Summer 2022 Militaria Auction
Assault Artillery Wrap Tunic Feldherrnhalle Oberleutnant (Sturmartillerie Feldbluse fur Offizier).
Development of self-propelled assault artillery to support the infantry in a close fire support role began in the late 1930’s and continued through-out the war. With the development of these new weapons it was decided that crew personnel would require a uniform designed specifically for wear in the close constrains of their vehicles. The black panzer wrap uniform had proven practical in the confines of tanks, but it was determined that the color was too conspicuous for use while performing the close support role as the assault gunners were quite often required to leave their vehicles for observation within close range and view of the enemy. This consideration led to the introduction of the field-grey Sturmartillerie uniform on May 29th 1940, with the same design and cut of the Black panzer wrap uniform. Originally test examples of the Sturmartillerie uniform were manufactured with a blue/green collar which was altered to a field-grey collar by the time of its official introduction. The field-grey assault artillery wrap tunic remained the same through-out the war. The black wool Panzer and the field-grey Sturmartillerie uniforms both proved to be practical garments but also proved to be hard to clean and maintain and hot and uncomfortable in the summer months and in the warmer climates of southern continental Europe. As a result of this and with an eye on conserving materials, regulations of May 5th 1941 introduced a lighter weight, reed green uniform in the same basic design as its predecessors. The new reed green uniforms were to be utilized by all armored personnel and were designed to serve double duty as they would fit over the wool Panzer and Sturmartillerie uniforms in colder weather to prevent wear and tear and be less conspicuous and also could be utilized by itself as a summer uniform. In early 1942 a slightly modified, second pattern, wrap uniform was introduced with the addition of vertical slashes at the waistband to accommodate a belt and an additional large, patch pocket applied to the left breast. Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the armyâ€™s Kleiderkasse, (Clothing Account), system. The Officers and certain senior NCOâ€™s could choose to purchase their uniforms from the armed forces clothing depots or to privately purchase garments of higher quality. Although enlisted personnel were issued their uniforms from government supplies they were also permitted to purchase privately tailored uniforms although the price may have been restrictive. The different branches of service within the army were allocated a specific, identifying, waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), which was generally displayed on the shoulder straps/boards and the collar tabs.
The Feldherrnhalle, (Hall of Generals/Heroes), in Munich was the site of the unsuccessful 1923 Beer Hall Putsch in which the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Workerâ€™s Party), attempted to seize governmental power and in which sixteen NSDAP members were killed by the police. After the NSDAP gained power in January 1933 the Feldherrnhalle became a national shrine for the sixteen “assassinated martyrs” of the party. Shortly after the purge of the SA, Sturm Abteilung, (Storm/Assault Detachment), in June 1934 the newly appointed SA-Stabchef, (Chief-of-Staff), Viktor Lutz established the SA-Wachtstandarte, (SA Guard Regiment), to guard the NSDAPâ€™s offices and allotted it the honor title Feldherrnhalle. Sometime in the mid to late 1930’s personnel serving with SA-Wachtstandarte Feldherrnhalle were allotted an honorary “Feldherrnhalle” cufftitle. On August 9th 1942 the 271st Infantry Regiment, a component of the 93rd Infantry Division, which consisted largely of SA volunteers were also authorized wear of the same “Feldherrnhalle” cufftitle as the SA-Wachtstandarte. On July 1st 1943 distinctive new shoulder board/strap cyphers were introduced for wear by both the SA-Wachtstandarte and the armyâ€™s Feldhernhalle units. In 1943 the 271st Infantry Regiment Feldhernhalle was detached from the 93rd Infantry Division to form the nucleus of the newly forming 60th Panzer Grenadier Division Feldherrnhalle and divisional personnel were also allotted the honor cufftitle and shoulder board/strap cyphers. Further expansion and additional units including the PanzerKorps Feldherrnhalle consisting of the Panzer Divisions Feldherrnhalle 1 and 2 were also allotted wear of the honor cufftitle and shoulder board/strap cyphers.
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