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"Textbook", Regulations, and "Non-textbook": A Discussion

Article about: This thread makes me think of all the non-regulation items , that have been passed over as reproductions . Cheers Chris

  1. #31


    You and I could not agree more as to the phenomenon of collectors wrongly passing up authentic items. My critique arises especially because a little clique of blowhards misleads many either out of ignorance or design as to this regalia. My point is also to analyze the term "rules" as it actually existed versus how some person born in 1968, 1978 or 1988 interprets "rules" which he or she can only vaguely understand....or, the "rule" is constituted of the color images in the Schiffer books etc.

    The enclosures illustrated the complexities, or what I deem rather to be the richness of uniforms and society in Germany of the epoch.

    The insistence on dogmatic simplicity is the rallying cry of dumb collectors.

    damit, basta.

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  3. #32


    Quote by Friedrich-Berthold View Post
    Maybe my hero Andreas will apply his great skills as a translator.
    Due to the length of the UM article "Moden im Offizierkorps" ["Fashions in the officer corps"] (it is almost twice as long as the excerpt posted above), forgive me if I don't provide a full translation.

    The article is about a talk delivered on the occasion of the February 1937 meeting of the Gesellschaft für Heereskunde. The speaker was the retired Oberstleutnant R. Wagner and his subject was a look back on the development of miitary fashions in the officer corps over the past decades.

    One of his points was that non-regulation practices - unauthorized changes to standard uniform items or the wearing of completely unauthorized ones - are usually caused by inadequacies of the regulation items and the simple wish to make them more practical. He observed that many more such individualistic practices had taken place in the pre-WW I era, while in the present (i.e. 1937) officers and men mostly followed the rules, drawing the conclusion that the present-day uniforms were more practical than those of yore.
    On the other hand, he noticed that the dreariness of modern field uniforms gave rise to a strong wish for more decorative elements; a tendency that could be observed in all armies.
    Also, military fashion had always been influenced by civilian men's fashion to a certain degree.

    The bulk of the speech/the article deals with examples of historic non-regulation practices of the pre-WW1 era.

    I'll just single out three of the speaker's observations that I found to be particularly relevant here:

    Up until the 1890s, soft, high boots with button-up closure were to be worn. Then, all of a sudden, they became unpopular and the lower, stiffened boot made its appeareance. "It was not fought, even though it was contrary to regulations; even the Kaiser wore it. The stiff boot became established. It may feel free to stay, as it became correct."

    This is a fine example for the silent, gradual, no-fuss adoption of non-standard items that eventually get authorized to bring regulations in line with what had already become an accepted practice.

    The Litewka was a very practical and comfortable item - especially in warm weather - but saw only very limited use, as its wear was restricted to within the barracks or while out riding etc. "Now, how could one go out to ride without the Litewka and then go riding with the Litewka? Thus, many questions arose, which could have been prevented by more liberal regulations, so as to assure a more widespread use for the practical Litewka."

    A good example for absurd regulations whose very unpracticality provoked their being ignored.

    "In order to champion the cause of the cap with a low top, all officers attending one pre-war race wore low caps instead of high ones. Detailed personnel from provincial regions believed that the low-top cap was the proper one."

    If everyone does it, it has to be right...

    From the closing sentiments of the article's author:

    "Our readers know how much the 'UM' has stood up for absolutely regulation clothing. In order to maintain an ongoing adherence to regulations, it will be necessary in the future to have practicality dictate all uniform regulations. And, fortunately, nowadays this is the prime principle for all those who issue uniform regulations. It is just as self-evident that the uniform regulations have to acommodate fashion trends to a certain degree and that they have to attempt to increase practicality where it is possible."

    A case is made to constantly re-evaluate and adapt the regulations so as to bring them in line with the real world, rather than stick to obsolete or simply wrong concepts out of a matter of principle; an issue which the speaker also addressed.
    Last edited by HPL2008; 03-20-2015 at 03:57 PM.

  4. #33


    About this matter one can discuss for days and it will never end! Reason: most have
    not ever or hardly ever seen official uniform-regulations or read correspondence
    about it. Most cannot even read proper German, or a slightest bit! I will not spend
    more time to this issue! Maybe one day someone feels the need to write a book about
    this matter. For my books I like it when I can show photographs where "things" are
    worn, which are not according to regulations. Here a photo from a DRB-guy during
    the war at Brussels in 1942. What is wrong here (more then one thing)? Normally
    (taking into accounts the eventual "buts")!!

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    (credit: Ed van Engeland)

    When a new dress or uniform was intended to be introduced occasionally it was briefly
    noted the "why's" and "no's". Such information was hardly ever published in the UM or
    other magazines, but was told about in the official regulations for the organization.

    Here shown some information about the introduction for the new Reichsbahn-uniform
    as published in 1935: "Die Reichsbahn, Amtliches Nachrichtenblatt der Deutschen
    Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft und der Gesellschaft Reichsautobahnen
    " (nr. 30 from July 24).

    I am not intending to translate all of this, but read what "4" says. The old uniform was
    allowed to be worn, but with the new insignia and buttons. So! The use of the old 1924-
    uniform lastet into the war.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here come then the official descriptions over two pages.

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    Even into late war things changed by letter. Here about the greatcoat:

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    Last edited by Wilhelm Saris; 03-20-2015 at 02:35 PM.
    "Wir sollen auch unser Leben für die Brüder lassen" (1.Joh.3.16):
    zum Gedächtnis Wilhelm Schenk. Er starb fürs Vaterland am 13. Juni 1916

  5. #34


    Thank you, dear colleagues, for the very significant contributions.
    damit, basta.

  6. #35


    ".....About this matter one can discuss for days and it will never end! Reason: most have
    not ever or hardly ever seen official uniform-regulations or read correspondence
    about it. Most cannot even read proper German, or a slightest bit!..."

    Nor have these people, who tend to bombastic nonsense on websites, read your books, either.
    If we suggest to them to read a book, we are treated to a stream of sophomoric invective and ad hominem attacks. Any book, even the telephone book, makes such persons very cranky.
    We are grateful that you help us to understand all of these complicated issues and share of your remarkable learning.
    damit, basta.

  7. #36


    The work of sound persons on this site serves the collector in the attempt to interpret complicated material and foster learning.

    All serious head wear collectors should buy Wim's books.

    An enterprising soul could also well take the material on this website and arrange it in a book, too, actually.
    damit, basta.

  8. #37
    DRK is offline


    "All serious head wear collectors should buy Wim's books."

    I fully agree with that


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  9. #38
    DRK is offline


    And these can also be usefull :

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  10. #39
    DRK is offline


    And last but not least : wartime photographs..... study them as much as you can

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  11. #40


    Quote by DRK View Post
    "All serious head wear collectors should buy Wim's books."

    I fully agree with that
    But, of course, one doesn't have to be a headgear collector to buy them.

    Click image for larger version. 

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