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Why were German uniforms grey?

Discussion in 'Uniforms, Personal Gear (Kit) and Accessories' started by Trip Jab, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. Trip Jab

    Trip Jab New Member

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    Why is it that most German uniforms that I've seen in photographs are grey? Usually they are SS troops. It doesn't seem like it would be an very effective camouflage compared to other colors like green. I'm sure it would be good in the dark but combat wasn't always at night. Was camouflage entirely the idea when making the uniforms or was something else in mind?

    [​IMG] They look like to this.
     
  2. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    There wasn't one single shade. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feldgrau

    Tradition and organisational inertia may have played a part. The Germans fought Ww1 in Field Grey and it was the service uniform of the Reichswehr. Nazi ideology identified with the front line soldiers of the Great War and the uniform offered continuity.

    The German armies (Prussian Bavarian, Saxon, Baden and Wurtemburg etc.) adopted grey Green for their service uniforms in 1907-10 as a service uniform suitable for warfare with smokeless powder. Each Germans state had its own uniform.
    http://www.worldwar1.com/sfgeruni.htm

    Not all German troops served in field grey. The SS parade uniform was black, for ideological reasons as was the working uniform of the panzer arm, in order to hide oil stains.

    I am not sure why the Germans picked field grey, but it was a contrast with the khaki, brown shades adopted by the British, Russians. Germany led the world in dye manufacture so they had a wide choice of colours and grey is a sensible colour to aid concealment at a distance.

    The original fabric chosen by the French might have overlapped with some shades of field grey, except the red dye in the tricolour thread was made in Germany and omitted, leaving a bluer shade of grey.
    http://roadstothegreatwar-ww1.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/why-horizon-blue-for-poilus-uniform.html
     
    belasar likes this.
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I found this:

    In Germany the Nazi regime retained uniforms with many traditional features from Imperial Germany for its army uniforms, such as field grey cloth, marching boots (a taller version for officers), collar litzen (braiding) and breeches (for officers and NCOs);

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    Maybe one thing why they look good is:



    Hugo Boss Acknowledges Link to Nazi Regime

    Published: August 15, 1997


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    FRANKFURT, Aug. 14— Before Hugo Boss A.G. became known for classic men's suits and flashy ties, the clothing manufacturer made uniforms for the Nazis, a company spokeswoman acknowledged today.
    The company said it had become aware of the dealings with the Nazis after the name of its founder, Hugo Boss, who died in 1948, appeared on a list of dormant accounts released by Swiss bankers last month.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08/15/business/hugo-boss-acknowledges-link-to-nazi-regime.html

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    I read that Boss did not design the uniform but they did make them.
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Most shades of WW2 Feldgrau I've seen aren't really all that grey.
    Grey, but tending strongly to green.
    Though green or grey, either seems as good a military colour for western Europe to me.

    Camouflage a funny thing.
    I've a black and white cat. Not colours you would think of for summer camouflage, but she disappears very efficiently among foliage.
     
  5. Owen

    Owen O

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    Thought I'd quote from the Osprey book '' Men At Arms 80 The German Army 1914-1918'' page 26

    ''In 1907 the General Staff experimented with a service dress to supplement the dress uniforms worn in the Army. A field-grey uniform was produced and issued to selected units for trial. It proved successful and was finally approved by Army Orders dated February 1910. ''

    ''Field-grey was selected for most arms , except Jager, Schutzen , Machine gun units , Field Orderlies and Jager zu Pferde , for which the colour green-grey was choosen.''
     
  6. Owen

    Owen O

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    http://www.kaisersbunker.com/gtp/m10feldrock.htm

     

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