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Chris,

To afford those pieces of headgear you must have moved more than a "bit of nice stuff". I don't remember you offering me anything? :(

Chip

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I guess that "technically" the Bavarians that originally came to make up the two battalions of the 3.J?ger Rgt. were not J?gers, but rather were "Skitruppen", who had their own distinctive uniforms, not J?ger uniforms at all.

Chip

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Chris,

To afford those pieces of headgear you must have moved more than a "bit of nice stuff". I don't remember you offering me anything? :(

Chip

It was British stuff.... nothing that would have urned your wheel ;-)

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I guess that "technically" the Bavarians that originally came to make up the two battalions of the 3.J?ger Rgt. were not J?gers, but rather were "Skitruppen", who had their own distinctive uniforms, not J?ger uniforms at all.

Chip

Could they have worn the cap I did not afford to buy (from the pic in the email?

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Wonderful! even if I could afford all three of those items, I would never be able to find them? congrats!

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HI,

I would not mind adding one to the collection, but have not seen one for sale. (The three here were also a first for me as to finding them for sale).

Best

Chris

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Noticed the old Edelweiss display and felt like sharing. I bought this tunic from a fellow in Belgium a while back. It is an Alpenkorps issue windjacke, which was relatively common in certain unit. I beleive that there is a picture of Rommel wearing just this type of tunic.

The tunic is pictured in either volume one or volume two of Imperial German Uniforms and Equipments, 1907-1918, published by Schiffer. I really should pick up a copy of the book, since I own a few other items which were in it, but I've been rather lazy about it.

If you have the book, the pictures in it are better. And if you could tell me the page number (assuming you have it handy) this is on I would appreciate it.

I should note that I took these pictures right after getting the tunic about two years ago. They really don't do justice to it, as especially the fake pipe just looks hideous. I have some more recent photos, with a proper bread bag, gas mask, canteen, and I think a helmet but I don't know where they are. The current bread bag is (I think) Belgian, the ammunition pouches are Turkish (I'd like opinions as to just how bad they look).

The uniform is dated to 1918 and was manufactured in Elbersfeld.

Funny story about the helmet I used to have on this. I've got a rather interesting M1916 that was given to me by an uncle of mine. Unlike most of you, I live in my militaria room (I'm only in high school so I don't have a whole house to fill it with) and the display case this mannequin sits atop is directly above my bed. One night, rather late, I woke up bleeding and with a massive headache. The helmet had fallen on me. As in turned out later, I had apparently suffered two nasty blows and a concussion, as the stirnpanzer (unless I'm using the wrong term for the brow plate) had fallen initially as it was only locked on to the 'horns,' followed promply by the helmet. :speechless:

Needless to say, I'm still looking for an appropriate soft cap (with SOFT being the operative word) to place up on it. I had one with the edelweiss (and a picture of the officer wearing this type of tunic) offered to me a while a go but didn't take it.

One note on the collars. This has got me completely confused. It has holes in the front of each of the collars which I would assume are for the corporal rank insignia. The problem is that this tunic from all photographic evidence was worn without rank insignia. Also, were can I find these little disks? I need two subdued, Prussian, Wuertemmburg, or Bavarian.

I've got a few more tunic pictures I'll be uploading soon, all with appropriate long-winded explanations, including a Victorian RE tunic, a Spanish American War named US tunic (traded for a set of post war Canadian BD!!!! :jumping: ) and the begginings of my Imperial Naval collection.

~TS

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One last addition; the tunic is in Chapter 12 of Volume II of the book. Apparently there are a few other varieties pictured, as the description is plural (Gebrigstruppen).

I really need to buy this book....

~TS

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TS,

I have looked through the available literature and the only thing that I can find that resembles your piece is in Somer's book and he calls it a private purchase, rather than an issue piece. According to Kraus, there were a couple of changes made to the Windjacke during the war, but none of the issued examples are just like yours. I'm just saying that if there are manufacturer marks, but no issue markings, it might just be a private purchase item. How about a picture of the markings? Perhaps that will help sort this out.

Oh, and by the way, Kraus mentions that rank insignia could be worn on the collar starting in May of 1915, though I have yet to see photographic evidence of this.

Best regards,

Chip

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If there are holes in the FRONT of the collar, I wonder if they are from pronged-on metal letters "S" for ski troops-- though in pictures I've seen those seem to be embroidered and J?ger green. NCO rank buttons were worn at the sides of the neck up from where shoulder straps buttons were on normal tunics.

You could have been a late casualty of the Great War there. :speechless1:

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I bought the tunic from Johan Somers, so I'm quite sure it's the same tunic. I know that it is private purchase, and the markings are not standard. Because it's private purchase it isn't even necessarily Alpenkorps, but it was clearly used by the German military.

Immediately after I bought the tunic I found something VERY similar in some photos for sale in Germany. Unfortuneately, the seller was nothing but horrible when it comes to customer service and refused to sell them to me. In any event, I did save them to my computer for my own reference. This windjacke is a bit longer on some of the men but in general is nearly identical.

Johan informed me most, if not all, of these items were private purchase. I'm curious, what did the issue windjacke look like and what are the differences?

