Here are some images of reconnaissance-related tunics and other uniform items that are in my collection.
Modified 2nd-Pattern Panzer Jacket for a Reconnaissance Non-Commissioned Officer
This 2nd-pattern Panzer wrap with golden-yellow collar piping insignia was modified to have a zippered front and a zippered pocket accessible from the front. To do the zippered front, the lapels were removed and the fabric extensively reworked. In addition, the jacket was shortened. It is believed this jacket belonged to a senior non-commissioned officer assigned to Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 23. This was apparently a “fad” among officers and non-commissioned officers within the 23. Panzer-Division towards the end of the war and was heretofore believed to have only occurred among the personnel of Panzer-Regiment 23. This particular jacket shows that the custom apparently also spread to other elements of the division.
1st Pattern Reed-Green HBT Panzer Trousers
A pair of reed-green HBT trousers intended for wear by crewmen in armored vehicles. These are among the rarest trousers in the collecting field. This pair is well worn and has had several repairs. Unfortunately, the tie strings on the cuffs are missing.
Custom M36 for a Reconnaissance Officer
This light-weight cotton field jacket in the M36 style was commissioned by a Leutnant from a Bielefeld tailor. The officer was assigned to Aufklärungs-Abteilung (mot) 6. Of interest is the fact that the interior of the jacket is partially lined and even has a dagger hanger! The tunic saw a lot of wear and shows telltale signs of sun fading similar to a tropical uniform associated with the Afrika-Korps.
1st Pattern Enlisted Panzer Wrap with Unit Stamps for Two Different Reconnaissance Battalions
A 1st-pattern wrap for a scout assigned to a reconnaissance battalion. When originally issued in 1935, this jacket had pink collar piping. There are two reconnaissance unit stamps inside the jacket, as well as a number of period repairs and custom features (snap closure, for instance). The jacket originally came with bad collar tabs, which I had to replace. A Panzer collector in Canada is now the proud owner of this jacket.
2nd Pattern Panzer Wrap for an Oberleutnant in Aufklärungs-Regiment 9 (mot).
A privately tailored officer 2nd-pattern wrap for an Oberleutnant in the II./Aufklärungs-Regiment 9 (mot) of the 4. leichte Division. This was obviously a walking-out dress-type uniform for the officer; everything was finished to the highest standards. Unfortunately, another jacket that is no longer in my possession.
2nd Pattern Wrap for a Panzeraufklärer with Copper Brown Piping
This 2nd-pattern wrap has copper-brown piping that was applied in the field or on home leave. A standard issue wrap has had its pink piping removed and replaced with the copper-brown piping seen here. There is a “shadow” on the left lower sleeve indicating that a sleeveband was worn at one time. This was most likely the Afrika campaign title, which is frequently seen in period images. Although factory-made copper-brown piped insignia is sometimes encountered, it is almost always in an unissued condition. It is rare to see it actually applied to a Panzer wrap like this one. This jacket resides with the same collector who acquired the jackets shown above.
Custom Leather Wrap for Knight’s Cross Recipient Oberleutnant Hain of Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 23
The tailor-made Panzer wrap worn by Oberleutnant Hain, Knight’s cross recipient of Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 23 of the 23. Panzer-Division, must rank as one of the more unusual reconnaissance uniforms in a collection. The leather tunics seemed to be a “fad” among the officer corps of the battalion towards the end of the war, as evidenced in the image seen here and elsewhere. Hain was one of the more highly decorated scouts of the war, as evidenced by the resume he prepared in the 1950’s to work for the US Army in Germany. The one image of the uniform on a half torso mannequin shows how Hain might have looked with his standard array of awards and modified “crusher” cap (see next image).
Gabardine Wrap and Effects for Oberleutnant Kaestel of Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung 7
The Panzer tunic and numerous personal artifacts of Rolf Kaestel, a scout in several different reconnaissance formations. Kaestel received a commission later in the war, although he had been trained as a scout in the reserves as early as 1938. His uniform tunic, as well as his collar tabs, are made out of the quality gabardine material commonly associated with the DeKaWe (DKW) firm in Frankfurt am Main. Kaestel apparently did not have gabardine backing to mount his Crimea badge on the jacket, so he used field-gray wool on the inside of the sleeve. Many images from Kaestel’s prewar album can be seen in the book. This uniform set was recently sold by Mike Davis for me on his site, Virtual Grenadier.
The pages on which this grouping is featured in the book are presented below:
Rittmeister der Reserve assigned to Aufklärungs-Abteilung 20 (mot)
Normally, I do not collect Waffenröcke, but I was intrigued by this grouping when I first saw it, since it had virtually everything for a dress uniform for this particular reserve officer with the exception of footgear and underwear. I was talked out of the winter overcoat some time ago, but still have the cap, Waffenrock, trousers and parade belt.
