one because if they had any they would have been snatched up in a heart beat by the soldiers seeking a trophy! And then again, you have to remember that these German pilots knew they could be executed for wearing any civilian clothing. Just like any American soldier could executed if he was wearing anything other than his uniform. Even if it was in the dead of winter and freezing, if you so much as put on a German coat just to keep warm and were caught by the enemy wearing it. You would be executed! The German soldier was quite aware of this fact because they executed a ton of soldiers and civilians for the slightest of infractions. This is my point, the Luftwaffe pilots were terrified of being tortured and executed by the Russians, and it did not take much for the Russians to have any excuse to do so. Now do you get the sense of what I am relating? That is why pilots sewed on so many identifying markers to show they were some what in uniform. Then you also have to realize the aspect that a lot of these pilots did not want to spend their money on these extras when they needed to send the money back to a wife and children to be supported or other family members who were in need. The German pilots were not worried about the Brits or Americans executing them for these jackets but they were concerned when it came to the Russians. Then back to the photo, there are too many people online attaching the wrong information to a photo and thus making it unreliable as to the source. Like the people online currently spreading false information about American soldiers committing atrocities against the German civilians in Eastern Europe and attaching a photo to this so called event. Of which turns out to be bogus but people continue to perpetuate it and others believing it. I am the type person that commits to thorough research and then studying it even further to make sure something is what it is. I am a stickler for accuracy! I will try to clarify even more for emphasis, a very famous artist told me back when I first started doing Western art that I should always make sure that every part of the piece is Historically correct. The horse is correct to the area the tribe lives, the correct markings on the horse and if it is being used in battle or not, what beadwork design is correct to that tribe and if they wore feathers or not...….etc etc. Because he said, that serious art collectors KNOW their history and what to collect. He said if you screw up and get it wrong, they will never touch or collect your work and your reputation is destroyed. He was so correct! Just like any other historical piece......you better know what your subject is and have your ducks all in a row! The fakes and scammers out there are taking advantage of newbies and the uninformed. I hope I have made it more understandable of my intention. If it did not get through to others who want to desperately believe that treasures are still buried under the floorboards of some German family or a burned out bunker in Poland then I can not get through with common sense......and if that didn't get through, then you guys are quite welcome to purchase my collection for a truckload of money! ( drops mic and walks away )

Last edited by Ironheart; 05-29-2018 at 09:48 PM. Reason: incorrect
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:16 PM   #65
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Thanks for that, Ironheart.

I've been through several squadron history books tonight and confirmed (at least to me) that some wore them and some didn't and that, in the East, more apparently did not than did.

Here are a couple of photos of these in wear (not all are the type under discussion). Whether they are "staged" or not is something I cannot tell, but it would be surprising to me for these guys to be wearing life vests (with securing web between their legs actually connected) or have jackets tucked into leather flight pants and wearing belts with compasses and other gear attached, if they were not in real "flight mode".
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There you have it!
Old 05-29-2018, 11:27 PM   #66
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Default There you have it!

Now you understand my point Leroy. The situation here in this photo is the celebration of one pilot's 100th mission. If it had been his one hundredth kill then it would be reflecting the making of new marks on his tail of the plane. The one with the sign is wearing private purchase. The pilot behind him closer to the plane is wearing a private purchase. The pilot to his immediate left is wearing an issued one piece suit. The one exactly behind him is in an issued jacket. To his right wearing the life vest is a private purchase (hence the side buckles). The other pilot to the right with a vest and side cap appears to be a one piece suit. To that pilots right is a M 43 ? issued tunic. To that man's right is an issued jacket. ( I have several of these issued ones ) I also have the one piece leather flight suit. All others in this top photo are wearing issue leather jackets.

The bottom photo is a good one! The ones in the middle are in one piece suits and the one on everyone's left in the vest is a private purchase. I only recently discovered that some one piece suits had horizontal zippers and oblique angle and a few had a wrap around zipper around the waist to make into a detachable jacket and leggings. I can not tell about the pilot on the very far right of these pilots. It is blurred. Am I wrong? Correct me if I am.

If I can figure out how to post a photo I will show you some of my issued and private purchase jackets. I own several issued, and 7 private purchases. I will show or tell only in a private message. I am still learning this tech stuff and can't figure out how to post photos on here.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:38 AM   #67
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Hello Ironheart.

I have just come back to this thread and I see some further posts from your initial post.

I am not looking for a fight, and excuse me if I sounded blunt or discourteous, but I was rather highlighting the fact that heavy worn jackets disproves your statement, along with photographic evidence, especially found in private albums of ground crews of pilots wearing full flying kit with private purchase leather jackets. In this reply I would like to further address a couple of statements posted by you.

In my post I commented that jackets such as some of the ones shown here, show heavy use from parachute and life vests, obviously from a lot of time in a cockpit.

