Original German WWII Afrikakorps Set: Unissued Mint Olive Green M43 Heer Army Enlisted Tunic & Shorts with Bread Bag
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. In early 1941, the German military began their conquest of southern Europe. Due to the warmer climates of these areas, the German Army needed to equip its troops with a more suitable form of dress, and replace the standard wool based feldgrau uniforms. The new "tropical" uniforms were lighter in weight, and dyed in colors ranging from light tan to dark olive. After the liberation of Africa, they continued to be worn during the summer, and during the Italian campaign.
This is a fantastic USGI bring back set just purchased at a recent military show, consisting of some fantastic condition DAK uniform items, along with a great DAK "bread bag". The uniform portion of the set is a 100% authentic German World War Two M43 Heer Army Tropical Enlisted Tunic, and the Iconic Tropical Shorts. These were used by all branches, but the Wehrmachtadler eagle and collar litzen insignia are definitively Heer Army. Even better, these two items are unissued and MINT, which is not a term we use lightly. They show no signs of being issued or used. They simply do not get any better than this!
The tunic is made out of lightweight cotton Twill weave material which has been dyed a nice olive green, and it has a BeVO style breast eagle installed, with blue gray thread on a tan background, correct for tropical Heer issue. The collar litzen insignia are the same color, and are the simple type used for enlisted soldiers. The front of the tunic has five original buttons for the main closure, and four pocket buttons, all of which are in fantastic shape. They are retained by circlips on the rear, and are all maker marked on the back. The interior is only lined with reinforcement below the sleeves and on the sides for the belt hooks. The shoulders have the correct loops and buttons for rank insignia attachment.
The right inside flap over the buttons still shows complete size markings on the inside, which read:
These markings indicate that this overcoat was issued at the Wiesbaden Depot in 1944. The size markings indicate the following:
Torso Length: 45cm = 17.71 in.
Neck: 42cm = 16.53 in.
Chest: 92cm = 36.22 in.
Total Length: 76cm = 29.92 in.
Sleeve Length: 67cm = 26.38 in.
These closely correspond to the measurements that we have taken, listed below.
The included shorts actually could be worn with the M43 Tunic in this set, and there are many period photographs that document this. Sometimes the tunic would be tucked in, or simply worn over the shorts. They are in fantastic unissued condition, and even are still have the maker stamp on the interior, though unfortunately we are not able to make out what it says. The shorts feature a metal button fly front closure, with an integral web belt at the top.
The included bread bag is in very good condition, with matching color fabric for tropical issue. There is a faded maker mark on the belt clip, with what looks to be a 1941 date. There is also an RBNr. marking on the strap. As far as we can tell, all of the buttons and straps are intact, with the only defect being tearing in the lower middle of the cover flap.
Overall a fantastic totally genuine Afrika Korps Uniform set, in nearly immaculate condition, with a totally correct period bread bag. This would be the perfect addition to any DAK collection. Ready to display!
Collar to shoulder: 9"
Shoulder to sleeve: 27”
Shoulder to shoulder: 15”
Chest width: 18"
Waist width: 18.5"
Hip width: 21”
Front length: 30"
History of the German Africa Korps
The Afrika Korps or German Africa Corps (German: Deutsches Afrikakorps, DAK was the German expeditionary force in Africa during the North African Campaign of World War II. First sent as a holding force to shore up the Italian defense of their African colonies, the formation fought on in Africa, under various appellations, from March 1941 until its surrender in May 1943. The term "Afrika Korps" is pseudo-German (so-called "cod-German"), deriving from an incomplete German title. The German term referred solely to the initial formation, the Deutsches Afrikakorps (DAK), which formed part of the Axis command of the German and Italian forces in North Africa. The name stuck, with both news media and Allied soldiers, as the name for all subsequent German units in North Africa. The unit is known for having been commanded by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.
The dry climate of Africa proved to be an issue with much of the standard leather field gear that the German Army usually used. It would dry out and crack quickly, and become unusable. To deal with this, the standard field gear such as belts, Y-straps, A-frames, bayonet frogs, and other items, were issued in special tropical web versions.
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