And the book by this fellow Kraus, where would I pick up a copy of it? I'm only aware of German publications covering the Alpenkorps.

I should have noted that part of what confused me about the location of the holes was because it looked like it should be for collar disks of some sort. I couldn't imagine double Edelweisses, and the only thing that seems to fit would be a collar disks. I never thought of the 'S' marking but I can't think of ever seeing one which was in metal.

The item is private purchase of course, it could be some kind of unit insignia is this tunic is not necessarily Alpenkorps, although is representative of one. Were there any states or units that would have had a collar insignia?

The photo of the markings is attached. I should note that this is lifted right from Johan's old website, which I purchased it from, but I hope that he won't mind. The marking doesn't look to be standard, And something is seemingly scratched out above it.

~TS

AlpenkorpsMarking.bmp

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T.S.,

The collar patches of the "Ski" battalions had a green chainstitched "S" on a gray patch. The only metal "S" I know of was worn later on the Blusen of the J?ger Rgt.Nr.3, which, of course, was formed from the ski battalions. I have photos of this metal insignia and know of an issue Bluse with the metal "S"s.

The Kraus book is in German and is currently out of print, though I understand there is a planned reprinting. It is two volumes and originally came out in 1999. The title is "Die feldgraue Uniformierung des deutschen Heeres 1907-1918".

Actually, the majority of the Windjacke and Windhosen were issued. Just like any other garment worn in the army the private purchase pieces were only worn by officers and enlisted personnel who could afford them.

You can see an issue Windjacke in Kraus's other book, which is available and is in English. It's name is "The German Army in the First World War, Uniforms and Equipment 1914-1918". This is primarilly a picture book of the holdings of the Bavarian Army Museum with some additional representative pieces thrown in from the Wehrgeschichtliches Museum at Rastatt. Get out your wallet, as it costs over $100.

Personally, I have never seen a period picture with any insignia on the collar of a Windjacke. Of course, the tunics of the mountain units is another matter.

The marking above the "Elberfeld" is the manufacturer's name, "Wilh.Norddinghaus & Co.", who made other canvas items for the wartime army. Frankly, I think this could be and government contract piece, but just what exactly, I'm still trying to determine.

Chip

Edited by Chip

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Chip, could you be bothered top post the photos you speak of? Also, do you have any idea how the metal 'S' is mounted on the

I don't think that the tunic is canvas, I do beleive it is cotton. I could be wrong but it feels like doubled cotton. Do you have any other information on 'Wihl.Norrdinghaus. & co.'? Did they make many private purchase pieces?

Could it be possible this is one of the stranger forms of issue windjacke? If there were changes made throughout the war then the fact that there are only a few photos which the whole of this forum is aware of, then is it not possible this is a (probably last-pattern) windjacke?

Just wondering, was something worn under these to keep the troops warm? There must have been something as it does get cold up in the Alps.

~TS

Edited by TS Allen

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TS,

The first Windjacke of 1914 had an integral hood, were reversable (gray/white) and had exposed buttons. In 1915 the hood was dropped and a stand and fall collar, as on the tunic, was adopted. Normally, the wool tunic (Schneeschuh-Litewka) was worn under the wind jacket.

Unfortunately, the book with the pictures (at about 679 pages and 9 1/2" X 11 1/2") is too heavy and thick and I am afraid that trying to lay it on a scanner would damage the spine.

The metal "S" on the Bluse were attached by "Splinte" split prongs. As I recall, there was only one set of holes in the middle of the collar tab/patch.

Canvas is made from cotton, so I am sure it is a tighly woven cotton (watershedding).

I have no other information on the manufacturer.

Chip

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Well, that is quite helpful. I'd like to learn more about Alpenkorps gear, its always fascinated me. I've only seen those windjackes in books, although I'd love to have one.

This Windjacke isn't canvas though. Its actually not got a very tight weave, but that may be from many, many years of sitting around. It isn't that decayed, though.

One last question. I understand this isn't necessarily Alpenkorps. What other fronts were these used on? Or could have been used on? Like I said, I'm sure I've seen this exact same tunic in period photographs, as seemingly standard issue (worn by a whole, large, unit, EM's included). That's what has me confused, I new it was private purchase but it seems to have been somewhat common.

~TS

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TS,

I really don't think these were common at all. I have been looking at period photos, studing uniforms and gear for over forty years and have seen comparitively few showing troops wearing this specialized clothing. Certainly, such a suit was not general issue, but rather was specifically for the mountain units that we have discussed previously.

To find anything from these units is a feat and I have been looking for years. I have some shoulder straps, but no tunics or headgear. The only really nice thing I have is a 1917 dated pair of issue mountain boots with the heavy cleats. They are marked to the 1st Bavarian army corps and are pictured in Johan Somer's book on imperial German field uniforms and equipment.

Chip

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You know, I seem to remember that when I bought this tunic, Johan was selling those boots, wasn't he?

Remember, this is the tunic from the book by Johan as well.

Anyway, I almost bought the boots. I should have. I might know were to get another pair, and I'm considering purchasing them.

It is nice to hear that I seem to have a rare item. It's definately probably ( :lol: ) Alpenkorps issue.