Spieß in Kradschützen-Bataillon 6
This battalion was part of the short-lived 1. leichte Division and later became a part of the 6. Panzer-Division.
Some other uniforms of interest, which I have had in my collection over the years.
2nd Pattern Enlisted Wrap for a Tanker Assigned to Panzer-Regiment 3
Panzer-Regiment 3 Enlisted 2nd-Pattern Wrap. This wrap was eventually traded for an SS enlisted Panzer wrap.
2nd Pattern Wrap (Late) for an Oberfeldwebel Assigned to Panzer-Regiment 35
Panzer-Regiment 35 Enlisted 2nd-Pattern Wrap (Final Variant with Soutache Directly on the Collar)
2nd Pattern Wrap for an Officer Assigned to a Panzer-Pionier-Bataillon
Panzerpionier Officer 2nd-Pattern Wrap. For a short period, I was the proud owner of this Panzerpionier wrap, until Mr. Panzerpionier, Steve Androsko, made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. When originally acquired, the jacket had neither skulls on the collar tabs nor an eagle on the jacket. It now resides with another Panzer collector.
1st Pattern Mouse Gray Denim Special-Purpose Tunic for Armored Reconnaissance Personnel
I have been fortunate enough to acquire several of the 1st and 2nd pattern special-purpose tunics over the years. This particular tunic was acquired through a chance encounter with Italian collectors at a MAX Show years ago. It has since been sold to a good collector friend.
1st Pattern Reed Green HBT Special-Purpose Uniform for Armored Car Personnel
As with the 1st pattern mouse gray special-purpose tunics, fortune has smiled on me with the acquisition of several of these over the years as well. Although the over-all appearance is essentially the same, there are some construction details that are different between the mouse-gray and reed-green versions of the jacket. Here is an example of one of them.
Blue Denim Work Uniform for Armored Personnel
The blue Denim work uniform was worn until the end of the war by armored vehicle crewmen, both in training and at the front. Since it was very similar to work uniforms worn even today in Germany, it is hardly surprising that few of these survived the war. I have encountered two complete sets in mint condition over the years, as well as a nicely worn top. Since I like the field-worn items, I have traded out one of the mint sets and have the other one for sale. A butt-ugly uniform, but one which was widely worn by armored personnel.
1st-Pattern Panzer tunic for an Enlisted Man Assigned to the Armored Reconnaissance School at Krampnitz.
The only golden-yellow collar-piped 1st-pattern Panzer tunic I have owned. It has been featured in several books, to include Scouts Out. It was traded out to a good collecting friend, with whom I have the right of first refusal. (When I last checked, however, he was adding a closet to his casket as part of his final burial plans.)
Field gray Panzer-type tunic for an enlisted man assigned to an armored reconnaissance element
Nice minty example of a field-gray tunic. This tunic currently resides with a collecting friend of mine in France.
Walking Out Dress Tunic for an Unteroffizier Assigned to the Panzer-Lehr-Versuchs-Kompanie (bzw. -Abteilung)
This walking-out dress uniform is for an enlisted man assigned to the testing and demonstration battalion of the armor school, as indicated by the Gothic “V” (Versuchs-) on the shoulder straps. The uniform had seen its share of wear & tear, but the shoulder straps are nearly impossible to find. Currently with a collector friend in Indiana.
Enlisted field-gray wrap for an enlisted SS man in the artillery regiment in the 17. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division “Götz von Berlichingen
With the exception of the cuff title, all of the insignia appears original to the piece. Some have argued that the cuff title is a clever addition to the piece. This exceptional uniform item is now with a collector in Italy.
Child’s Uniform for an Oberfeldwebel in Panzer-Regiment 8
Custom-tailored tunic in M36 style mimicking an Oberfeldwebel assigned to Panzer-Regiment 8. This type of child’s uniform is seen quite frequently in images of the period, especially for children of career soldiers.
2nd Pattern Mouse Gray Denim Tunic for Armored Vehicular Personnel
2nd Pattern Collar Piped Panzer Tunic for an Armored Reconnaissance Officer
This tunic was made in 1937 and features golden-yellow collar piping (replacing the original collar piping). Another interesting feature is the use of bright Tresse on the shoulder boards, a feature usually reserved for Waffenröcke and overcoats. Perhaps this was the dress uniform for the officer?
Named 2nd Pattern Collar Piped Tunic for an Armored Reconnaissance Officer
This tunic shares a number of features of the one above, especially with the replaced collar piping. It was also modified extensively by its owner. It was named to Hauptmann Kraenkel and is featured in the book. It now resides with the original owner of the piece, after having been involved in a “prisoner exchange” several times.