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German Panzer crew uniforms in Italy


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Greetings, it has been some time since I have played Fortress Italy and am having great fun playing online with some buddies. One things I have noticed, and lack the knowledge to answer myself, is that German tank crews all seem to be wearing a grey or green colored wrap rather than the more iconic black one, the exception being of course the special SS and Luftwaffe tanker gear. In fact, using the scenario editor to view battalions of armor across all three game years I cannot locate a single black wrap in any formation.

Were the German forces so uniform equipped with this uniform in Italy historically? Or is this perhaps an oversight? A small issue if so.Combat_Mission_Fortress_Italy_Screenshot

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Did a quick spot check of units August 1944. SS Panzer Jager (marder) and Sturmgeschütz battalions. Crew are wearing field gray as in the picture above. Which is correct. I went into the editor and checked what the SS crews were wearing in Panzer III and IV's. They are wearing panzer black mixed with camouflage, no gray from what I saw. Perhaps a full black could have been added there, but the camo&black mix is OK. I didn't check all epochs and all vehicles but based on above I would say no issue.

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On 7/11/2020 at 5:05 AM, danzig5 said:

Greetings, it has been some time since I have played Fortress Italy and am having great fun playing online with some buddies. One things I have noticed, and lack the knowledge to answer myself, is that German tank crews all seem to be wearing a grey or green colored wrap rather than the more iconic black one, the exception being of course the special SS and Luftwaffe tanker gear. In fact, using the scenario editor to view battalions of armor across all three game years I cannot locate a single black wrap in any formation.

Were the German forces so uniform equipped with this uniform in Italy historically? Or is this perhaps an oversight? A small issue if so.

I think what you're mostly seeing depicted is the reed-green HBT (herringbone twill - a bit like denim) uniform issued to Panzer troops from 1943. The HBT uniform was a lightweight version of the black woollen Sonderbekleidung der Panzertruppen (Special Clothing for the Panzer Troops) uniform meant as summer wear. It was similar to the reed-green drill uniform issued to armoured reconnaissance units from May 1941 intended to improve their camouflage. The Panzer crew HBT uniform featured a large pocket on both the chest and thigh, a factory applied eagle national emblem on the chest, and loops and buttons for attaching shoulder boards. Many troops wore this uniform in preference to the heavy black woollen uniform in summer and wore it over their black uniform in winter for additional warmth. The uniform was also issued to, and sometimes acquired by, Panzerjäger, Sturmgeschütz and other armoured crews. 

On 7/16/2020 at 1:05 PM, StieliAlpha said:

IIRC, the uniforms of the Sturmgeschütz-Abteilungen were field gray (green), as those units were considered artillery, not tank units.

They did indeed. Initially Stug crews were issued with a variety of uniforms, however by 1940 a feldgrau version of the black woollen Panzer uniform was issued. This was originally much more grey but as the war progressed the colour varied quite a lot. Also some Stug crews adopted Panzer uniforms, if they were integrated into a Panzer division, complete with death's head insignia. Still others just wore the death's head insignia but on regular Stug crew feldgrau uniforms.

I had a look at some of the units in the editor, and at some of the .bmp texture files. What I can see is the generic Panzer crews are pretty much all wearing the green wraps with deaths head patches and pink piping, while the Stug crews are wearing green wraps with army style Litzen collar patches and red (artillery) piping. Unless of course the Stugs are part of a Panzer division ... in which case they could wear Panzer uniform (or not!) I don't know what the game chooses in these cases. There are a smattering of black Panzer uniforms - some appear for Luftwaffe Field Divisions (all black), as the OP and Nik Mond pointed out the SS have a mix of black and camo, while the HG have tropical and black. I did see a black uniform in a Panzer-Aufklärungs-Abteilung unit manning the SdKfz 250s.

By war's end the German uniform situation was a bit of a mess in some respects, although they did innovate in other ways. I like to see the game reflect this. For the Heer Panzer and Stug troops I personally prefer to see a mix of uniforms to depict how the units might actually have appeared. Looking at period photographs for the Italian front it's pretty clear that they often wore the black uniform, or the black wrap mixed with perhaps the HBT trousers. What I'd really like to see is a shirt sleeves uniform and perhaps somebody wearing the overall fatigues, but I think this requires some new skeletons for the troops. (Advertisement) I did a mod last year for CMBN for both Panzer and Stug crews that features the HBT uniform mixed with black or feldgrau. It was based on Ez's excellent uniform mods and could probably be adapted to CMFI quite easily. If you want to have a go at adapting it to CMFI you can download it on CMMODS IV here and here.

Cheers

LS

 

Edited by Lucky_Strike
nuttin' much
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