I don't know if its worth mentioning, but I have to ask, what do you think this would be worth? I understand that it would depend on the collector, from Johan I got it dirt cheap (I paid what he was asking and still felt like I was stealing) but I usually try to keep all of the values of my collection listed for insurance purposes. I didn't pay much for it, I've been told that it is probably as valueable as issue bluse. Any thoughts?

~TS

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TS,

My boots did not come from Johan. I was just mentioning that he used them in his book. If you have a copy, take a look at the credit for the picture.

Though infiitely more rare than an issue Bluse, I don't think your jacket would command anywhere near the the price. The main reason would be the lack indisputable proof as to what it is and secondly, the lack of demand when compared to the demand for Blusen. I would not hazard a guess as to price because there is nothing comparable to base a price on, but I think you would have a struggle finding someone to pay half of what a nice issue Bluse is worth in the real world.

Finally, I would repeat, that if you want to see pictures of what a Windjacke should look like, find someone with a copy of Kraus's book or just flip through one at the next militaria show you attend.

Best regards,

Chip

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Sadly, I still don't have a copy of the book. I assumed they were the same because I remember Johan was selling boots featured in his book when I bought this. May have been a different pair. Still regret not having bought them, though.

I probably could have guessed as much for the price. Oh well, I paid practically nothing for it and I'm proud to have such a nice example of such a rare item. I'm much more proud of my Spanish-American War items than my (often more expensive) WWI items just because I put a lot of work into hunting down and identifiying the SAW stuff. I always like to remember the true value of these objects we collect is not in their monetary value, but in the history behind it.

I would like to note, I have nearly indisputable proof of what it is. First, it is in a well-respected reference book, which is always a plus. Also, I do have photos of men wearing this (I initially assumed they were in the 'standard' issue because I didn't know what it looked like and thought this was differentiated by something subtle). I really wish I had been able to purchase the originals, but I guess you can't have everything.

I actually did find a illustration of the windjacke. I guess it is just something I'll have the rest of my life to hunt down an example of, though. A friend of mine seems to have a pair of ski trousers, at least, which he's willing to trade for any reproduction pair. I may just make a collection out of this.

I really appreciate all of your help with this. I am really starting to love this forum, the amount of knowledge is quite helpful.

Horrido!!!!

~TS

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Just wondering, was something worn under these to keep the troops warm? There must have been something as it does get cold up in the Alps.

~TS

I know very little about German uniforms, but have done a fair amount of climbing in the Swiss, French, and Slovene Alps. The modern version of this garment would be made in Gortex® or a similar material, which of course is wonderful technically. But a tightly woven fabric could work fairly well. It has two purposes; to shed rain, which can easily be deadly, if it is followed by a freeze (At a good altitude, over 10,000', it usually can never rain, as it is too cold, but I would imagine that most Alpine warfare was at lower altitudes, where it could rain in the day and freeze at night. In an Alpine style climb if the temperature starts rising toward freezing it usually is a great cause for alarm, as the surface becomes sloppy and dangerous, and, surprisingly, in the brilliant high-altitude sun on white ice or snow, it is absolutely roasting, blazing hot if the temp rises to say 25 degrees Fahrenheit.)

The other purpose is to retain heat, especially in a windy situation. Although the garment itself would not be considered "warm", for its weight it holds in a lot of body heat. The whole game in chosing Alpine gear of any sort is looking very carefully at weight vs. utility, as you have to carry everything over or up some difficult terrain, and perhaps at altitude where the thin air is a factor. This is especially important in a strong wind; the garment works as a "wind-breaker".

Your Windjacke seems roomy. I almost always carried a red Gortex® wind jacket rolled tightly and put in a small red bag. Although I rarely wore it, it only weighed a few ounces and could be a life saver. If you are moving and climbing I generally only wore a wool shirt at -15 or -20 degrees Centigrade (5 or -4 degrees Fahrenheit) and was very comfortable, but if you stop for more than a minute, say at the summit, you chill quickly, especially if you have sweated. I would usually pull out a light fleece jacket, but the wind jacket would be another option, and both in severe situations. In my craziest climb, Dom (highest mountain within Switzerland), in a storm, we stopped perhaps three times for 2-3 minutes, and 10-15 minutes on the summit, during a climb and decent of 19-20 hours, aside from a time on the descent when I had to huddle on a rock slab when rappeling down a rock face while my guide had to climb back up to free our rappeling rope, which had gotten wedged in a crack. (Very uncomfortable and dangerous, little slab pitched about 45 degrees, rock-fall from Tony climbing back up overhead, not a great rest-stop.)

My shell or wind-jacket was very oversized, almost clown-like, as in a jam it had to fit over everything you had on, and in a real jam over all your clothes, and possibly even a pack. In the Alpine style of climbing you carry a small pack for certain essencials and a few safety items, not a monsterous camping pack; you are not going to camp anywhere, unless in a big jam, and a large jacket might get over it. Yours is roomy also.

I love to talk about myself, when not writing about my father and grand-father, but I thought that this might give a bit of a grasp of the Alpine enviroment, and the utility of such a garment in it.

Bob Lembke

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