Introduction by Col. Scott Pritchett

Over the centuries that armies have formed and fought, the uniform has always been an important part of history.  While their styles and purposes have varied as endlessly as the passage of time and the nature of conflict, uniforms have served a number of purposes.  They have been designed to intimidate enemies, maintain battle lines, identify friend and foe, or have been modified to suit a particular battle tactic.  They have been designed for the splendor of ceremonial duties and made for the camouflage and deception of the sniper's stealth.  Yet one aspect runs common throughout them all - their special visual appeal.

Perhaps no other era in warfare, nor any country in conflict has ever attained the dramatic visual achievement in its uniforms, as did the Wehrmacht in World War II.  The military, political and civilian cultures of Germany emerged in the early 1930s outfitted in a wide array of martial accouterments under the growing power, guidance and influence of National Socialism. By the outbreak of WWII Germany, as a nation had not only embodied the fervor of fascism in the uniforms of her armed forces, but also consummated the history, tradition and psyche of a proud and longstanding military heritage in their form, function and appeal.  Few if any modern militaries so purposefully have linked the uniform to its national character.  So prominent an effort was hardly able to be missed by even her enemies.  

Germany's adversaries clearly took note of the attention to detail given every aspect of German military uniforms.  The rather unique practice of wearing full decorations in battle drew much attention both within the Wehrmacht and amongst its opponents.  How many GIs, Tommies or Red Army soldiers sought to liberate the Wehrmacht soldier of his Luger, his helmet or his iron cross?  A German taken prisoner who bore the Ritterkreuz was widely recognized as an exceptional adversary.  The Waffen SS epitomized the idea of the driven, selfless and unsparing warrior.  Many an Allied soldier recognized the collar patch and both dreaded and boasted of their clashes with the "asphalt soldiers" of the Waffen SS.  The German helmet was and still is today perhaps the most widely recognized single uniform item ever designed.   It is this awe that German uniforms elicit - with their exceptional level of attention to detail, their rich traditions, color, and variety, as well as the sinister inspiration, begrudging admiration and fear these uniforms evoked that probably draws the ranks of collectors to this unusual theme of our hobby.

This section of the site strives to provide the collector with articles that are basic enough for the novice but detailed enough for collecting veterans.  This is a growing area of the site, please return often for updates as the section is populated.

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