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Heer M42 tunic. F 43 Depot marked. Combat worn.

Article about: Hi, showing some pictures of my latest addition to the collection. It's a Heer M42 I picked up from an Italian collector. It has some wear (but no mothing I can see), but what I really like

  1. #1
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    Default Heer M42 tunic. F 43 Depot marked. Combat worn.

    Hi, showing some pictures of my latest addition to the collection. It's a Heer M42 I picked up from an Italian collector. It has some wear (but no mothing I can see), but what I really like is that the eagle and collar patches are attached with same thread that the tunic is made with, hence I believe the insignia to be wartime applied, and the wear likely wartime, something I've been looking for, for a while! Also, it didn't break the bank (i.e not US dealer prices - no offence to US dealers!) which makes a change for me anyway.

    There is a seam on a sleeve that has come away, but it doesn't show when displayed, so I'll probably leave that as it is. There are a few repairs made with a blue-black thread, they are quite 'functional', I wonder if even wartime? All the buttons match and are originally applied (marked "JFS 40" for Josef Felix & Sohne of Gablonz), except for the bottom one at the front, which is a replacement and a decent match, and there is one collar liner button missing, but I don't think I'll be losing any sleep over those!

    It came with a pair of M36 type Infantry Unteroffizier shoulder straps which are plausible without NCO collar tress (field promotion, no time for unit tailor to add NCO tress etc), but I felt unlikely as there are no award loops and I might expect an NCO of that rank to at least have an Infantry Assault badge. The seller bought it from another collector, who in turn had bought it from the Italian dealer "Der Alter Art" (Stefano Borghi, incidentally he is also the Hermann Historica representative in Italy), and as luck would have it he still had the pictures on his website!



    Alter Art - cod.u250 GIACCA M42 FANTERIA

    When sold there it had basic Infantry EM boards on, so it's possible that the intermediate owner had changed the boards. Of course after all this time who knows how many times boards could have been changed?

    I'm always interested in the history of artefacts and contacted Stefano at "Der Alter Art" to ask if he recalled any history with the tunic, on the grounds that if you don't ask you don't get! He very kindly replied, only that he recalled that it was sourced in Germany. What a pity that more information is not preserved when these items change hands.

    Regards, Paul
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  3. #2
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    Although I won't keep these boards on the tunic they are still interesting. They appear to have matching wear, and the tress appears to match too, so I can't help but think they are a wartime pair? One has had a tongue replaced, and also a button-hole repaired. However, one has the standard wool piping often found on M36 type boards, but the other has 'basket-weave' piping sometimes found on (and often associated with) late-war M44 boards. However, I have also seen this type of piping on a pre-war Heer Waffenrock, so I can't help but think this piping type is just a manufacturer variation, perhaps even pre-war, that was brought back out of old stocks at the end of the war when all available materials were used out of desperation. Just my theory.

    I've also added a couple of pictures from the "Der Alter Art" website (as they'll disappear at some point) showing that the tunic had other boards on in the past.
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  4. #3
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    Some more pictures of the interior of the tunic. The eagle is sewn through the lining, but I've seen studies elsewhere in which advanced collectors (including Glenn McInnes of Canada, and the dealer/ collector Mike Davis of the USA company the "Virtual Grenadier") have concluded that tunics dated 1943 onwards do progressively show this manufacturing trait more and more, which speeded up production. Of course, by the time the M44 was being produced this was seen in almost all cases (though with a few exceptions). The interior bobbin thread (of the breast eagle) matches the thread in the lining too.

    In the very bottom picture you can see some zig-zag stitching (this is behind the lower pockets) that matches the zig-zag stitching on the eagle and collar patches, also some of the blue-black hand-sewn repairs.

    The eagle and collar patches are both zig-zag applied. The eagle application is in my opinion quite standard and seen many times (some are 'zip and flipped' i.e a straight line of machine sewing across the top, then flipped over and either finished by hand, or zig-zag, or straight machine sewn around the remaining sections, or as in this case zig-zag sewn all around).

    Zig-zag collar patches are less common, but an example (also on an M42) can be seen in Jean-Philippe Bourg and Laurent Huart's Feldbluse book. I've also seen several other examples in advanced collections.

    The stamps can be read better in hand, and it's clearly an "F 43" for the Frankfurt Depot in 1943. The sizes are small:-

    155 160 (i.e height range - 5'1" to 5'3")

    37 40

    90 (Chest size 35 - 36")

    65 55

    with "F 43" at the bottom.

    A useful link for German tunic sizes:-

    German Size Stamps Explained / der Erste Zug

    The RB number is very difficult read however. It might be:-

    0/0760/0578

    or something similar....
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    Last edited by PaulW; 09-13-2016 at 03:02 AM.

  5. #4
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    Some pictures of the back of the collar, showing the collar litzen application (2nd picture down). The back of the collar is more usually lined with cotton etc, but this tunic's collar has been lined/ stiffened with scrap wool. Again, another example of this can be seen in Bourg and Huart's Feldbluse book.

    Of course, by the time the M44 tunic was being produced, this was the normal method.
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  6. #5
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    I picked up some Heer EM boards (from Mario Hiscoll), more appropriate for the tunic. These are an Infantry pair.
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  7. #6
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    However, I've always had a weakness for Artillery/ Flak waffenfarbe!

    This pair are also from Mario Hiscoll.
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  8. #7
    MAP
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    Very nice tunic.
    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  9. #8
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    Then again, there is Pioneer...
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  10. #9
    MAP
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    Just like a Barbie doll. Change the accessories. LoL

    But seriously. I really like it.
    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  11. #10
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    Finally there is Panzer-Grenadier (so many choices!). These boards were from (you guessed it) Mario Hiscoll too. The slip-ons are for the 115th Panzer-Grenadier Regiment, part of the 15th Panzer-Grenadier Division that fought in the Italian Campaign, and was partly formed from the surviving remnants of the Afrika Korp's 15th Panzer Division. I've become quite interested in the Italian Campaign in recent times, perhaps these will do for now!

    Hope you like it.

    Regards, Paul
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