Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bundesgrenzschutz Parka, BGS Sumpfmuster Camo

 I've been on the look out for a Bundesgrenzschutz camo jacket ever since I started collecting BGS items (from the time I started restoring the BGS bicycle over a year ago).  The price and availability of these jackets have always kept me from finding the right jacket, at the right price.............  that is, until a few weeks ago.  While going through my usual routine of searching eBay for BGS items, I started searching for Bundesgrenzschutz items using misspelled words, and odd search phrases.  My crazy search paid off this time!  I found a Bundesgrenzschutz camo parka that was listed in the wrong category, with Bundesgrenzschutz misspelled and no mention of BGS or Police in the description!  To make a long story short, I had the winning bid, at a fire-sale price!  Score!  I received the jacket earlier this week, and after a few repairs, I love it.

When I bought the jacket off of eBay, I was told that the only damage was a slash through the shoulder sleeve pocket flap and patches.  The slash was repaired with heavy zig-zag stitching and the listing photo showed this clearly.  The seller said that he could not find any other damage and that other than the flap, the jacket was in near perfect condition, and it sounded like it would be my size.  When the jacket arrived, I pulled out the liner and got it ready to go into the washer (STRONG cigarette smoke smell!).  It was at this time, I noticed that there had been two slashes on the back of the jacket that had also been repaired.  The repairs were nearly invisible from the outside.  There was also a small cut in the liner that lined up with the outer shell slashes.  I did a little zig-zag stitch along the raw edges before washing to keep the fabric from unraveling and tossed it in the washer.  After the jacket air dried, I removed the damaged BGS patches from the sleeve flap and repaired the flap slash with iron-on tape inside the flap (the tape was totally concealed between the inner and outer flap fabric), followed by straight stitching by machine.  I then sewed on a new set of BGS patches.  It turned out great!  The small "Bundesgrenzschutz" arch is not perfect, so when I find one one in better shape, I'll replace it.  Until then it's good to go.

Here are the "Before" shots of the jacket flap:

Here are the "After" shots of the jacket flap:

Here are a couple of shots of the repaired slashes on the jacket back and liner:

Interior shot..... backside of the fabric.
Backside of pile liner.
Before we move on to the "photo album" of this great parka, let's just touch on a few of the details of this style of camo and parka.  The camo on this jacket is Bundesgrenzschutz Sumpfmuster 3rd Pattern.  This camo pattern is nearly identical to the WW2 Wehrmacht Sumpfmuster 43 pattern.  This BGS Sumpfmuster 3rd Pattern camo style was used from 1963 until the Bundesgrenzschutz discontinued the use of camo in 1976.  The parka was adopted in the mid 1960's and is nearly identical to the all green, post-1976, BGS parka.

When I received the jacket, it had a very old set of shoulder boards attached.  They are obviously not correct for a jacket of this time period and I suspect that they may be from the early 1950's or maybe from WW2.  The gold trim is brittle with age and the wool fabric has that old and stiff-brittle feel as well.  I'll be researching them........ if anyone reading this blog entry has any good information on these boards, I'd love to get a comment or email from you!

Update on the shoulder boards, 8/25/11:
The photos of the boards have been view and evaluated by a number of long time collectors of WW2 German military equipment and uniforms and the unanimous opinion on these boards is that they are original WW2 Wehrmacht.  The edge piping is white, for Infantry.  Here is the link to my seperate posting on these Wehrmacht Shoulder Boards.

Here's the album:

The date labels in the parka and liner both match and have the same date and maker.  They also both have the same soldier's name tag sewed onto the liner and shell.  It's nice to know the liner and shell are both original mates...... dated 1975.

And to end things in the usual historic style....... here a few shots of this parka in use by BGS officers.  The photos are from the late 1960's.  Notice the great use of white paper under the helmet nets for snow camo in the first photo.

Parka worn by officer on the far left.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nice jacket. I have a green one i haven't been able to stop wearing for about 7 years now. Was (unissued) new when it was given to me. Been on the huntfor another one. I'd like to see more of your collection. You can contact me at Merry Christmas.