Historical proof for German Fallschirmjäger wearing grey blue trousers?
Tagged: Fallschirmjäger uniform trousers
August 30, 2021 at 10:48 pm #186105
currently I am researching the outfit of German late war Fallschirmjäger in order to give them a historical correct paint job.
While on search I stumbled upon images showing Fallschirmjäger wearing splinter camo smocks and grey blue trousers. And my first impression was, “yeah, great colour combination. This will make them easily distinguishable from my late war grenadiers also wearing splinter camo”.
Little research showed that the blue trousers should be the standard Luftwaffe uniform trousers. So far so good, it seemed plausible to have Fallschirmjäger wearing splinter camo and blue trousers.
All the images I found, showing this combination were either recoloured photos or drawn interpretations. So, no real proof.
In fact, the standard M38 jump trousers, Fallschirmjäger used to wear as the were specifically designed for them, were made from grey fabric. Quite similar to one of the many shades of field grey.
So all this comes to a simple question:
Is there any historical evidence that late war Fallschirmjäger wore blue grey Luftwaffe uniform trousers with the splinter camo smock instead of the standard M38 jump trousers in combat?August 31, 2021 at 1:24 pm #186112LukeZParticipant
I don’t have any real proof for you, but I would give you a couple of things to think about:
1) If you’re getting the images from a reputable source, such as Osprey’s historical books, the recolored photos or illustrations may very well be accurate.
2) A family member of mine in the Marine Corp and I talked about a similar situation with the color of US Ranger’s pant color during WWII. I noticed in some reenactments that some wore green trousers while others have the khaki/brown trousers. He mentioned that a lot of the time, including up to today, that new issue uniforms would come out and there would be a limited supply. Some guys would get the new camo and others would still have to wear the older ones until more came in.
I would say it’s very probable that some of the Fallshirmjager wore the grey-blue while others had the standard M38 jump trousers.
This doesn’t help, I’m sure. Good luck! 🙂September 1, 2021 at 12:45 am #186114Jim RipleyParticipant
IRC it was the guys from the original 1st Para Division ( formed 1938 ) who had fought at the Eden Emael fort in Belgium ( landed gliders on the fort !) and fought in Greece and Crete with heavy loses who kept the Luft blue jump suit and wedge cap as a badge of honor after the uniform was changed . And of course as the war dragged on , less and less of the old guard was around so the blue items went away . I’ve got a couple of my FJ tank riders on a Tiger II with Luft blue wedge caps showing that they’re veteransSeptember 1, 2021 at 6:32 am #186115invisible officerParticipant
Like all good invented stories the veteran one sound well. But is still an invention.
The men from 1. Fj Rgt that fought in Holland 1940 wore Heer color trousers and LW blue jackets. Anything not covered by the Knochensack was Feldgrau in the Holland actions. Even the helmet was painted field grey. So a veteran would not wear LW blue trousers to celebrate these events.
Strangely most artist paint them in complete LW blue dress. A simple look in the unit KTB would show them that Feldgrau was order of the day. Only at base the LW blue stuff was worn. Walking out dress with the ladies……..
Trousers went away much faster than men, the idea that one could keep them for years of war service is wrong. Even my historian ass cover gets……. Archive and office wear. 😉 I just replaced a pair.
But the main question: Blue in late war, combined with camo.
A big YES. But for a totally different reason. Most 1944/45 Fallschirmjäger had not even received jump training. They wore the FJ helmet and got the Knochensack but also a lot of ordinary LW stuff like the Luftwaffen Felddiv. soldiers. Including trousers.
So many wore blue at the front. The stuff was not bad for a footslogger. Most FJ units had no motor transport for the troops, neither wheeled nor winged.
Being no veteran elite. In fact veterans take less risks than the freshmen in first fight. For the small Bulge jump it was hard to find enough men that had jumped before. Worse, Crete had killed the LW training units, many kia had been blind flying trainers. So most transport pilots in 44 had been unable to follow the leading machine . Few FJ arrived at the target area.
September 1, 2021 at 10:11 pm #186124
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by invisible officer.
Thank you very much for your response.
Indeed, the lack of proper supply during the later periods of the war, which is mentioned here an there, made me think of the possibility that there were some FJ that simply only had their Luftwaffe trousers.
Also all ground stationed FJ, who did not jump into action but were on the ground when action came to their position, might just put on the camo Knochensack over their blue trousers, might be a possible explanation.
But as I stated above, I was not able to find any evidence to prove these ideas right.
As for the last mentioned, e.g. the unit in and around Carentan, I could only find information having them wearing the grey M38 jump trousers.
You mention units KTB’s to be a good source, Invisible Officer.
Do you have a link or anything to find these on the internet?
It is not, that I would not believe you. It is more my curiousness which asks for a good read on topic to get more information on how things really have been instead of all the information you can find easily but which mostly focuses on how things should have been.September 2, 2021 at 5:44 am #186126invisible officerParticipant
Most Kriegstagebücher / KTB up to 1943 survived and a lot of the later. They are not published in Internet and very few got printed, excerps only. They belong to the Bundesarchiv Abteilung Militärarchiv and can be read there.
Being a professional historian I spend much more time in archives than most peoples. Including many authors of war books. Most are written in English by peoples that never entered a German archive. Using the same old book “sources” again and again. Or worse, oral history.
I did that too but learned fast that you need to know more than the “witness”. An example: An old MG gunner insisted that he had no pistol. Later we had a look on his old pics and there he was in fighting gear. With a? Pistol. Many told me stories they read or watched in movies as own exp……… Not lying but memory being bend by all that new info. (The old story about accident witnesses, green car, red, blue…)
It was no lack of supply that caused blue LW trousers being used. The jump one just had no advantage for ground fights. So they got the normal stuff. Wehrmacht supply was good enough until winter 44/45 to give all men what they needed. Enormous depots survived untouched in May 45. Main shortage was petrol.
44/45 most FJ actions fell into that ground category. The idea that a Fallschirmjäger was an elite airborne soldier is deeply rooted but in late war it was just an inflated pseudo elite force. Most had not even got basic jump training on ground. It was Göring’s wish of an own “Elite” along Himmler’s Waffen SS that caused that inflation. (And most Waffen SS was average at best) .
There are a lot of surviving unit material lists in archives too, Most not read since 1945. Some attached to KTB, some with own finding numbers. Being a boring theme they are hard to find in the finding aids. The header often wrong.September 9, 2021 at 7:43 pm #186198
Thank you very much for sharing your inside information.
Trousers will be Luftwaffe blue. 🙂
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