snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Urban Legends » Military » Bundeswehr uniforms identical to Nazi ones?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Bundeswehr uniforms identical to Nazi ones?
Baikal
Happy Holly Days


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Baikal   E-mail Baikal   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I was speaking to a friend earlier today who mentioned that he'd heard that the modern German Army uses uniforms identical to that of the Wehrmacht (or the SS, he wasn't sure what the contention was supposed to be). For some reason, he assumed I'd know the answer.

I don't, and an hour on Google hasn't netted me much concrete. That and I can't really find pictures for comparison's sake (not that, with my sense of aesthetics, I'd be able to tell the difference ><). Part of me suspects that, what with the post-war Denazification and all, this is unlikely. Part of me, however, is not sure.

So what's the scoop, my snopester friends?

-Bai"Heil, heil, the gang's all Heer"kal

--------------------
I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town.

Posts: 1463 | From: CU, Boulder Campus | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Unusual Elfin Lights
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Unusual Elfin Lights   Author's Homepage   E-mail Unusual Elfin Lights   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I've worked with the German military in three different locations around the globe. In Shilo, Manitoba, with the German Army Training Establishement Shilo (GATES), at the German Army Artillery School in Idar-Oberstein in Germany and with the German Army contribution to the International Stabilisation Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan.

While working with GATES I got to see the Bundeswehr and their transition from solid green combat uniforms to their disruptive pattern ones. During Remembrance Day I also got to see their dress uniforms. At Idar-Oberstein I toured a German military museum and saw their latest disruptive uniforms. And finally, in Kabul, I saw their desert uniform.

So, in summary, I've seen their uniforms.

And they are not the same as the Wehrmacht of WWII.

Their dress uniform is comparable, but then again dress uniforms tend to be gentle evolutions from one to another, not drastic pattern changes, such as occur with combat uniforms.

Nevertheless, the current German Army dress uniform

 -

does not look like the WWII uniform

 -

Which has no relative connection to the current combat uniforms.

 -
and
 -

Posts: 2064 | From: New Brunswick, Canada | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Baikal
Happy Holly Days


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Baikal   E-mail Baikal   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Ah! Thank you very kindly, sir. Like I said, I kind of suspected that they wouldn't be completely identical (I was thinking more of the dress uniforms). I am in your debt.

It evidently came up in a discussion of Nazi and Nazi-like uniforms in which my friend argued that it did imply a Nazi connexion, whereas the person he was speaking with said "no, no, the uniforms are exactly the same, so you can't presume. I'm tired of people always doing that." Something like that.

In the event, and again, thanks. Apparently I need to sharpen up my image-findin' skills. My eye for clothing, though, seems to have been right in its initial guess.

-Bai"still having trouble deciding what to Wehrmacht"kal

--------------------
I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town.

Posts: 1463 | From: CU, Boulder Campus | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Rob D / Blackwolf, the yule dodo
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Rob D / Blackwolf, the yule dodo   Author's Homepage   E-mail Rob D / Blackwolf, the yule dodo   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The "old" Bundeswehr uniforms (switched out in the late 90s I think) would have some resemblance to the Wehrmacht unforms. Those were olive instead of camo and two breastpockets, but no sidepockets on the jacket (or where there? Sorry, it's10 years since I wore the stylish olive of the Bundeswehr), cinched with a "Koppel" (belt), The pants however could be best described as olive cargo pants with buttons instead of zipperflies.
The officer in the 2nd Bundeswehr picture wears a bulky Parka and the soldier above a flakvest, so you dont really see the normal duty uniform.

But even then, the old Bundeswehr uniform was not identical to a Wehrmacht or SS uniform.

--------------------
~Reality, the refuge of those who fail in RPGs~
aka Darkfist Dragon
-==(UDIC)==-

Posts: 334 | From: Lancaster, Ohio | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Troberg     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Politics and morals aside, the old ones were snazzier looking, as far as uniforms go. On the other hand, Hugo Boss designed them, so that's to be expected.

--------------------
/Troberg

Posts: 4360 | From: Borlänge, Sweden | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Major D. Saster
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Major D. Saster         Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The whole discussion may come from the fact that *not the uniforms, but the camo scheme* is of WWII origin.

The german Wehrmacht and Waffen SS tried various camouflage combat uniforms during the final years or WWII, and after the war, large amounts of camo fabric was left over. Some was sold abroad (Switzerland made tarpaulins and tents out of german fabric), and especially the East German army made extensive use of it (old GDR uniforms are favorites among the militaria collectors who can easily transform them into Wehrmacht replicas).

After the reunification of Germany, the Bundeswehr, after using the GDR supplies it "inherited" from its former foe, apparently found the camo scheme efficient enough for its new battle dress.

 -

That's it. (Waffen-SS camo jacket, 1944)

If you want to see real nazi-like outfits, look at the Chilean Army's parade uniform. Almost spot-on, including the steel helmet.

--------------------
Desperate, but not serious.

Posts: 689 | From: Confoederatio Helvetica | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Don Enrico
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Don Enrico   E-mail Don Enrico   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
For comparison: This document (PDF) has all Bundeswehr uniforms of Heer (Army), Luftwaffe (Airforce) and Marine (Navy).

