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US forces using German uniforms/armor at Aachen?

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by KodiakBeer, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    As we take in account that :
    -the uniforms were only issued in a restricted periode of time
    -to a limited amount of units
    -the fact that after friendly -fire incidents they were advised not to wear it anymore
    -that because of the wear they had to change to newer outfits
    -the fact that not everybody stil wearing the camouflage outfit was photographed

    All of this makes it harder to find a picture of someone wearing the camouflage outfit later then september 1944 of course.
     
  2. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    I found this: Ed Walton "lost battalions" , supplier of reenactment stuff

    Generally speaking, the combat arms branches were opposed to camouflage due to their feelings about the use of camo in the Pacific in 1943, but the engineers believed in camo and were pushing the idea for Europe. As a result, it was decided that there would be three test battalions in Normandy wearing the camo in July. One battalion of the 30th ID - which earned them the nickname of "Roosevelt's SS", the organic combat engineer battalion of the 2nd Armored, and one battalion of the 2nd ID. I've not found any reference to the specific battalions by number for the infantry divisions, nor the regimetns. So you have a coverage of less than 1/14th table strength in each of the three divisions wearing these uniforms so that's a very small pool of people and all in front line positions with very high turnover. For instance, the second ID had 15,000 battle casualties from 6/44 to 5/45 against a table strength of 14,000. The British published books about US uniforms claim the camo was quickly withdrawn due to battle casualties from friendly fire as a result of mistaken identity for Waffen-SS dot camo. While researching this, I found that there were in fact friendly fire incidents between the 29th Division and the 2nd Division right after the 2nd ID came ashore, but it was caused by the dark green OD7 HBT fatigues being worn by the 2nd ID. The 29th had not seen that color before and it apparently looked to them like German reed green. I never found any specific historical incidents of friendly fire against the test battalions. I discussed this many years ago with Jonathan Gawne, editor of the defunct US edition of "Militaria Magazine," publisher of the old lamented "G.I. Journal" and author of "Spearheading D-Day" and many other books, who is probably the foremost authority on US uniforms. Jon told me he had researched the AARs in the National Archives specifically to find out about these alleged friendly fire incidents involving camouflage and he found nothing. Not one incident. Then he researched for the orders pulling the uniforms and found nothing. This British theory about US uniforms is further disproved by the fact that photos show these uniforms still being used by personnel in those units in late September 1944. The decision had already been made before the fact that camo would not be used in Europe and this "test" was merely a sop to the camo agitators in the Engineer Corps. The uniforms were issued to a relatively miniscule number of people and the uniforms were allowed to live out their combat lifespans of a few weeks and never replaced. It's notable that in the photos in September, such as the 2nd ID at Brest, there is usually only one or two men in each shot still surviving who has camo as compared to early July photos where everyone in the photo is wearing camo. The average lifespan of a combat infantryman with his unit in Europe was reckoned to be about 15 days. At that point, he was either dead or sent back wounded. Of course, we all know of guys who bought it immediately and others who survived straight through from June to May unscathed. However, you get the point. These uniforms didn't last long because the guys wearing them didn't last long.
     
  3. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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  4. Powerhouse

    Powerhouse New Member

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    Sure...new equipmenst were often a source of misunderstanding...
    This camo was clearly ineffective in motion, perhaps it may have been provided to the snipers after normandy?
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Interesting...as never thought having seen Wehrmacht until very late in war wearing camo.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wehrmacht_uniforms



    Camouflage[SIZE=small][edit][/SIZE]

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    Splittermuster (Splinter pattern)



    [​IMG]


    Platanenmuster (Plane tree pattern)


    The Germans were first issued camouflage in 1937. During the war two distinctive patterns were in use: Splittermuster (splinter pattern) and its softer-edged variant Sumpftarnmuster(swamp pattern), and Platanenmuster (plane tree pattern). Splinter Pattern was originally used for tents but was later applied by the Luftwaffe to the knochensack jump smocks of theFallschirmjäger, and fashioned into camouflage smocks for the infantry, while Platanenmuster was worn by snipers, panzer crews and the Waffen-SS. Flecktarn, an updated version of the earlier plane tree pattern, is still used by the modern German Bundeswehr.[11]
    In 1945 a new 6-colour camouflage known as Leibermuster, which inspired the postwar US ERDL pattern, was introduced. The colors were black, tan, olive, pale green, white, and red-brown.
     

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