Kriegsmarine Blue Jumper Shirt
Image courtesy of Hermann Historica Auctioneers, Munich
Image courtesy of Hermann Historica Auctioneers, Munich
Estimated market value:
The headgear, uniforms, and insignia worn by members of the Kriegsmarine were based upon the designs utilized by the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) and the Reichsmarine (Navy of the Weimar Republic). 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 to 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 to the Second World War, but during the war, it became increasingly synthetic and of lower quality. 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 and Enlisted Men. The cloth utilized in garments of the blue uniform is of an overall better quality than the cloth utilized in the field-grey uniform. For the field-grey uniform specifically, the cloth is more grey-coloured in pre-war uniforms, while the cloth is more green/olive-coloured in wartime uniforms.
The main colour of Kriegsmarine uniform pieces is a dark navy blue. However, during the summer months, and initially also in regions with warmer climate, a white summer uniform was used. Eventually, a brown tropical uniform was introduced for units stationed in tropical and subtropical regions. Land-based Kriegsmarine units, most of which were part of the Coastal Artillery, wore Army-like field-grey uniforms in the style of the Kriegsmarine.
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 (Reichsbetriebsnummern) were also used as manufacturer marks (RB-).
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 Jumper Shirts were worn by Kriegsmarine Privates and Junior Non-Commissioned Officers. These shirts were produced in a blue version and a white version. The blue jumper shirts were worn while performing duties on ships, or at land-units and command centres, while the white jumper shirts were permitted for wear while performing duties during summer months, in tropical locales, and when the personnel was on leave.
The shirts were worn tucked into the trousers, but their total length extended to the wearer’s mid-thigh.
The shirts are composed of several main elements, including the shirt fabric, the shirt collar, the drill collar, the neckerchief, the breast slash and cords/ribbons, the pocket, the sleeve cuffs, the national emblem, and the rank and career insignia.
The different coloured jumper shirts are made from different materials. The blue jumpers are composed of navy blue molton, a woolen cloth, while the white jumpers are made of white cotton drill.
The shirt collars of these jumpers are rectangular and were sewn onto the neck. The blue jumpers are made from two layers of basic cloth, while the white jumper shirt collars are composed of a layer of blue nankeen cloth that has three parallel white stripes.
The Exerzierkragen (drill collar/blue shirt collar) was always worn on top of the shirt collar of the blue jumpers, but it was only worn on top of the shirt collar of the white jumpers when explicitly ordered. These drill collars were secured via panels attached to the body of the wearer.
The neckerchief is made of black silk and worn in conjunction with the white jumper when it was donned as part of the tropical or walking-out dress.
Every jumper has a v-shaped slash down the centre of the shirt. This slash is lined in basic cloth for support and has a hidden buttoning tab that was used to close the slash during severe weather. Another option for closing the slash was the slash cords or ribbons. The cords on the blue jumper are light/cornflower blue, braided, and approximately 400mm long, while the ribbons on the white jumper are white, flat, and only 300mm long. These devices are located on either side of the side of the slash and were generally worn tucked inside the jumper.
These jumpers also have a pocket positioned on the inside of the left breast. This pocket was made with basic cloth, for the blue jumper, and blue nankeen cloth, for the white jumper. It was used to hold the wearer’s identification documents, such as their pay book and I.D. card. This pocket is often erroneously called the “Knife Pocket.”
The sleeve cuffs also differ in construction between the blue and white jumpers. The blue jumper sleeve cuffs have a slash that may be closed by two black buttons, and they are lined with blue fabric, while the white jumper sleeve cuffs also have a slash along the sleeve seam, they only have one button and are decorated with a panel of blue nankeen cloth.
The national emblem is featured on the right breast of the jumpers, and it is generally embroidered on a cloth backing that matches the colour of the jumper. When present, the career and rank insignia are situated on the left sleeve of the jumpers. See the Career Insignia and Chevrons folders for more information.
The Jumper Shirt is also known as a Pullover.
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