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German/Swiss WWII connection?

Article about: I've had a particular question rolling around my brain for quite awhile now, and was thinking of starting a discussion about it here on the forum to possibly achieve some answers on the subj

  1. #1

    Default German/Swiss WWII connection?

    I've had a particular question rolling around my brain for quite awhile now, and was thinking of starting a discussion about it here on the forum to possibly achieve some answers on the subject.

    My question is simply this.. Did Switzerland manufacture equipment for Nazi Germany During WWII?


    As we all know Switzerland is a neutral country and did not participate in the war. Despite this, I've had quite a few people in the past tell me that Switzerland manufactured various pieces of gear for the German war effort. What seems to get people hung up on this theory the most is Switzerland's zeltbahn and tent pole assembly they used during WWII. The camouflage pattern used on both the Swiss zeltbahn and tent pole pouch are extremely similar to the German 'Splinter' pattern used during the war. Note how I said similar though. Despite the two camouflage patterns appearing to be identical, they have a very subtle difference. The kind of difference you can easily overlook if you don't inspect them close enough. A thin green line that separates some of the brown spots.

    Another interesting bit I wanted to point out is the Swiss camouflage helmet cover. Sometime in the mid 1940s 'Most people think 1944' Switzerland adopted a two sided reversible camo cover for their M18 helmet. One side was intended for use in autumn, and the other for summer. The summer side of the helmet cover uses a type of splinter pattern, but nowhere close to what the Swiss had previously used on their zeltbahns.

    The only camouflage bits used by the Swiss during WWII were the zeltbahn, tent pole pouch, and the reversible helmet cover. These would remain the only pieces of camouflage they used until the introduction of the iconic 'Alpenflage' pattern we commonly see in surplus today.

    For me personally I find the camouflage pattern the swiss used on the zeltbahn and tent pole pouch to be suspicious. All of the tent pole pouches I have personally encountered were WWII dated. The tent pole pouches and zeltbahns were simply a grey color all the way into the 1930s. Then suddenly 'Right around the time WWII was kicking off' they changed the pattern to the camouflage in question. There's no denying the Swiss version of the camo is strikingly similar to the German version of WWII. So here's my theory... The Swiss made various pieces of splinter camouflage equipment for the Germans. Since they had the print on hand they decided to use the same pattern for their own military. To cover their tracks they simply made a small difference in the pattern.

    I would love to hear other members thoughts on this topic. I'm truly curious to know if any of the claims I've heard in the past hold water.

    German/Swiss WWII connection?German/Swiss WWII connection?German/Swiss WWII connection?German/Swiss WWII connection?
    Best Regards- Jarret

    "This rifle is your girlfriend number one.... Then comes your real girlfriend!"- Said by Hermann Göring to my late friend Walter while serving in the Luftwaffe

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  3. #2

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    I'm not sure but the splinter camo print may have been German contract made?
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture German/Swiss WWII connection?   German/Swiss WWII connection?  

    Regards
    René

  4. #3

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    That’s certainly a possibility. I didn’t even consider the Germans making it on contract for the Swiss.

    No matter what the answer is, I have a strong feeling there is some type of connection between the two countries here.
    Best Regards- Jarret

    "This rifle is your girlfriend number one.... Then comes your real girlfriend!"- Said by Hermann Göring to my late friend Walter while serving in the Luftwaffe

  5. #4
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    No idea but I would guess probably more likely one country just copying from another country.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    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)

  6. #5

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    Quote by Luftwaffe 1941 View Post
    That’s certainly a possibility. I didn’t even consider the Germans making it on contract for the Swiss.

    No matter what the answer is, I have a strong feeling there is some type of connection between the two countries here.
    Again I'm not sure? and is hearsay from me, but I heard that some German print rollers were transferred to Switzerland post WW2.
    Regards
    René

  7. #6

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    Quote by reneblacky View Post
    Again I'm not sure? and is hearsay from me, but I heard that some German print rollers were transferred to Switzerland post WW2.
    i don't know about machinery being moved post war, but if either country were trading equipment/materials then I would think it more likely that Germany exported to Switzerland than the other way about. Wouldn't Swiss neutrality be hard to justify if they were sending materials to the TR?

    Intriguing topic for sure.

  8. #7
    MAP
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    I still say it is one country just copying the ideas of another (absent any other evidence)
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    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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    Quote by reneblacky View Post
    Again I'm not sure? and is hearsay from me, but I heard that some German print rollers were transferred to Switzerland post WW2.
    That also seems to be the train of thought when it comes to the so called 'Leibermuster' camouflage the Germans used during the very last stages of the war. It's another topic that has quite a few theories surrounding it. From what I've heard 'And none of this is concrete' Czechoslovakia ended up with a few examples of authentic Leibermuster camouflage left by the Germans at the end of the war. They experimented with the pattern a bit for themselves, but eventually passed it on to the Swiss.

    Again, I have absolutely no idea if there is any truth behind the story or not. No matter what the case may be, it sure seems the Swiss are fans of German camouflage.

    German/Swiss WWII connection?German/Swiss WWII connection?
    Best Regards- Jarret

    "This rifle is your girlfriend number one.... Then comes your real girlfriend!"- Said by Hermann Göring to my late friend Walter while serving in the Luftwaffe

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