Here is an extract from your original statement "" I also see you then later posted with a title "clarification" stating that I mentioned that very few wore them in combat. I believe you missed that part. This statement was only added in your later post, not your first post.

I would like to highlight that (NO I DID NOT) miss that part. As you stated they did not wear this jackets in combat. see below.

As your initial statement is below.
One thing I can establish right off......they did not wear these jackets in combat, only while they were around base camp, or on leave or for photo ops! Most of the photos of them wearing them while getting in and out of the cockpit was all staged for the German newspapers. (They were trying to look like the jaunty movie star image) If you look at photos of them in actual combat or taken prisoner they are not wearing these jackets. Very few ever did. These jackets were not officially recognized as Military and if you were captured by the Russians it was all the excuse they needed to execute you for not being properly attired.

I believe that the pilots began using the jackets in the early France days, because they improved flexibility and perhaps more comfort (especially in a fighter). Warmth from the wool lining and leather outer,, fire and water resistant attributes. Yes they looked good also, but a very practical choice for a fighter aircraft? and Ideal for summer channel use perhaps.

Various climates will also dictate what will keep you warm and is also practical in a aircraft, so you will select appropriate clothing.

Yes some jackets show little wear and yes I agree they may have been for ground wear only and for press pics.

My reply to your initial post was to highlight the incorrectness of your statement only, One thing I can establish right off. "they did not wear this jackets in combat"

Also you mention[COLOR="Yellow"] People were making the comments that everyone who wore café racers wore them on combat flights. Am i correct and assume you are referring to people in this thread? if so are you referring to myself making that comment? , As no other persons has to date stated them that since your original post. I would also then like to invite you to re-read my original post, where I addressed your statement that they did not wear them in combat, with my response, where I asked what causes the heavy wear on some of the jackets shown in this thread, which is obviously caused from equipment, ie parachutes, worn in cockpits. PLEASE NOTE THE WORD SOME was used. I did not state all private purchase jackets were combat flown, as I believe that was not the case. I think that some guys may have owned even two, one for flight and another for ground use.

My personal preference to add to my collection are the jackets that display the tell tale signs of equipment and cockpit use, as opposed to period jackets with little wear.

Also I found your information about the lice interesting, thank you sharing.

Are you able to share any snapshots of your artwork, being talented with the gift of drawing/painting is wonderful to be gifted with, and at the same time, being able to converse with these veterans.


Kind regards
Wayne

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Old 05-30-2018, 12:57 PM   #68
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I find this thread very interesting and would love to see some of the artwork by Iron Heart. J
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:52 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leroy View Post

Here are a couple of photos of these in wear (not all are the type under discussion). Whether they are "staged" or not is something I cannot tell, but it would be surprising to me for these guys to be wearing life vests (with securing web between their legs actually connected) or have jackets tucked into leather flight pants and wearing belts with compasses and other gear attached, if they were not in real "flight mode".

Leroy, Leroy...... dude said "In Combat".... these guys have their feet on the ground!!!!!


There will be something wrong with any pic you post unless you can see a burning spitfire in the background ;-)
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:49 PM   #70
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Kurt Buhligen, Heinz Bar (captured USAAF A2), & Helmut Wick routinely wore their custom leather jackets in combat
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:40 PM   #71
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It appears that SSRKT Heinz Werner is wearing one of these jackets ( April, 1945):
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:45 PM   #72
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Not quite the same proof as captured with your private purchase leather jacket only, only your trousers.(both guys wearing them) Battle of Britain 1940.

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Old 05-30-2018, 04:56 PM   #73
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A photo from Web, from a kG26 website, it states the two members were shot down and succesfully evaded capture, perhaps this photo and information may appear in some kg26 unit books?.

Leroy I see a caption on the web of your photo that you photo, mentioned captured at Lenningrad in 1941. I couldnt find the link again, to see if it states if they came from a aircraft,).

I find it interested that in both your photo and this one that the luftwaffe members, all have head injuries, and also the heer person(could the lenningrad pic been of a transporter of troops in the Lenningrad conflict?).
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:20 PM   #74
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Another casual photo of jacket with life vest.

But Alas, not shooting at another aircraft or attacking enemy forces from the air. And of course dont forgot the scarf, I am sure if it is staged it would not be authentic enough, so he would be to put on his scarf.

You also see several photos of custom made leather trousers(with zippres for maps ect). and jackets worn by different people, as shown in JG26 book of Addi Glunz, this photos in the book are from his personal album. I find it very hard to believe that they did not wear such custom made items into combat, and that they were just worn on the ground or flights between airbases.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:02 PM   #75
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In the top photo in Post 65, for clarity's sake, I went back and looked at the original photo. Only for the guys you can fully see, the jackets worn ("Defense of the Reich" = DR, "Private Purchase" = PP) are, from left to right:

DR, Blue Cloth, PP,PP,PP,PP,DR, Fliegerbluse
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