Original German WWII M42 Army Herringbone Twill Corporal Tunic

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent condition totally genuine German WWII Heer Infantry Model 1942 HBT (Herringbone Twill) Corporal's Tunic complete with BeVo Breast Eagle, Infantry Assault Badge, War Merit Cross Medal Ribbon Bar with Crossed Swords, Epaulets, Collar rank insignia, Corporal Chevron on left sleeve, belt hooks, and original buttons. Size is approximately 36" chest.

M42 HBT Tunic sometimes refereed to as the Summer Tunic, Work Shirt or Combat Shirt, features four non-pleated scalloped pockets, internal pocket, internal support tabs, two steel belt hooks, rayon type lining in friction areas, internal collar buttons and a hang loop. Constructed of green linen/cotton Herring Bone Twill and finely stitched with grey/white thread.

The M40 uniform was the first design change in the standard army uniform. It differed from the M36 only in the substitution of feldgrau for the bottle green collar and shoulder straps, which began to be phased out in 1938/39, though most combat examples show this variation appearing in 1940, hence the unofficial M40 pattern. The troops liked the older green collars, and M40 (and later) tunics modified with salvaged M36 collars or bottle-green collar overlays are not uncommon.

The M42 is essentially an M40/41 tunic, but with pleats removed from all the pockets to save on materials and production time.

Most recruits previous to 1940 were issued a fatigue uniform (Drillichanzug) for basic training which they kept for work details, weapons cleaning and other duties likely to soil clothes. This was an unlined, insignia-less uniform made of linen or cotton herringbone twill (HBT) that typically had two buttonless patch pockets on the skirt; enlisted versions had a standing collar while NCO and officer versions had rise-and-fall collars. The fatigue uniform originally was undyed and therefore a colour that ranged from white to oatmeal to cement grey. On 12 February 1940 the colour was ordered changed to a bluish green called “reed-green.”

Since the heavy wool feldgrau uniform proved to be oppressively hot in summer weather, especially in southerly latitudes, soldiers took to wearing their lightweight green fatigue uniforms in the heat. In about 1942 the Army regularized the practice: depots began issuing an official hot-weather four-pocket field uniform of feldbluse cut but made of the same reed-green HBT material. For the enlisted Heer, these were usually worn with collar insignia and national eagle. NCOs would typically wear the summer uniform (Sommerfeldanzug) with appropriate rank on their shoulder boards, but the collar braid seen on the wool uniforms was typically absent. Two models were approved for use in the Army, the first that was designed after the M40 feldbluse and a later model that removed the front pocket pleats and pocket flap scallops similar to the M43. From 1943 a double-breasted version based on the Panzerjacke was made for vehicle and assault gun crews. SS units never had an official unique summer uniform, and while some used the Army versions, most used the earlier dyed work fatigues without insignia. While commissioned officers did have bespoke summer uniforms made, there was no regulation summer field uniform.

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