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Author Topic: Your Felddienstuniform - and You! (Warning: Image-heavy)  (Read 3342 times)
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« on: January 10, 2014, 02:26:13 pm »

So, in light of the increased number of DDR Soldaten and Grenztruppen planning to attend the event, I think a little guide to the main uniform is in order...

What is the Felddienstuniform? Well, in German it means Field Service Uniform, and actually encompasses two subvariants, the Sommerfelddienstuniform (Summer Field Service Uniform) and the Winterfelddienstuniform (Winter Field Service Uniform). In short, they are your BDU's, or Battle Dress Uniform to use an American term. They were also called the Felddienstanzug (field service suit) or FDA, and were the camouflage uniforms of the Nationale Volksarmee (National People's Army), Grenztruppen der DDR (Border Guards of the GDR) as well as various other agencies of the East German government during the cold war. Afer the mid 1960's they were made in a camouflage pattern called Strichtarn (roughly translates to 'stripe camouflage') and are often referred to in English as 'rain pattern' due to the stripes' resemblance to raindrops.

The Sommerfelddienstuniform was per regulation worn  along with the Schiffchen (garrison cap) from February 28th to December 1st. During the months of December-February, the Wintermuetze (fake fur winter cap) and Winterfelddienstuniform with fake fur collar were worn instead. There were three versions, or 'generations' of uniforms produced; the second generation is most historically accurate and therefore recommended. Here are some pictures of the jacke and pants, two of the basic components of the 2nd Gen. Sommerfelddienstuniform:

They can be bought as cheaply as $15 for an unused set in America, and often even cheaper in Germany. Size is denoted in red lettering on white tags, as well as by stamped letters in the left inside pocket. This size guide contains more information on determining your size.

You may have noticed that I said 'the two basic components' when talking about the above pictures. That's because, in and of themselves, the jacket and pants are only 2 of 10 items that make up the Sommerfelddienstuniform. They are: Jacke (jacket), Hose (pants), x2 Schulterstuecke (shoulderboards), x2 Schulterstueckebefestigungen (shoulderboard securing laces), x2 Knoepfe (buttons) Hosentraeger (suspenders), and last but by no means least, the Kragenbinder (collar liner).

The various uniform parts are fairly intuitive (in my opinion), but I show in the following pictures how to attach them to the pants and jacket. I'll start with the pants:

First, start by aligning the three straps of the suspenders with the three metal rings in the pants...

...then, pull the first strap through...

...and button it together.  

Do this for the other two buttons.

Yes, the metal rings do tend to dig into your back.

Wunderbar. On to the jacket.

I'll start with the collar liner. It buttons to 5 buttons in the collar. On the grey side 5 corresponding button holes can be seen.

First one button...

...then the second, until all five are buttoned. I think you get the idea.

On to the shoulderboards.

Notice the loop and holes on each shoulder of the jacket.

Each shoulderboard has a hole, and a flap that fits through the loop on the uniform.

Like so:

The button goes through the hole...

...and is parallel to the board itself.

The loop goes over the buttonhole...

...and the string goes through.

Then both ends of the string go through the holes...

...and are tied together. I use the shoelace knot, if it isn't correct, feel free to educate me if another knot was used.

One done, the other is done the same way.

Finally, the uniform is done.

Hopefully this helps with a lot of the questions for those new to the NVA and Grenztruppen in regard to the Felddienstuniform. If there's anything I've missed, or gotten wrong, let me know. Gruesse, Vrakos.

Edit: I'll add a bit about the fur collar on the Winterfelddienstuniform when I get the chance, but right now I'm a bit tired of uploading pictures, so for now, just know that the fur collar attaches to the Winter uniform the same way as the collar liner does to the Summer uniform, and also does so with five buttons. The collar liner is not used on the Winter uniform.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 02:37:20 pm by Vrakos » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 05:41:09 pm »

Excellent!  It is easy to forget that new people don't automatically know this stuff.

Now we just need to keep this thread clean of random other chatter, or sidetracks Grin

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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2014, 10:04:19 pm »

Yep - at some point we can move this into the wiki as well.

Good info and will help those unfamiliar with the uniform and its parts/construction
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2016, 12:52:33 pm »

What is the recommended washing technique?

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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2016, 11:28:16 pm »

Remove insignia, suspenders, collar liner. Wash on gentle, warm water, no brighteners or additives. Tumble or line dry. They're pretty sturdy.

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