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Summer Uniforms in the Bundeswehr (Sandfarben)

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    Summer Uniforms in the Bundeswehr (Sandfarben)

    Summer uniforms have been worn by the Bundeswehr from shortly after it was formed. Despite this fact, they are relatively rare, especially the headgear. For my reference for this article I have used JÖRG-M. HORMANN"S book "Die Bundeswehr und ihre uniformen " 30 Jahre Bekleidungsgeschichte and Walter Kunstwadl’s book "Von affenjacke zum Tropentarnanzug", uniforms from my collection and pictures from this forum. There is relatively little information on these uniforms in either book but when combined with material from my own, and other collections, I beleive we can have a good basis for understanding these uniforms once this thread is completed. I am counting on others adding things from their collection, either uniforms or pictures, to add to our knowledge.

    Regards,

    Gordon

    Because the Bundeswehr served as an alliance military organization many of its members were trained, or served for long periods, with the armed forces of other nations. It quickly became apparent, after the formation of the BW, that the existing uniform was not suitable for wear in tropical and subtropical regions because of the heavy weight,. From April of 1959 (Kunstwadl’s date) or June of 1959 (Hormann’s date) all three services of the German Federal Armed Forces were authorized to wear the sandfarben uniform in countries with accordingly hot climates. A Khakifarben clay/tone was consciously avoided thereby avoiding the awakening of memories of the similar Khaki of the Africa corps. This uniform, consisting of a light gabardine material is still worn today by the soldiers of the German Federal Armed Forces. It may be worn by those serving constantly, or for long periods of time, south of 40th Degree of latitude. North of this, depending on the climatic conditions in the respective host country, it may be worn from 1. April until 31 September in the USA, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Southern France. The sandfarben uniform was the same colour for all components, including shirt, tie and shoulder straps. Headgear was of the same colour and material.
    Until 1970 the sandfarben uniform was intended for wear only by officers and NCOs with Portepee. After a certain period (when I do not know)the niform was authorized as service and walking out uniform for all ranks. In the Federal Navy the sandfarben uniform could be worn onboard by enlisted personnel and Officers. It could also be worn in native waters and ashore. Shorts in sandfarben were authorized in 1970. The main distinguishing feature for soldiers of the armed services in the sandfarben uniforms are, at present, the shoulder straps. Everyone wears the shoulder straps of their armed service, thus for army, light-grey; air force, bluish gray; and navy dark-blue. In each case with silver or gold rank insignia.
    When introduced the sandfarben uniform had pointed shoulder boards in the same colour as the tunic with lace in a very similar shade. In 1963 all personnel of the three service were authorized to wear their respective shoulder boards on sandfarben uniforms. Round ended, sandfarben shoulder boards of the same width as the previous worn pointed shoulder boards, are known to exist. Later round ended shoulder boards were wider.

    In Kunstwadl's book he illustrates pictures of what he says were two of the trial uniforms tried experimentally. I'll number purely for reference purposes. It has nothing to do with when each colour was used in trials.
    #1-
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    #2
    Uniform #2.
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      #3
      The tunic as it was finally adopted. This tunic is from my collection. It retains the pointed shoulder boards. Some things to note about this tunic. The dark coloured buttons, the turn back cuffs and the air force collar tabs.
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        #4
        Another view of this tunic.
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          #5
          A view of the arm where the rank chevrons were removed. I have never been successful if finding a replacement "gold" coloured insignia. The marks on the sleeve indicate that the removed rank was for an Unteroffizieranwarter.
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            #6
            Another similar tunic that I bought a few days ago from ebay.com. I was pleasantly surprised to see that no one else bid on this rare tunic. It reflects post 1963 regulations by using the shoulder boards of the applicable service and silver buttons. I haven't received this tunic yet and I need to reserve my judgement as to the correctness of the shoulder boards.
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              #7
              The interior of the tunic.
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                #8
                A closer view of the shoulder boards.
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                  #9
                  A picture from Kunstwadl's book illustrating the different types of shoulder baords worn with these tunics.
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                    #10
                    Head gear. First another picture from Kunstwadl's book showing the overseas type cap in wear. Also of interest is the short sleeved shirt, sandfarben pants and the pointed air force shoulder boards. I've cropped this photo for a better view of the uniform but the picture shows a BW soldier talked to a U.S. air force enlisted man.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Gordon Craig; 08-01-2009, 07:20 AM.

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                      #11
                      The last photos for now will be of a sandfarben visor cap that asbjoern posted on the Budeswehr Lovers thread.
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                        #12
                        A side view of this visor cap.
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                          #13
                          The makers label in this exceedingly rare cap. I have seen only one other cap like this for sale. I'll continue this thread later with current uniforms.
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                            #14
                            Hi Gordon

                            Nice uniforms
                            Is this book from Jörg-M Hormann about the Bundeswehr uniforms easy to find ?



                            Regards , Johan

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                              #15
                              Johan,

                              Thanks for the kind words. Hormann's book is impossible to find. I have never seen one for sale since I bought mine. Kunstwadl's book is available and well worth buying.

                              Regards,

                              Gordon

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