Kriegsmarine Leather Trousers
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The headgear, uniforms, and insignia worn by members of the Kriegsmarine were based upon the designs utilized by the Kaiserliche Marine and the Reichsmarine. The official regulations governing the uniforms of the Reichsmarine were issued on April 5, 1921, and they were embraced, with a few alterations, as the Kriegsmarine uniforms in 1935.
From 1933-1945, the uniforms worn by personnel in the German Navy were produced and disseminated by the Navy Clothing Depot and private manufacturers. The cloth was of a high quality prior the Second World War, but during the war, it became increasingly synthetic. Similarly, the cloth used in the uniforms of Officers and Admirals was of a higher quality than the cloth used in the uniforms of lower ranking personnel, such as Non-Commissioned Officers. The cloth utilized in garments of the blue uniform is of an overall better quality that the cloth utilized in the field-grey uniform. For the field-grey uniform specifically, the cloth is more grey-coloured in pre-Second World War uniforms, while the cloth is more green/olive-coloured in Second World War uniforms.
The buttons worn on Kriegsmarine garments are generally gold-coloured, except for the uniforms of Officials which used silver-coloured buttons. The buttons feature the image of a fouled anchor on the obverse. The buttons are composed of brass, or of light metal. The gold-coloured buttons were gilded, while the silver-coloured buttons were silvered. As well, in the case of special uniform garments the buttons may be composed of plastic.
The garments may have proof stamps, serial and unit stamps, and manufacturer marks denoting the legitimacy and origin of the item. They also tend to feature sewn name tabs (namensläppchen) on all clothing items associated with the blue and field-grey uniforms. The blue uniform garments all have a serial number stamp (stammrollennummernstempel), while the field-grey uniform garments have a unit stamp.
The proof stamp is present on all garments produced by the Navy Clothing Depot, and it includes the size of the item, if needed, with the year of manufacture above the size, and a surmounting script that reads “B.A.K.” or “B.A.W.” This stamp information is framed, and written in white ink on blue or black garments and in black ink on all other colour garments.
The serial stamp is composed of letters and numbers, and it is present on blue uniform garments from the Depot. The stamp is either printed in red ink or sewn in red thread. The numbers are preceded by a letter that denotes the area in which the wearer served, with an “N” for Navy Station or an “O” for Navy Station Baltic. The stamp ends in a letter associated with the wearer’s career group, with an “S” for deck personnel and a “T” for technical professionals. Below the serial number is the year in which the wearer entered the navy, surmounted by a horizontal line.
The unit stamp is present on field-grey uniforms. It includes the framed, shortened unit name of the wearer in red ink.
The marks of private manufacturers vary widely, ranging from codes to full names, and even abbreviated letters, as well as the year of manufacture. After 1942, Reich numbers (Reichsbetriebsnummer) were also used as manufacturer marks (RB-).
The Leather Trousers are a special, protective clothing garment that was worn by specific groups of Kriegsmarine and Reichsmarine personnel, including engine personnel and U-boat deck and bridge personnel.
These leather pants are composed of several main elements, including the leather panels, the fly, the lining, the pockets, and the adjustment strap.
The construction of the fly on the leather pants varies. The fly closures were generally composed of buttons along the left seam, and button holes along the right seam.
The interior of the pants is lined with light-coloured cotton fabric.
The leather trousers tend to have two vertical slash pockets on either pant leg, without a flap cover.
The back of the waistline has a “V” shaped incision that may be adjusted for sizing purposes by an adjustable strap.
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