Painting Germans and their colours

Snip

Which is another thing that the purists don't get. Spend any time out running around and getting up and down and, especially in the summer, you'll have dust in all the creases in your skin, etc. Even in the winter, after a few days in a shell-scrape or a battle trench, you'll be the same colour as your surroundings (and the colour of the water that comes off you in the shower, let alone the water that comes out of your clothes, is alarming the first few times).

Dust and grime get everywhere. DPM patterns can all but disappear. Solid colours can be entirely and uniformly changed. And that's before you get to dye batches, washing and so on.

After a couple of weeks digging in and living rough during the Falklands kerfuffle most people's clothes were peat coloured from the waist down and from a distance the DPM pattern was a generally brownish splodge...

Most people wore the same clothes throughout trying to keep a clean and dry set for as long as possible. You couldn't really dry anything properly in that climate anyway. Once the ceasefire kicked in the dirty gear got stowed away to fest in kitbags etc and the clean stuff came out. :)

I suspect that WW2 German soldiers would not have had the luxury of a spare set of cloths and simply wore what they had.
 

WALT

LE
I suspect that WW2 German soldiers would not have had the luxury of a spare set of cloths and simply wore what they had.

Indeed. I spoke to a Fallschirmjäger veteran a few years back. During Normandy, he'd just escaped from the Falaise pocket and was welcomed back into the German lines by the field police who made him, there and then, strip off his shirt and wash it in a water trough because the collar was dirty.
He wasn't overly fond of monkeys.

ETA :- doorin the wur.........otherwise it sounds like I was there with him.
 
Indeed. I spoke to a Fallschirmjäger veteran a few years back. During Normandy, he'd just escaped from the Falaise pocket and was welcomed back into the German lines by the field police who made him, there and then, strip off his shirt and wash it in a water trough because the collar was dirty.
He wasn't overly fond of monkeys.

ETA :- doorin the wur.........otherwise it sounds like I was there with him.

The RMP might have been a bunch of cnuts to the British squaddie but at least they didn't string you up or shoot you...
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
After a couple of weeks digging in and living rough during the Falklands kerfuffle most people's clothes were peat coloured from the waist down and from a distance the DPM pattern was a generally brownish splodge...

Most people wore the same clothes throughout trying to keep a clean and dry set for as long as possible. You couldn't really dry anything properly in that climate anyway. Once the ceasefire kicked in the dirty gear got stowed away to fest in kitbags etc and the clean stuff came out. :)

I suspect that WW2 German soldiers would not have had the luxury of a spare set of cloths and simply wore what they had.
I didn't even have to go that far.

I came off the end of an exercise on Longmoor after a few days in two-man trenches, lots of rain and section attacks, and a fair bit of blot-bang-rub. I had a shower and felt like a new man. I really thought I was clean.

Then my back started to play up and I was told to get off to the MRS.

One of the nurses who was there was married to a soldier. Lovely girl, and we eventually became friends. She looked at me when I got there and it was decided I was being bedded down, and said, "Have you just come off exercise? Would you like a bath?"

She knew.

Clean? The colour of the water when I was finished was appalling. That was when I first learned that the dirt really does get into every pore. Those who never had to do it just don't know how truly filthy you get even if your admin's good.
 
After a couple of weeks digging in and living rough during the Falklands kerfuffle most people's clothes were peat coloured from the waist down and from a distance the DPM pattern was a generally brownish splodge...

Most people wore the same clothes throughout trying to keep a clean and dry set for as long as possible. You couldn't really dry anything properly in that climate anyway. Once the ceasefire kicked in the dirty gear got stowed away to fest in kitbags etc and the clean stuff came out. :)

I suspect that WW2 German soldiers would not have had the luxury of a spare set of cloths and simply wore what they had.

1616416503232.png



Correct - here is a colour photograph of a group of German Landser towards the end of the retreat from the Korsun Pocket in early 1944....
 
Not just Germans of course. Ramp up for war production and start letting contracts to lots of different clothing manufacturers who themselves subcontract, even those wearing new uniforms could have shade variations.


There's a photo of Ike with a number of other officers standing in line and each uniform having a different shade. The one below is cropped, and Ike is taken out of the picture.

1616418389355.png
 
I was about to make very similar point but in reverse.

Go back to recruit training, Battle PT and so on. Bottoms tend to get washed rather more often that tops. So, washed-out bottoms, darker tops.

I managed to get through a lot of Basic by just giving kit a stiff brushing rather than a wash (I suspect that I can admit it, all these years later...). The first time I came home, I stuck everything in the washing machine and funnily enough the greens were bright green again.
Exactly the advice I received for my figures, my focus being UK 1969.

Brushing outer clothing, incidentally, has been generally advised by tailors* since who knows when, washing being reserved for underwear including shirts.

*Not expecting their product to be worn out in the wilds, of course!
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Exactly the advice I received for my figures, my focus being UK 1969.

Brushing outer clothing, incidentally, has been generally advised by tailors* since who knows when, washing being reserved for underwear including shirts.

*Not expecting their product to be worn out in the wilds, of course!
All paucity of time, on my part. If a brushing got it looking good enough and clean enough to go back on parade without getting me a bollocking, and it didn't smell, brushing it was.

We were all at it, in part because the washing facilities were buggered due to water pressure.
 
Thread divert, but the attached link shows NZ Pacific theatre home-made camo. New Zealand Pacific War Camouflage uniform
Similar to the US 32nd division vat dying their faded fatigues in australia brewery prior to going to Buna with an irregular pattern due to being bundled.(And the 1st Cavalry div (Airmobile) in 65 before going to RVN.

IIRC Canadian BD was a noticeably greener shade, than UK or Aus made BD
 
The thing is as the war progressed the new issue uniforms were shite quality, the dye was questionable and used to fade under the sun and from constant wetness. Look at uniforms from the area of the Mediterranean and they are approaching sun bleached due to their age and poor materials.

Look at how lightweights and combat jackets used to fade from washing, ironing and constant wear and tear.
2 tone lightweights, them woz the days!
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer

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