Original German WWII Heer Army Infantry Obergefreiter Enlisted M36 Field Tunic with Marksmanship Lanyard and Awards

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice wartime pattern German WWII Heer Army Infantry Mannschaften (Enlisted Man's) 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. To read them you need to hold the fabric at an angle to see the reflection.

155      160
37      58
7  44

The last line suggests that the tunic was made in 1944, which would go with the late war configuration. The tunic features four pockets with square flaps and painted 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 look to be maker marked B.H. on the reverse, though this can be hard to see due to oxidation on some buttons. The interior of the tunic is lined with gray green rayon, which is in very good condition, showing some damage in areas.

It is adorned with the usual rank and branch insignia used on German tunics. The attractive Army breast eagle is the correct late ware BeVO embroidered type, and is very neatly machine stitched to the chest in a fashion typical of wartime German tailor work. There is also a black / white / red ribbon sewn into the buttonhole second from the top, indicating that the wearer had been awarded the Second Class Iron Cross 1939 award.

The collar is wrapped in a dark-green "badge cloth" style wool, and 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 Enlisted shoulder straps (Mannschaften Schulterklappen) attached to the tunic have a dark green "badge cloth" wool base, which are piped in Weiß (white), the Corps Color (Waffenfarbe) for infantry and motorized infantry. There are no silver bars on the straps, but there is a double chevron silver tress insignia on the left sleeve, so the tunic is for an Obergefreiter, a senior enlisted rank equivalent to a U.S. Army corporal.

Featured on the right shoulder is a very nice 2nd Pattern Heer Army Marksmanship Lanyard without subsequent awards. This later version has the Heer Eagle on a shield, with the wreath and swords of the later version. The condition is very good, showing only light wear, and a bit of mothing to the backing. The front upper left button is adorned with a very nice Infantry Assault Badge, with a 3rd Class Black Wound Badge (1 to 2 wounds) below this.

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. However the quality of the wool weave is definitely less than earlier made tunics, and it is quite rough to the touch. Some of the belt clip holes are also off centered, so in general the build quality shows late war rushed construction. The interior rayon lining has some wear through on the left side around the button holes.

A very nice German WWII Infantry M36 Field tunic, ready to display!

Approx. Measurements:
Collar to shoulder: 9"
Shoulder to sleeve: 24”
Shoulder to shoulder: 14”
Chest width: 18”
Waist width: 17.5"
Hip width: 20”
Front length: 28"

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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