German Police Breeches
Image courtesy of Hermann Historica Auctioneers, Munich
Estimated market value:
During the Third Reich, an effort was made to unite all of Germany’s disparate provincial police forces and agencies into a single cohesive national unit. To attain this goal, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler was named Chief of the German Police in the Ministry of the Interior in June 1936. That same month, Himmler implemented new standardized uniforms, headgear, and insignia. The uniforms worn prior to Himmler’s appointment were often navy blue, particularly in what had been Prussia. The new uniforms were green, in a shade that was then dubbed “Police green”.
The German Police were divided into two main units, the Ordnungspolizei (Orps or Regular Police) and the Sicherheitspolizei (Secret Police); the Ordnungspolizei were unofficially called the green police (Grüne Polizei) as a result of their uniform colour. The Sicherheitspolizei were made up of two main organizations, the Gestapo and the Kriminalpolizei (Criminal Investigation Police). At the beginning of the Second World War, the Sicherheitspolizei were brought under the auspices of the Reich Main Security Office.
While the German Police uniforms were standardized in 1936, the trousers and breeches did not fully transition to the new green colour until 1938. Thus, there are examples of the German Police trousers and breeches that were composed of black material post-1936. As well, the trousers and breeches that were worn by Fire Protection Police and Water Protection Police personnel followed different regulations.
The Police breeches were permitted for wear as part of the service and parade dress, as well as the field and undress uniforms. For wear in the summer, the breeches were produced in a lightweight brown fabric.
The front fly closure features four buttons.
The waistband features exterior buttons to facilitate the attachment of suspenders. The exterior back of the waistband may feature a slash with buttons and an adjustable strap for sizing.
Each pair of breeches features two horizontal “slash” pockets cut into the lining, one at hip level on either leg. There is also a fob pocket on the upper right leg, and there may be a slash pocket on the right buttock. Except for the fob pocket, these pockets are closed by a single button.
There is a vertical slash on each leg that starts right below the wearer's knee and extends to the bottom of the leg. These slashes are closed by a cord passed through eyelets.
These breeches may feature a tag or a stamp on the breeches' interior lining or waistband with the manufacturer’s name. The wearer’s name and a police property stamp (P. or Po.) may also be stamped on the breeches.
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