Don Enrico

--------------------
My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling, but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. - Pooh Bear

Posts: 2209 | From: Hamburg, Germany | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


Icon 504 posted      Profile for Silas Sparkhammer   Author's Homepage   E-mail Silas Sparkhammer   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Major D. Saster:
The whole discussion may come from the fact that *not the uniforms, but the camo scheme* is of WWII origin.

Which gives me an opportunity to ask: what military group is indicated in the avatar you're using? (Or...is it military at all? It might be an Alpine or Himalayan mountain-climber!)

(The only military uniforms I've ever worn have been from science fiction settings: I have a lovely "Star Wars" Imperial Navy Officer's uniform, which, alas, I don't fit inside any longer...)

Silas

Posts: 16801 | From: San Diego, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Major D. Saster
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Major D. Saster         Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
It's one of the ready-made avatars you find in the profile settings. The guy looks like some WWI aviator or Navy officer, and he looks so disappointed that I found he would fit my name well (he also fits my real-life temper)...

--------------------
Desperate, but not serious.

Posts: 689 | From: Confoederatio Helvetica | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Majorsam
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Majorsam   E-mail Majorsam   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
When I was a young private stationed in Germany I was in the train station when I saw a Bundeswehr soldier going home on leave or some such, and I remember doing a significant double-take because the unfirms was remarkably similar to the WWII-era uniform. I confess I'm not enough of an expert to comment on how close, but the collar bars were what caught my eye.

When I thought about it, though, it isn't that strange. The German uniform in WWII wasn't a Nazi uniform any more than the American GI's uniform was a democrats' uniform. The basic pattern existed before the Nazi's rise to power, why should it be eliminated just because of its association with the Nazis? After all, Adolf wore lederhosen as well and those aren't outlawed, are they [Smile]

As I think about another paralell, my dress uniform is remarkably close to the uniform worn by US Soldiers in many Native American massacres. While I certainly hold the Army's participation in those massacres as reprehensible at the very least, I'm fine wearing the uniform which also was worn in the American Civil War.

Posts: 15 | From: Kosovo | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Troberg     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
The basic pattern existed before the Nazi's rise to power, why should it be eliminated just because of its association with the Nazis?
Actually, if I recall it correctly, Hugo Boss designed the uniforms on a direct request from Hitler. Hugo Boss was after the fined and lost the right to vote for his role in the war.

Wikipedia has some of the story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Boss

--------------------
/Troberg

Posts: 4360 | From: Borlänge, Sweden | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Majorsam
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Majorsam   E-mail Majorsam   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
That is interesting, thank you Troberg...that's a bit of history I had no idea about.

That did inspire to do a little surfing. I think the thing that stuck out about the dress uniform I saw were the collar tabs (called Kragenpatte) which were verey similar to what I'd seen on pictures of WWII German soldiers.

Turns out the Kragenpatte was in place for WWI, but only for very few units. It was adopted more universally in 1919.

I know the Kragenpatte is only one small element of the uniform, but to a casual observer like myself it is one of the most distinctive parts of the German dress uniform. So while the uniforms of WWII porobably were designed during the Nazi period (after 1935) it looks like the most notable bits existed long before Herr Hitler's rise.

Posts: 15 | From: Kosovo | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Rob D / Blackwolf, the yule dodo
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Rob D / Blackwolf, the yule dodo   Author's Homepage   E-mail Rob D / Blackwolf, the yule dodo   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I think they are called "Kragenspiegel".
As far as I know the II is the roman number 2 for 2nd Corps, meaning Army. Neither the Luftwaffe "Airforce" nor the Marine "Navy" have them on their uniform. They are also just part of the formal uniform, the field uniform (camo or olive) doesn't have them.
Officer ranks have, I think a different Kragenspiegel, similar to golden Oakleaves. At least General ranks have those. Enlisted and NCO ranks in the Army of the Bundewehr have the II. Those have different background colors, according to their weapons section. A member of a tank unit has a black background, Infantry has green, communication (like I was) has yellow.
And indeed it was taken over from the Wehrmacht, though the first set of Bundeswehr uniforms (in the 50's) didn't had them.

--------------------
~Reality, the refuge of those who fail in RPGs~
aka Darkfist Dragon
-==(UDIC)==-

Posts: 334 | From: Lancaster, Ohio | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Don Enrico
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Don Enrico   E-mail Don Enrico   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
You'll find the "Kragenspiegel" on page 8 of the document I linked above. They are indeed (nearly) exclusive to the Army, only General Staff Officeres of the Air Force wear a Kragenspiegel (II on bright red background), too.

According to the German Wikipedia entry, the "II" symbol was first used in the (democratic) Reichswehr of the German Republic ("Weimar Republic") in 1919. It seems not to be representing the roman numeral, but it is refered to as a "double heald" (Doppellitze).

Don Enrico

--------------------
My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling, but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. - Pooh Bear

Posts: 2209 | From: Hamburg, Germany | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2