Wednesday, March 24, 2010

BGS Cammo Smock, Rain Apron

I picked up a vintage BGS camo rain smock on eBay a few days ago and it arrived today. WooHooo! This smock dates to the early 1960's and is in nearly brand new condition. With the exception of initials on the tag and the familiar storage scent, you would never know it wasn't new right out of the package. It's made of nylon with a "rubber" coating on the back side, both sides open with snap tabs, and great German pebble finished buttons. This camo design is nearly identical to the WW2 German Army Sumpftarn camouflage. These smocks were designed to replace the camo zeltbahn (shelter half - poncho), for wear in the field.  It appears that this rain smock was only used for a very few years by the BGS and that it was based on a "last ditch" version that was produced by Germany at the very end of WW2 to inexpensively and quickly outfit their troops with camo.

*Note*:  The narrative has been updated and corrected.  I have since learned much more about the BGS camo and uniforms, and after reading the latest comment, decided that I had better go back and "get some things right"!

I'll keep this folded under the ammo box on the back of the BGS bike......... just in case :)


mahrmut said...

A very cool find! A couple facts off though: the BGS camo (still used on helmets of GSG-9) was based on the Heer (not SS) 'Sumpftarn' (marsh camo). Also, the Germans had camo uniforms in service at all stages of the war. Interestingly, one 'last ditch' camo, known as 'Leibermuster,' was intended for all German forces, including the SS (which had already used two dozen or more patterns), and it included red elements as an anti-infrared measure (the Germans fielded infrared night-vision devices at the end of the war, and feared facing the same. This pattern was closely mimicked by the Swiss after the war, theoretically for its inclusion of red, which was much brighter in their version, as alpine shrubbery is often reddish. They used it until the 1980s. Another interesting fact about the 'Leibermuster' pattern is that it served as the basis of the US Vietnam-era 'Leaf' camo, the predecessor of the US 'Woodland' camo, which with its final colors looked not unlike the original Leibermuster, particularly on the PASGT Kevlar helmets that were copied from the German M35 design. Add to those elements an M60 machine gun and a US 1990s soldier could have passed for what a German soldier might have been wearing in 1955 had Germany won the war!

Nice blog

mahrmut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mahrmut said...

Whidbey Island Sumpftarn sighting


My friend Justin @ Ft. Casey in Sumpftarn parka

pictured also: total clown