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Uniform Questions: Ex-Wehrmacht Polish 2nd Corps Soldier

Article about: Here's a thought. There is another photo of the same soldier, very obviously wearing a Polish uniform but with the same white shoulder boards here: Stanislaw Szklarski and colleagues | Hall

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    Default Uniform Questions: Ex-Wehrmacht Polish 2nd Corps Soldier

    Dear Experts,
    I can see Iíve come to the right place! Good to meet some specialists in this field. So, having said that, there are a few questions that have been bugging me of late. Top of my list: a lady sent me a photo of her relative who was in the 2nd Corps, but had previously been in the German Army. She wanted to know if the uniform was German or Polish Ė I said neither. I think he is wearing British battledress... as the 2nd Corps did. What is unusual are the epaulettes. They seem very white and very stiff. Any ideas about this? I suggested they may be temporary ones to denote a new recruit doing basic training... but I have no evidence for this at all. I know in the British Army there is (and was under National Service) a system to distinguish new troops in their first few weeks in the ranks. Anyway, the photo is attached so ideas would be most welcome.
    Best regards, OSTRO
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thank you both for your comments. I have written to the museum where my Father's, and Mother's, exhibition is placed and hope they will correct the description page.

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    Hi Andrzej, this looks to be a Wehrmacht M44 field tunic. It was used by all the German military from 1944 to 1945. Unfortunately I cannot help you with the shoulder boards.

    Best,
    Kosa

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    Hi again Mark,

    Thanks for the kind words. Itís great to have you aboard and actively sharing your knowledge with us along with elevating the level of discussion here.

    Re. your question about the young soldierís uniform, with all due respect to kosa, to my eye this is War Aid BD blouse, made in the Unites States for the British Army. Iím no expert of Wehrmacht uniforms, but Iím quite certain those have all-exposed buttons and squared off pocket flaps. By contract, the war aid BD blouses have the button fly of the 1937 pattern combined with the tapered pocket flaps with exposed large plastic U.S. style tunic buttons. If memory serves these were most commonly (and maybe exclusively) found in the Mediterranean theater of the war, which lines up in this case. The normally button up collar appears to have been custom tailored in the open style favoured for best / walking out BD.

    As far as the shoulder straps, thatís got me stumped. Never seen anything like these, nor have heard of such straps being a temporary measure to identify new recruits. Somehow I doubt they would go to the bother of replacing the stock straps only to have to replace them again several weeks later. Iím looking forward to learning something new here!

    Regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

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    I hope Andrzejku will not get upset with our off topic chat. Let me just post a picture of the M44 field tunic.

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    Best,
    Kosa

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    Gentlemen, I thought German at first... it looks too smart to be British but the pocket on German tunics seem to be either straight (as above) or scalloped. The British BD seem to be pointed. As to the shoulders... the soldiers very often put on a little sleeve for ranks, I was thinking this might be a temporary thing that could be pulled off later after the basic training. It is rare because there are so few pictures of troops in their first few weeks of basic training - most would have been done on the Soviet Union or Middle East. This one has no marking at all... no rank; no unit... I was thinking maybe he had just left the Germans, joined the Poles and this was his first photo in his new "Polish" uniform. What do you think?
    Regards, Mark

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    The boards have a soviet look to them, being very flat, stiff and oversized. Tunic is not a German M44 and a BD is a good candidate and here is a British 40 pattern austerity version with pleatless pockets with pointed flaps and exposed buttons.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

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    By the way, if you go to Page 21 Kapral (here Plutonowy) Jan Siejka MCC 39462 has the little rank sleeve I was talking about. It has his three stripes attached.

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    Mark, I think Tony is right. At first glance the tunic looks to be German M44 but the scalloped pocket flaps...In the meantime let me post another face of the MCC recipient ...

    MCC#20821 Plutonowy Tadeusz Filipek, 4 PAL 5.KDP. Died in Krakůw, Poland in 1995.

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    Best,
    Kosa

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    Thanks kosa. Button fly up the front and the only exposed buttons are those on the angled pocket flaps without box pleats. The classic characteristics of a US made war aid BD. No other stock production BD blouses had this combination.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Mark, my first thought was also slip ons, but itís clear that these are not what we see in the photo.

    Cheers,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

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