National People's ArmyAll pictures and research courtesy Richard Church and Tony Fabo. Introduction and Historical Context courtesy Richard Church. Many uniform traditions of the Wehrmacht lived on in the eeast NVA: Prednisone steroid for back pain, headgear and insignia produced during the first few years of the NVA rival their 3 rd Reich counterparts in terms of quality, rarity and aesthetic appeal. Uniforms and headgear east german officer uniform either be obtained through standard military supply channels or through civilian tailor shops.
East German Uniforms
All pictures and research courtesy Richard Church and Tony Fabo. Introduction and Historical Context courtesy Richard Church. Many uniform traditions of the Wehrmacht lived on in the newly-created NVA: Uniforms, headgear and insignia produced during the first few years of the NVA rival their 3 rd Reich counterparts in terms of quality, rarity and aesthetic appeal. Uniforms and headgear could either be obtained through standard military supply channels or through civilian tailor shops.
Tunics and trousers could be purchased off the shelf and then tailored to fit or completely custom made from scratch. Even enlisted ranks had the opportunity to purchase tailor-made, officer quality uniforms and hats for formal occasions. Thus numerous, small variations in insignia and uniform color and design can be observed, as might be expected under such conditions. As time went on, the East Germans continually sought to standardize and streamline production methods and to cut costs.
One thing that did not change, however, was that generals in the NVA continued to wear custom tailored uniforms crafted from superior materials and workmanship. Throughout the entire history of the NVA — , there were only about Admirals and Generals from all branches of service.
The majority of these did not attain the rank until after , thus the number of Generals and Admirals in the first 10 years or so of the NVA is very small indeed. The uniforms and insignia from this time period are exceedingly rare, much more so than their Wehrmacht counterparts. The selection of uniforms, headgear and insignia presented here is, unfortunately, only partially complete. Some important and beautiful examples from the earliest years of the NVA and their predecessor, the KVP are virtually unobtainable and will likely ever be seen only in reference books.
For further information and a historical context of the East German army, scroll to the bottom of the page. There were three distinct patterns of DDR Generals shoulderboards over the years of — , beginning with early bullion cord 4 loop boards very similar to the WWII style, and evolving into nylon cord based, 5 loop boards. Marshal boards are a bit wider than other General officer boards. Bright Red Service Branch Color.
Army — Collar Tab. Border Troops - Shoulderboard. Bright Green Service Branch Color. Border Troops — Collar Tab. Light Blue Service Branch Color. Dark Blue Service Branch Color. Navy — Collar Tab. Early Bullion Collar Tab. These are embroidered bullion collar tabs, used from - These angled tabs were used on the closed collar, 4 pocket tunic for parade and service. There was a version of right-angled tabs used on an open collar, double-breasted tunic for walking out.
Subdued Bullion Generals Tab. Gold embroidered wreath on dark blue badge cloth. These collar tabs were worn by generals of the KVP-Bereitschaften, the defacto military, from - This specimens is on a maroon backing, which signified a general of the Infantry. There were smaller tabs are for wear on the tunic, and larger tabs are for wear on the greatcoat.
Here is an ebroidered bullion collar tab on a rectangular base, which was used on the double-breasted Walking Out tunic circa - The bullion collar tab shown previously was used on the Service tunic and the red-piped, 4 pocket Parade tunic. As these were hand embroidered, no two sets of collar tabs are completely identical. Compare the embroidery with the angled-base collar tab and you will see differences.
As with hat insignia, Generals' collar tabs were made from embroidered celleon from - 61, then embroidered bullion from - Generals' celleon collar tabs are extremely rare, even more rare than Generals' bullion collar tabs. One tab is for an Army General, on the red rectangular base for the double breasted walking out tunic.
The other tab is for an Air Force General, on the angled base for the service and parade tunics. The period of use for these collar tabs would be - Army Generals Service Tunic — - Other features that suggest very early vintage are: The collar tabs are embroidered celleon , produced from - They are hand-stitched to the collar. The buttons are the 1st pattern. The DDR Staatswappen design is sightly different than that used on later buttons and the finish on the buttons has a matte, brass-like appearance whereas later buttons have a brighter, mirror-like finish.
