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Old 09-19-2019, 10:01 AM   #151
milit73
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Originally Posted by pauke View Post
The wool on the arty straps is brown as I see them.
Yes is brown.
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I'm looking for any items relating to : 45 Heeres Pionier Bataillon ( mot ),334 and 94 Infanterie Division
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:41 PM   #152
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I answer now after work.

These tropen shoulder boards belonged to a gunner ( Stabsbatterie II / Art.Rgt. 22 ) ... from Lexicon der Wehrmacht it appears that II Abteilung/AR 22 was transferred to Africa on September 24 1942 with the Kampfgruppe Buhse (Infantry Regiment 47) and there on February 26 1943.

From other documents ( unfortunately only copies ) in november 1942 this soldier was "Uffz." as shown by the shoulder boards.

I have no doubt about originality.

Just to clarify :-)
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:20 PM   #153
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Yes is brown.
Hi Michele

Thanks for the clarification. You can see my confusion, that the straps have brown wool makes sense to me.
Nice set of straps
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:59 PM   #154
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Now that Michele's straps backing has been cleared up would like to return to my original question ?

When did the grey wool backed tropical straps first appear ?
The consensus years ago was simple, brown wool = 1940-42 until Alamein. Grey wool backing = 1943 Tunisia and later. Since then there has been some confusion with a few sets of grey wool backed straps supposedly attributed to 1942 ? (and possibly 1941 which i now doubt). Surely there would have been an overlap from various makers. Anyone have any thoughts on this ?
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:23 AM   #155
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...Nice set of straps...
Thank you.
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Old 09-20-2019, 04:53 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by pauke View Post
The wool on the arty straps is brown as I see them.
Yes, it's brown, and it's french wool I believe. I've seen that weave on a couple of french overcoats, it looks a little like the weave on late war german wool but it's different from that.

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Originally Posted by Tim O'Keefe View Post
When do you think grey wool backing was first used on tropical straps ? Perhaps earlier than was first thought years ago when brown wool was thought to predate grey wool by a couple years ?
I'm not really fond of that "brown wool is early" and "fieldgrey wool is late" thinking that has settled in the collecting community.
I don't believe that there has ever been an ordinance or some kind of official regulation that dictated what kind of fabrics to use on shoulder straps. Almost all straps (with the exception of those that were made by companies that specialised solely in insignia), tropical or continental, early or late, were made from fabric scraps that were left over from uniform production, hence the 2 piece construction of uppers and tongue and wool backings that were zig-zag sewn together from 2 or more pieces. So the material the straps were made of depended on the range of uniforms that the producers made. If they were contracted to make both tropical cotton uniforms and tropical overcoats, then they had brown wool scraps they could use for the backing of their shoulder straps. If they didn't make tropical overcoats or some kind of political/party uniforms that were made in brownish wool, then they had to use fieldgrey wool. I actually remember seeing a pair of salty, early tropical shoulder straps (still with wool piping) once that were backed with fieldgrey wool. IMO, the notion that more late war straps were backed with fieldgrey wool is a result of tropical overcoats being discontinued after the german army was forced out of north africa. And maybe also the stocks of captured french wool had dried up, so there wasn't much brown wool around at that point in time anyway. The production of tropical (or how collectors then named them 'Südfront') uniforms continued with the '42, '43 and '44 models and so did the production of shoulder straps for those uniforms, but with tropical overcoats being down for the count, producers had to use fieldgrey wool scraps for the backing more often. So as a famous person once said, we should judge tropical shoulder straps not by the color of their wool, but by the content of their character, for whatever that means . They have to be looked at as a whole to see if all the details check out.
Those are my thoughts and opinions, don't take any of this for a fact as I have very little to back this up other than logic, plausibility and my personal experience and evaluation.

Best regards,
Andy
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:57 PM   #157
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And from the next page of the Hptm's book " I have a dream that one day this collecting nation will wise up and live out the true meaning of its need- we hold these scraps to be self-evident: that all tropical straps are created equal."
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:25 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by Hptm. Fuhrmann View Post

I'm not really fond of that "brown wool is early" and "fieldgrey wool is late" thinking that has settled in the collecting community.
I don't believe that there has ever been an ordinance or some kind of official regulation that dictated what kind of fabrics to use on shoulder straps. Almost all straps (with the exception of those that were made by companies that specialised solely in insignia), tropical or continental, early or late, were made from fabric scraps that were left over from uniform production, hence the 2 piece construction of uppers and tongue and wool backings that were zig-zag sewn together from 2 or more pieces. So the material the straps were made of depended on the range of uniforms that the producers made. If they were contracted to make both tropical cotton uniforms and tropical overcoats, then they had brown wool scraps they could use for the backing of their shoulder straps. If they didn't make tropical overcoats or some kind of political/party uniforms that were made in brownish wool, then they had to use fieldgrey wool. I actually remember seeing a pair of salty, early tropical shoulder straps (still with wool piping) once that were backed with fieldgrey wool. IMO, the notion that more late war straps were backed with fieldgrey wool is a result of tropical overcoats being discontinued after the german army was forced out of north africa. And maybe also the stocks of captured french wool had dried up, so there wasn't much brown wool around at that point in time anyway. The production of tropical (or how collectors then named them 'Südfront') uniforms continued with the '42, '43 and '44 models and so did the production of shoulder straps for those uniforms, but with tropical overcoats being down for the count, producers had to use fieldgrey wool scraps for the backing more often. So as a famous person once said, we should judge tropical shoulder straps not by the color of their wool, but by the content of their character, for whatever that means . They have to be looked at as a whole to see if all the details check out.
Those are my thoughts and opinions, don't take any of this for a fact as I have very little to back this up other than logic, plausibility and my personal experience and evaluation.

