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Linked an officer to his tunic.
Old 11-29-2019, 05:44 PM   #1
TWS
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Default Linked an officer to his tunic.

Last year I obtained a tunic to a Heer Leutnant Waffenoffizier (Ordnance Officer) Otto Schnitzlein. It was reported to be a total woodwork find, never in a collection before, and possibly undisturbed in a box since the war. What made it interesting to me is that the calling card of the officer with his earlier rank of Feldwebel was in a pocket as well as a Feldpost letter addressed to him. The Feldpostnummer translated to s. Panzer-Abteilung 508, a Tiger I battalion that fought primarily in Italy. To learn more about this man and validate that the papers and tunic belonged together, member Waffenreich tried to locate his file at NARA for me. Unfortunately, his file was not there. Not giving up and having confidence that the tunic had been honestly described, I endeavored to try to research him by other means. Recently I had the opportunity to purchase a copy of “The Combat History of schwere Panzer-Abteilung 508” which had been put together by veterans of the unit themselves and later printed by JJF. I jumped on the chance to own and read the book, hoping that there would be some mention of Schnitzlein. The book arrived and as I expectantly turned the pages lo and behold – there was a photo of Schnitzlein. Identified by the unit veterans as the Maintenance Officer of the 3rd company. A close look at the photo confirmed he is wearing his crossed cannons devices on the shoulder boards of his panzer wrapper. I was quite overjoyed to not only confirm this man belonging to the unit, but to have a photo of him on top of that. Luckily my good friend Panzer Bob had worked on this very book at JJF and he kindly sent me the original scan of the photo that they had used for the book. A quick trip to Fedex Kinko’s and I had a high-quality print of the photo on card stock. I hope you enjoy taking a look and following along with my little story of discovery.
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Todd
Seeking photographs of Joachim Tiesler, DKiG Stalingrad, 3rd I.D. (mot.) and Clemens Freiherr von Fürstenberg, DKiG 7th Panzer Division.

Last edited by TWS; 11-29-2019 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 11-29-2019, 05:47 PM   #2
Stickfigure21
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One great uniform! Love it!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 11-29-2019, 05:51 PM   #3
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What an amazing discovery. So as an ordnance officer (crossed canons cypher),
after being assigned to a Pz unit (as a gun specialist) he perhaps switched to pink waffenfarbe
(on a black panzer wrapper)
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Old 11-29-2019, 05:58 PM   #4
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Thank you for sharing, glad to see all your hard work paid off.
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:10 PM   #5
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Wonderful piece of history great find & to see the man himself makes it more special,
like he`s come back to life.
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickG View Post
What an amazing discovery. So as an ordnance officer (crossed canons cypher),
after being assigned to a Pz unit (as a gun specialist) he perhaps switched to pink waffenfarbe
(on a black panzer wrapper)
Thanks Nick. If I am remembering Angolia and Schlicht properly, Waffenoffizier had a Waffenfarbe of Hochrot like the Artillerie regardless of unit of assignment. It would be interesting to know if Schnitzlein took the easy way out by violating regulations and just stuck his crossed cannon devices on an otherwise "stock" panzer wrapper or if he installed red piped boards (and possibly sourced red piped collar tabs!). I have a wrapper from a Sturmartillerie Abteilung with red piped black panzer wrapper shoulder straps (NCO) and in lieu of collar tabs he had red soutache sewn to the collars in the rhomboid shape of panzer tabs topped with panzer skulls with red wool behind the eyes.

In any case, I'd love to have the uniform he is wearing in the photo.
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Seeking photographs of Joachim Tiesler, DKiG Stalingrad, 3rd I.D. (mot.) and Clemens Freiherr von Fürstenberg, DKiG 7th Panzer Division.
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:29 PM   #7
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Pretty cool, Todd!
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Old 11-30-2019, 04:02 AM   #8
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That is a very nice tunic, considering the link established to his wearer and his unit.
Thank you for sharing this story.
derka
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Old 11-30-2019, 04:06 AM   #9
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That is a very nice tunic, considering the link established to his wearer and his unit.
Thank you for sharing this story.
IMO, the black wrap was probably worn only changing shoulder boards, wich are not seewn on type.
Acording his function, he was not supposed to be issued the black set, even if it was commonly observed.
So with 2 different waffenfarben, wich happened in more cases than we think nowdays.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derka View Post
That is a very nice tunic, considering the link established to his wearer and his unit.
Thank you for sharing this story.
IMO, the black wrap was probably worn only changing shoulder boards, wich are not seewn on type.
Acording his function, he was not supposed to be issued the black set, even if it was commonly observed.
So with 2 different waffenfarben, wich happened in more cases than we think nowdays.
derka
Thanks derka.
I agree. Most likely he just changed the shoulder boards as they would have been slip-on and super easy to swap. And absolutely agree: Many soldiers who were not technically authorized to wear the Sonderbekleidung für die Panzertruppe did so anyways. It was a status symbol and if attached to a panzer unit and they could get their hands on a black uniform (or even Feldgrau or Reed Green HBT wrapper) they did so. I have even seen an original photo of a paymaster in a panzer unit wearing a black wrapper. A freakin' paymaster! I also agree with your third point. Wearing mis-matched waffenfarben definitely occurred in the field. We see that occasionally in original photos whereby even though they are black and white, you can tell that the shades of the piping don't match.
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Seeking photographs of Joachim Tiesler, DKiG Stalingrad, 3rd I.D. (mot.) and Clemens Freiherr von Fürstenberg, DKiG 7th Panzer Division.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:42 AM   #11
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There are original manufactured orange piped wrappers for ordnance officers, post June 1944.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galizien41 View Post
There are original manufactured orange piped wrappers for ordnance officers, post June 1944.
jerry,
You mean orange piped (acording the regs change mid 44) around their collar tabs factory applied on the wrap ?
Or orange piped collar tabs issued and applied in units for those Waffenoffiziere ?
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:52 AM   #13
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You mean orange piped (acording the regs change mid 44) around their collar tabs factory applied on the wrap ? Yes!
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:45 PM   #14
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Ok thanks for this precision Jerry, always something to learn with wrap's manufacturing.
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