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Gildwiller1918

WW2 German Officer Dress Uniform

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Here is my WW2 German Officer Parade/dress tunic. It has black piping, which was for Pioneer or engineering troops, this particular uniform is for a Lieutenant (equivalent to a US 1st Lt. rank). On the shoulder boards is the number 9 for the 9th engineer battalion which was part of the 9th infantry division which was involved in west wall in 1939, then the western front campaign in 1940, then was transferred to the eastern front from 1941-1944. It also has a 2 place ribbon bar for the eastern front and west wall medal. The tunic also has a marksmanship lanyard. It also has the brocade belt and dagger with hanging harness. I have a big interest in engineer items. 

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Donnerwetter! Tadellos! As they say, excellent. Normally an officer did not wear a marksmanship lanyard. For Parade dress, the officer's Paradefangschnur was worn!
For Parade dress the dagger was also not worn, but the Heeresoffiziers Säbel. The dagger was only for other occasions.
This lanyard may have belonged to the wearer before he became an officer, earned while serving as an n.c.o. or Fähnrich.
 

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Yeah, its hard to tell, especially with no history or back story with the uniform, could not find any markings or names either. It is possible he was an enlisted troop beforehand, as the engineers suffered terrible losses. 

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He could well have been an enlisted man, but more likely an n.c.o. The jacket can be considered as an early piece, as when the war started, they were seldom worn, and after a short while, the manufacture of these was discontinued, if not banned - daggers were also no longer manufactured after 1943, as both a waste of resources, when materials were getting scarcer. Often there would have been a name tag in each item, but these have since been removed, cut out or blotted out with ink, as often the family of the wearer does not want to reveal a name, unfortunately/understandably. These uniforms were sometimes issue for the other ranks and would be stamped. Many were also tailored items, but would be property of the unit, and would have a stamp or Abnahmestempel: Geprüft plus the unit details.

The so-called "Sarrasani" - tunic was apparently not very popular with the troops, and was sometimes jokingly referred to as the "Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Rock"
being reminiscent of the old Imperial uniform.  "Sarrasani" was the name of a famous circus, which was also a disrespectfull and derogatory term for the uniform in associating it with a circus uniform. However, I personally find these dress tunics very smart and elegant, and with a bit of tradition in the background.
Strangely enough, Pionier uniform items are very much in demand. I get the impression that a Stalingrad film shown in 1993, which centred on a Pionier unit in Stalingrad, increased the popularity of this troop and increased the demand for it's regalia. The Pionier has become a legend of the élite.

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The Stalingrad film of 1993, a German production!

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I remember seeing the movie Stalingrad when it came out in Germany. I agree, the dress uniform was probably not worn very often. Even today in the US armed forces, most enlisted troops do not bother getting one until they reach senior NCO positions due to the cost and slim opportunities to wear them. Although it looks nice, once the war got fully underway, just became impractical, in my opinion, as the Germans had more pressing matters. 

German Engineers were capable of remarkable feats, from bridge repair and construction to roads, water crossings, assault teams, you name it. They were also used as rear defence troops to slow the advancing enemy down, not surprisingly they had lots of casualties. And movies do have a way of making items go up in price, look at "Fury", tanker items shot up in price dramatically. 

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Pioniers were also used in combination with infantry and equipped with explosives etc., used as "Sturmpioniere". This was also the case in WW1 and even as far back as 1864 in the assault on the Danish held Düppeler Schanzen.

Parade uniforms - in fact, there was later a surplus of these uniforms. In the latter days, esp. the smaller sizes were given to the boys recruited into the Volkssturm, etc. and they were sent to the front in these. Sometimes, the tunics were slightly modified or even re-tailored. A parade tunic could easily be converted to a serviceable uniform for officers, by adding breast pockets, slanted hip pockets, turn-up cuffs, removal of rear-skirting decoration and some of the piping, as I have seen in several examples, this would then be identical to the early Wehrmacht uniforms as around 1935.

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Example: Geschmückte oder geschönte Feldbluse, with or without piping.
A plainer, unpiped  collar could also be fitted.

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Awesome Fritz! I do like the Pionier items, do you have this book? Good photo reference.

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No, I haven't seen it at all. Perhaps you could post a couple of significant photos from this? I assume it was originally published in German.

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Yes Fritz, looks like it was originally published in German, I have included the information below. You can never have enough reference materials.

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Thank you for posting photos - Schiffer Publishing is quite well known, also available in the UK I believe -  and Podzun Pallas is very well known for military publications.

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Not a problem, information and education are important allies to the collector. 

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There were various types of collar liners, this would have been buttoned into the collar of a parade tunic, or an officer service tunic. Always worn,
otherwise the collar would get soiled. These had to be changed every day and properly laundered. You could also buy paper disposble examples.

The lanyard was always attached to the second button - underneath the flap.

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Does not look very comfortable, but better than the wool scratching you all day.  The US wore these with their dress tunics as well. 

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Looking more closely at the shoulder pieces, I see the rank is Oberleutnant, not Leutnant!

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Yes Fritz you are correct. My mistake. Oberleutnant would be a 1st Lt US equivalent. Good catch.

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Fritz, finally got a copy of Stalingrad, have not seen that movie since it came out in the theaters. Excellent movie! I had forgotten a lot of it, but some came back to me while watching it. I like Das Boot as well, very gritty and attention to detail.

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Excellent. Probably one of the best postwar German films so far, although quite a few good ones were made in the 1950s strangely enough, although memories of the war were still very fresh. Also the films made through the 1920s till 1945 were brilliant, basicly soldiers acting as soldiers, many WW1 veterans included. All Quiet on the Western Front was also a great film, although made in America, it was directed by Carl Lämmle, and basicly a German production.  Das Boot was also a great film. I have posted a few films here and there on Treasure Bunker, mainly under the youtube section.

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I will check out the you tube section, I agree all quiet on the western front is an excellent movie, and I have a copy. I still remember the scene where the french infantry reach the german lines only to be blown up, all you see are hands hanging, never forgot that part. 

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