By "the book", this tunic should have the 1st pattern, 4-loop bullion shoulder boards yet it has the 2nd pattern, synthetic 4-loop shoulder boards with 1st pattern pip.
There are 2 possible explanations: This tunic was worn into the 60s when it had the 2nd pattern boards attached, perhaps as replacements for damaged or tarnished bullion boards. Synthetic boards came into service earlier than conventional wisdom dictates.
The design of the belt is the same as that used by officers except the buckle has a gold colored finish. Generals Subdued Tunic — - This is a general's tunic with subdued insignia. Tunic is custom made, as were all generals' uniforms. Subdued insignia for all ranks was used from - , although it was used later than 64, perhaps as late as There are no markings in the tunic as is common for custom made tunics in the DDR, this piece is likely from circa The subdued shoulder boards are have 4 loops WWII style with gray painted, 1st pattern pips.
The buttons are gray plastic, although gray painted aluminum buttons were also used on subdued tunics. In , the dark collar tunic was abandoned in favor of the open collar tunic. All tunics were now piped, with Service tunics having no cuff bars and Parade tunics sporting cuff bars. As in WWII, Generals' uniforms were custom made and they often have other custom features such as loops for medal or ribbon bars.
Also, the buttons have a DDR Staatswappen design rather than the pebbled finish. In the earlier dark collar era, tunics came in 2 basic varieties: This is a Parade Tunic and this style was worn from - This one has the 4 loop shoulder boards, so it is likely 70s vintage. It's hard to see in the photos, but it also has real French cuffs, which is unusual even for generals' tunics.
Here is another style of tunic, the double breasted. The double breasted tunic was an optional item as it was intended for walking out Ausgeh or as a sort of formal occasion dress.
It was worn with trousers and either ribbon bars or full medals, depending on the occasion. The double breasted walking out tunic was worn throughout the duration of the NVA, - At some point, possibly around , the gold piping was dropped in favor of the red cloth piping. Cuff bars were also discontinued on this tunic, possibly sometime between and My tunic has the 4 loop shoulder boards and it came with the dated hat so it is of early to mid 70's vintage.
Note also the base of the collar tabs. The base of the collar tabs on the Double Breasted tunic have right angle corners, to match the right angle of the lapels. Here is a typical general's greatcoat. Some have real French cuffs - this particular one does not.
This one has 5 loop shoulder boards and six-buttons in front, so is most likely 80's vintage. Greatcoats earlier than about had 10 buttons in front. Pre greatcoats had bullion collar tabs, after that they had stamped metal collar tabs.
This Gesellschaft jacket was for formal or social occasions. There were two basic ways of wearing the Gesellschaft uniform: The Army general Gesellschaft jacket pictured here is outfitted for the Kleiner Gesellschaftsanzug.
The color is a very pale gray, although in the pics it may look more white. And of course, it is completely custom made. It has the late pattern shoulder boards so the jacket would appear to be of 80's vintage.
The ribbon bar is custom made, with the cloth ribbons being assembled in the proper order of precedence and then stitched onto a cloth backing that matches the material of the jacket. The whole thing is then stitched down onto the jacket. The triangular shaped badge designates a graduate of the Friedrich Engels Academy , the NVA's premier military academy. The jacket itself is the same as for the Kleiner Gesellschaftsanzug , but with the Grosser Gesellschaftsanzug the jacket is worn with aguilette , dagger, and 4 highest medals.
The aguilette is made of a golden yellow colored nylon. The aguilette was introduced in , after the transition away from the dark collar tunic. What a shame - those dark collar tunics would have looked great with an aguilette! The medals are not original to the tunic, but are a reasonable assortment of medals for the most junior General rank Generalmajor , especially if he were just recently promoted.
From left to right, the medals are: