World War II German Uniform - Kriegsmarine Uniform

Kriegsmarine Uniform

The uniform for an enlisted sailor consisted of a jacket, a pair of trousers, a white and a blue shirt, a shirt-collar with three stripes, a silk neckerchief, grey gloves and a cap with two ribbons. An officer wore a midnight-blue double-breasted reefer coat with ten gilt buttons and a matching peaked cap. U-boat officers could also wear jackets and over-trousers of brown or grey leather. As an unwritten rule, the captain of a U-boat wore a white peaked cap.

When U-boats put to sea, there were few restrictions on what personnel wore. Full uniforms were typically worn on departure from and return to base. Due to the cramped and humid conditions, U-boat crews often began wearing more comfortable light civilian clothing after they set sail. These included seaman's jumpers and sleeveless shirts. Lookouts would still wear ponchos and sou'westers when on duty. German U-Boat crews were also commonly issued with British Army Battle Dress (with German insignia added). Large stockpiles had been captured by the Germans after the fall of France in 1940.

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    Iconic clothing has been secularized.... A guardsman in a dress uniform is ostensibly an icon of aggression; his coat is red as the blood he hopes to shed. Seen on a coat-hanger, with no man inside it, the uniform loses all its blustering significance and, to the innocent eye seduced by decorative colour and tactile braid, it is as abstract in symbolic information as a parasol to an Eskimo. It becomes simply magnificent.
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