Leibermuster pattern

German uniforms, clothing, and awards 1919-1945.

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Leibermuster pattern

Postby charlie don't surf » Fri Mar 14, 2003 1:29 pm

Can anyone tell me about the 1945 Leibermuster pattern? Which units recieved it, in what quantities and what is hte history behind it?

Best regards/ Daniel
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Leibermuster

Postby David Gregory » Sun Mar 16, 2003 4:51 am

Daniel,

Leibermuster was the last pattern developed before the war ended and is reported to have been intended to replace all other patterns used by the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS. Samples of the fabric and a review of its light-absorbing properties in the infrared light spectrum to counter observation by early night vision equipment were included in the report on "Camouflage Fabrics both Plain and Printed for Military Use by the German SS and German Army" published by US Army Quartermaster Consultant Francis Richardson on 20 July 1945.
Richardson reports that the pattern was developed by Professor Schick, who is also credited for creating the earliest SS camouflage patterns.
In addition to its light-absorbing properties in the infrared spectrum, due to the use of Aniline black dye, the new pattern was designed to maintain its disruptive qualities also at short distances.
In contrast to the older German camouflage patterns that were printed on rollers of the same circumference, rollers of varying sizes were used with the aim of eliminating conspicuous pattern repeats (page 32 of the report). The colours used were dark green, light green, red, black and tan.
The pattern was introduced far too late to be issued in any quantity, if at all. The Richardson report states that the printing factories did not receive any information on the new pattern until 15 January 1945. There are reports of Leibermuster being used by SS foreign volunteer units in the Baltic, specifically while retreating in the Riga area.
Examples of surviving garments in private collections include late pattern short field jackets with two breast pockets and a draw-string waist, trousers similar to the 44 pattern and reversible winter parkas.
The pattern was used for camouflage uniforms produced by the Belgian ABL company, probably for export and trials for the Bundeswehr in the mid 1950s. The pattern was also used by Czechoslovakia in the 1950s and was the standard pattern used by the Swiss armed forces for uniforms, helmet covers and shelter quarters from 1955 to 1995. The most noticeable difference between the wartime German pattern and the Swiss variant is the strong red used in the Swiss pattern.
The image below shows a corner of a post-war Swiss shelter quarter and, apart from the stronger use of red, is virtually the same as the German wartime pattern. One trick used by some less than scrupulous sellers is to use patches of the Swiss material to repair and "enhance" Genuine wartime splinter pattern shelter quarters. The strong red element is a good indication of this type of scam.
Examples of surviving garments can be seen in "Waffen SS Camouflage Uniforms & Post-War Derivatives" by Daniel Peterson and "Camouflage Uniforms of the Waffen-SS - A Photographic Reference" by Beaver and Borsarello.
If anyone knows of any images of German Leibermuster in use, either at the end of the war or by POWs, I would very much like to see them.

David Gregory
Dortmund, Germany


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Postby charlie don't surf » Sun Mar 16, 2003 5:05 am

Thank you very much David, I really appreciate your answer.

Best regards/ Daniel
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Postby landsknechte » Sun Jul 04, 2004 1:00 am

Here's an image of the pattern itself:

Image

--Chris
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