Original German WWII Heer Army Infantry Machine Gun Unit Unteroffizier NCO M36 Field Tunic

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice early war pattern German WWII Heer Army Infantry Machine Gun Unit Unteroffiziere ohne Portepee (Junior NCO) M-36 Field Tunic, showing some service wear and in nice untouched condition. There is no maker tag, but there are faded issue stamps on the inside of the right breast, where sizing and maker information is usually stamped on enlisted and NCO tunics. From what we can tell, they read:

39 88 40
67      56

The tunic features four pockets with scalloped flaps and pebbled aluminum buttons, and is closed with six painted pebbled aluminum buttons on the right breast flap meeting an equal number of reinforced buttonholes on the left flap. All buttons are maker marked on the reverse, though this can be hard to see due to oxidation. The interior of the tunic is lined with olive canvas, which is fairly standard for quartermaster issued tunics.

It is adorned with the usual rank and branch insignia used on German tunics. The attractive Army breast eagle is the correct NCO BeVO embroidered type, and is very neatly hand stitched to the chest in a fashion typical of wartime German tailor work. The collar is wrapped in a dark-green wool, and is decorated a strip of 9mm flat silver-grey woven rayon braid (Unteroffoziers-Tressen), sewn around the collar border. There are EM/NCO litzen collar patches on each side, which are woven from white thread with a dark green background matching the collar. They do not have Corps Color stripes, as in 1938 they were removed from EM/NCO collar insignia to save time.

The button attached style NCO shoulder straps (Unteroffiziere Schulterklappen) attached to the tunic have a field gray wool base, with silver diamond-woven tress border all the way around. No rank pips are present on the shoulder boards, indicating the rank of Unteroffizier, an NCO rank equivalent to a U.S. Army Sergeant. The piping around the shoulder straps is Weiß (white), the Corps Color (Waffenfarbe) for infantry and motorized infantry. The straps are also both embroidered with a stylized letter M over 5, indicating the wearer was a member of a Machine Gunner Unit.

Overall condition is very good, showing only light wear from service. There is very little mothing we can see, and the colors are well retained. Exterior condition is close to excellent. On the interior we can see that the left lower pocket has had a stitched repair, which looks to have been a cut through the interior of the tunic into the inside of the pocket. There are also two spot repairs to the lining, one on the inside of each lower pocket, probably from wear on a belt or other clothing item under the tunic.

A very nice and hard to find German WWII Machine Gunner's M36 Field tunic, ready to outfit with medals and display!

Approx. Measurements:
Collar to shoulder: 9"
Shoulder to sleeve: 24.5”
Shoulder to shoulder: 14.5”
Chest width: 17”
Waist width: 16.5"
Hip width: 20”
Front length: 29.5"

Terms such as M40 and M43 were never designated by the Wehrmacht, but are names given to the different versions of the Model 1936 field tunic by modern collectors, to discern between variations, as the M36 was steadily simplified and tweaked due to production time problems and combat experience.

Field Tunic (Feldbluse) Model 1936
When the NSDAP came to power in early 1933 the Reichswehr, the armed forces of the Weimar Republic, were near the end of a two-year project to redesign the Army Feldbluse (field-blouse). Beginning in that year the new tunic was issued to the Reichsheer and then the rapidly growing Wehrmacht Heer, although minor design changes continued to be made until the appearance of the standardized Heeres Dienstanzug Modell 1936. The M36 tunic still retained the traditional Imperial and Reichswehr uniform color of grey-green "field gray" (feldgrau) wool, but incorporated four front patch pockets with scalloped flaps and pleats (on Reichswehr tunics the lower pockets were internal and angled). The front was closed with five buttons rather than the previous eight, and the collar and shoulder straps were of a dark bottle-green instead of the Reichswehr grey. Compared to the Weimar-era uniforms the skirt of the feldbluse was shorter and the tailoring was more form-fitting due to Germany's adoption of mechanized warfare: soldiers now spent much time in the confined space of a vehicle and a shorter jacket was less likely to pick up dirt from the seats. It also included an internal suspension system, whereby a soldier could hang an equipment belt on a series of hooks outside of the tunic. These hooks were connected to two straps inside the lining, which spread the weight of equipment without having to use external equipment suspenders. The M36 was produced and issued until the very end of the war, though successive patterns became predominant.

SS field uniforms were of similar appearance externally but to fit their larger patches had a wider, feldgrau collar, and the lower pockets were of an angled slash type similar to the black or grey SS service-dress. The second button of an SS Feldbluse was positioned somewhat lower, so that it could be worn open-collar with a necktie. Due to supply problems the SS were often issued army uniforms.

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