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M44 Peadot Tunic Question


Ive noticed in quite a lot of pics taken in Normandy through to Arnhem that SS troops wearing the M44 Peadot camo tunic fail to wear shoulder boards. The officers wear the sleave rank insignia but no shoulder boards....even in the Osprey books the reference paintings seem to show post 1943 the practice of wearing shoulder boards with the peadot camo tunic stopped.

Has anyone got any ideas why?
I assume since a camo sleeve rank patch is used the shoulder boards are not needed. Another could be the shoulder straps defeats the camo and gives the enemy something to help spot the camo'd person. Just my thoughts on this
There were orders not to wear "other insignia" on the camo tunic at that time. Like other regulations, it was adhered to by many, but ignored by others. Even the sleeve insignia of rank were not worn by many lower ranks. Sometimes officers wouldn't wear insignia as well to avoid being a target for enemy snipers. Members of small to medium size unit all knew each other's rank, so it wasn't necessary to show rank like it would be in a larger group, or a rear area where there were many different people. Also, units were issued new tunics when necessary, so it was difficult under battle conditions to have the company tailor (if there was one) or other person attach all the insignia needed for all that wanted/needed them.
When first made, the M43/44 uniform was factory made with sleeve eagles and shoulderboard insignia (with loops). This was the first variation. It was also done in other patterns than Dot (and you can find soldiers still wearing them up to the end of the war).

The changes were due to economy of production, not camo efficacy.

You can find all ranks (not just officers!!) wearing field made or field modded pea dot & other camo items. Tunics were shortened, pockets removed, collars changed, zippers added & some were even field made into actual M44 tunics (British battle dress style).

Insignia was added: from cufftitles to boards to patches to full military awards. Panzergrenadiers were also issued camo wraps of dot and could have factory insignia or no insignia. A pzrg. unit could have troops wearing both wraps and m43 tunics. As a note, pics of the Narva Front show an amazing variety of SS camo items being worn.

In short, it could be any reason why - units got what they got and troops certainly could modify an item. You'd need some really specific unit information to find out the actual why's.
Dispite regulations there were many times where the soldier did his own thing. In barracks or parade square regulations were adhered to but in the field was a different thing the soldier did what he felt was the best for him. And never say this or that wasn't or was done because as soon as you do there will be pictures to the contrary
When first made, the M43/44 uniform was factory made with sleeve eagles and shoulderboard insignia (with loops). This was the first variation. It was also done in other patterns than Dot (and you can find soldiers still wearing them up to the end of the war).

Correct. While Pea Dot was the most common by far, some of the M44 tunic and matching trousers were also factory produced in Oakleaf and Blurred Edge camo.

When the M44-style uniform was introduced in March 1944, the production of Waffen-SS pullover camo smocks was discontinued. As a result, the factories had large amounts of printed Oakleaf HBT material left over, and even some Blurred Edge material. (There was no Plane Tree material left at that point, as production of the Plane Tree pattern had already ceased, due to it being more time consuming than the other patterns.) Since the leftover camo HBT cloth was initially printed for use with smocks, the cloth was reversible. Therefore these M44 uniforms themselves are semi-reversible, with the majority of these early Oakleaf M44 uniforms designed to be worn primarily with the brown Autumn side out, but a few produced with the green Spring camo on the primary side. They also produced matching camo trousers.

Here are some poor quality scans of a couple period shots of the M44 drill uniforms in Oakleaf pattern:


And a couple photos of surviving examples:


DiD had included an Oakleaf M44 tunic in their early 'Helmut Thorvald' sniper figure. It was even semi-reversible like the originals:

DML has posted a teaser of this prototype with M44 uniform back in 2007, which unfortunately never made it to production:

The 2012 Cal-Tek 'Frundsberg' figure had a Spring Blurred Edge M44 tunic and Autumn Blurred Edge trousers:

Toys City released these M44 uniform sets a couple years ago. The Italian Camo and Splinter Camo M44s are custom/field-made items, but the Oakleaf and Blurred Edge are legitimate factory-produced items.

Finally, Battlegear Toys offers a variety of M44 tunics in various camo patterns, including Pea Dot and Oakleaf, as well as some other patterns like Plane Tree, Italian, and Splinter.

While the M44 uniforms were not mass-produced in patterns like Plane Tree, Splinter, and Italian camo, similar style custom-made tunics in a variety of camo patterns were popular among officers.

They are especially prevalent among Waffen-SS officers in Normandy.






But they do show up on the Eastern Front too. And on Heer officers. Like this Heer officer on the Eastern Front:

A custom Plane Tree tunic in this style was released by DML with their 'Nico Hahn' figure:

Similarly, there were also field-made tunics of a similar style produced in Splinter camo:



While they're mainly seen among Heer officers, some Waffen-SS officers also managed to get a hold of these custom Splinter tunics as well, as evidenced by this 'Wiking' Division Obersturmführer:

A version of this style of custom four pocket Splinter tunic was released by DML with their 'Karl Richter' figure:
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W-SS Officers liked the look of the Spring green colored side of the camo cloth, so many had full sets of Tunic/Trousers made up in that color. I guess that had the Autumn side as the semi-reversible side. Most of these privately tailored HBT and standard camo fabric suits were used as undress uniforms to give that "battle-hardened" look.