Best regards,
Andy

Hello Andy,

thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts about brown wool backing on tropical shoulder straps. I do not disagree with what you have stated.

In my experience and other collectors who I have correspond/ talked to, no German tropical shoulder straps with field grey woolen backing were picked up by any 8th Army soldiers in North Africa during 1941. Any such straps picked up on the battlefield or from prisoners in 1941 so far, have always had a brown wool backing. The earliest German tropical shoulder straps with field-grey woolen backing picked up by New Zealanders (& Australians ?) were in 1942 from battles such as El Alamein but never any from 1941 with a field-grey wool backing.

This would mean that the earliest German companies to make the tropical uniform and shoulder straps in 1940 and the first half of 1941, also made the tropical greatcoat/ brown political uniforms or had access to off-cuts from these garments, captured French brown wool or both


Chris

Last edited by 90th Light; 09-21-2019 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:04 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Hptm. Fuhrmann View Post
Yes, it's brown, and it's french wool I believe. I've seen that weave on a couple of french overcoats, it looks a little like the weave on late war german wool but it's different from that.

I'm not really fond of that "brown wool is early" and "fieldgrey wool is late" thinking that has settled in the collecting community.
I don't believe that there has ever been an ordinance or some kind of official regulation that dictated what kind of fabrics to use on shoulder straps. Almost all straps (with the exception of those that were made by companies that specialised solely in insignia), tropical or continental, early or late, were made from fabric scraps that were left over from uniform production, hence the 2 piece construction of uppers and tongue and wool backings that were zig-zag sewn together from 2 or more pieces. So the material the straps were made of depended on the range of uniforms that the producers made. If they were contracted to make both tropical cotton uniforms and tropical overcoats, then they had brown wool scraps they could use for the backing of their shoulder straps. If they didn't make tropical overcoats or some kind of political/party uniforms that were made in brownish wool, then they had to use fieldgrey wool. I actually remember seeing a pair of salty, early tropical shoulder straps (still with wool piping) once that were backed with fieldgrey wool. IMO, the notion that more late war straps were backed with fieldgrey wool is a result of tropical overcoats being discontinued after the german army was forced out of north africa. And maybe also the stocks of captured french wool had dried up, so there wasn't much brown wool around at that point in time anyway. The production of tropical (or how collectors then named them 'Südfront') uniforms continued with the '42, '43 and '44 models and so did the production of shoulder straps for those uniforms, but with tropical overcoats being down for the count, producers had to use fieldgrey wool scraps for the backing more often. So as a famous person once said, we should judge tropical shoulder straps not by the color of their wool, but by the content of their character, for whatever that means . They have to be looked at as a whole to see if all the details check out.
Those are my thoughts and opinions, don't take any of this for a fact as I have very little to back this up other than logic, plausibility and my personal experience and evaluation.

Best regards,
Andy
Yes my monitor has them grey. Hence my hesitation.

Agree, an excellent synopsis. Interesting that you have seen a pair of straps with wool piping and grey wool backing. That question has been raised before with inconclusive results. Brown wool overcoats were produced till early '43 judging by the date stamp on a couple surviving examples in collection. So an overlap in the timeline with grey wool backed straps. Where there is scraps, there are straps.,

Thanks Andy
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:08 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by pauke View Post
And from the next page of the Hptm's book " I have a dream that one day this collecting nation will wise up and live out the true meaning of its need- we hold these scraps to be self-evident: that all tropical straps are created equal."
So not only brown wool backed straps, but grey wool backed straps might be DAK straps too, especially if they have that Afrikan look
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:37 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by 90th Light View Post
Hello Andy,

thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts about brown wool backing on tropical shoulder straps. I do not disagree with what you have stated.

In my experience and other collectors who I have correspond/ talked to, no German tropical shoulder straps with field grey woolen backing were picked up by any 8th Army soldiers in North Africa during 1941. Any such straps picked up on the battlefield or from prisoners in 1941 so far, have always had a brown wool backing. The earliest German tropical shoulder straps with field-grey woolen backing picked up by New Zealanders (& Australians ?) were in 1942 from battles such as El Alamein but never any from 1941 with a field-grey wool backing.

This would mean that the earliest German companies to make the tropical uniform and shoulder straps in 1940 and the first half of 1941, also made the tropical greatcoat/ brown political uniforms or had access to off-cuts from these garments, captured French brown wool or both


Chris
Hi Chris

Great info as always pertaining to vet souvenirs. Can add that some members of the 125th arrived in Afrika with brown wool backed straps in time for El Alamein. Though some had to use their continental wool straps on their tropical tunics do to a shortage of tropical straps in late '42. The 10th Pz Div arrived in Tunisia with both brown and grey wool backed straps.

Since there were only a few makers of tropical caps and tunics in 1940 the expansion of the tropical uniforms needed increased as time went on into 1943.
Therefore different makers of tropical straps had to use grey wool backing for straps earlier than others that still had excess to brown wool.

cheers

Tim
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