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Author Topic: Pre-War Ger. uniforms  (Read 24500 times)

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Offline Rockman

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Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« on: November 16, 2007, 10:20:16 AM »
Hi guys! I'm soliciting your help here.  I'm looking for patterns for Imperial German uniforming that are pre 1916. I didn't know where to look, and I thought that you guys that do WW1 might have some ideas on where to go.  I don't have a specific uniform in mind.  I just wanted to see what might be available for home fabrication.  ( My Mrs. is very handy at sewing my other period clothes )....  Anything from the 1890's- to as late as 1912 are target area. --Anyone?  Thanx!
Howdy there!  I'm Oedipus Tex! --You may have heard of my brother Rex....

Offline Oskar_2ndChev

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2007, 10:49:23 AM »
Kind of a broad topic...the basic thing is that the big transition in uniforms and equipment occurred in 1910 when the Germans went over to the grey for field uniforms. Before that, uniforms were a lot more colorful. For infantry, and this is a BROAD generalization, tunics were a dark blue with matching pants (white pants were worn in the summer months). There are a number of references out there with more specifics (I'm at work so I don't have access to my library) and there are quite a few variations (it gets worse with cavalry).

If you're looking at pre-1910 uniforms, you're going to have to look at an original in order to draft the necessary patterns- there's nothing commercially available, as far as I know.

Probably one of the best original sources to go to is Moritz Ruhl- he publised a number of "aftermarket" uniform guides (I have a reprint of the one covering all the new grey uniforms so it wouldn't be much help if you're looking for earlier stuff). The one thing you'll find out about German uniforms is that the Germans were not big on putting uniforms regulations in a central place and using pictures. Lucky for us, there was a thriving private purchase market for both enlisted and officers and this helps out a bit.
Adam Lid
aka Oskar Landschultz/Matthew Hawkins
3rd Squadron, 2nd Chevauleger
http://2chevauleger.org
Co. H, 2nd US Cavalry

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2007, 10:49:23 AM »
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Offline Rockman

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2007, 11:50:54 AM »
Thanks for the info.  Anything helps, and the Moritz Ruhl suggestion sounds like a good place to start.  --Does it seem a little out of character for the German army to not have regulations & pictures in a central place?  Or am I keeping a stereotypical view of Prussian efficiency?  Anyways, thanks again!  Anyone else, feel free to chime in.....
Howdy there!  I'm Oedipus Tex! --You may have heard of my brother Rex....

Offline Sturmkatze

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2007, 12:04:16 PM »
you're trying to apply American notions to Germans... it's like apples and oranges... 0| look at it this way, these things are inordinately complicated to make -- way more than Silly War or Rev stuff. At least a 1910 is... it's a lot easier (and prob cheaper too, if you consider time spent) to just buy it from Schipperfabrik. Not only is it hard to fiond good buttons, the proper wool is sometimes hard to find also.
My 2. cents...
Marsh Wise
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Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress... But then I repeat myself.

Offline Rockman

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2007, 02:32:05 PM »
Yeah, I was wondering how much of a trick it would be to find the right fabric.  I figured that finding the buttons might be a real challenge in itself.
Howdy there!  I'm Oedipus Tex! --You may have heard of my brother Rex....

Offline Oskar_2ndChev

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2007, 11:06:45 AM »
When I was doing Bavarian cavalry (2nd Chevauleger), we had to have the buttons custom made from originals. Also, because the cavalry belt buckle (if you can call it that) is also unique and completely different from what was infantry issue so that too had to be custom fabricated. At first we made our ulankas from converted Swedish greatcoats (and it looked it) and had to apply the new buttons. I never managed to get a proper ulanka made and when I finally found a source that didn't require my first born or for me to take out a second on the house, the unit had pretty much vaporized.

I did have a pre-1910 uniform made but that too was a real pain and it was difficult to source the right fabric- the only thing that helped was that I could go down to the garment district here in Downtown LA (and it helps that my wife is a wardrobe designer- refuses to touch military, says we're worse than women).  ;D

I guess the botton line here is what sort of impression do you want to do and is the effort and expense going to justify it. Only you know for sure!  ;D
Adam Lid
aka Oskar Landschultz/Matthew Hawkins
3rd Squadron, 2nd Chevauleger
http://2chevauleger.org
Co. H, 2nd US Cavalry

Offline Rockman

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2007, 01:31:28 AM »
At this point the only thing I'm sure of, I really would like to do a Prussian impression.  ( My ancestors would be spinning like lathes, if I did anything else! )  So I guess that narrows it down just a tad..... small tad....
Howdy there!  I'm Oedipus Tex! --You may have heard of my brother Rex....

Offline Oskar_2ndChev

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2007, 12:39:20 PM »
Things will be easier if you stick to a normal infantry line regiment- no weird distinctive insignia or uniform details to deal with.

As for the German's seeming lack of centralized reference sources for uniforms (i.e. uniform regs), I'm not sure if it's my lack of knowing much German or if its really true (Marsh probably knows more on this score) but it seems as if the Germans just "knew" the regulations by osmosis or what.  ;D Most of the useful information I've come by is from the various privately printed manuals that were in abundance in Kaiserzeit Germany. One good one is the "Gut Komerad" (they made an edition for infantry and one for cavalry)- there's enough pictures and I've been able to figure out a lot of details from it.

One theory I have is that German society was so thoroughly militarized that everyone pretty much knew what needed to be done that they didn't need as many detailed manuals to explain each process as say the US where basically we were starting from nothing and had to cover everything in detail. Just a theory... ;)
Adam Lid
aka Oskar Landschultz/Matthew Hawkins
3rd Squadron, 2nd Chevauleger
http://2chevauleger.org
Co. H, 2nd US Cavalry

Offline Rockman

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2007, 02:44:20 PM »
Might there be somewhere I could get a reprint of the " Gut Kamerad "  and the Moritz Ruhl catalog?  I had a friend that had a leather bound collection of period German cigarette cards, that, if I remember right, had a pretty extensive depiction of army uniforms & unit representations included.  --Sure wish I had access to it now...... oo-P oo-P
Howdy there!  I'm Oedipus Tex! --You may have heard of my brother Rex....

Offline Sturmkatze

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2007, 09:04:16 PM »
Great War Militaria was reproing them...
Marsh Wise
www.reenactor.net
My blog (boring!!): www.reppledepple.com
-1./J.R. 23 www.ir23.org
-Legio IX Hispana www.legioix.org

Alteris renumera duplum de quoquo tibi numeraverunt

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress... But then I repeat myself.

Offline Musktr.Willheit

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2007, 08:16:56 PM »
Rockman

Go to the website

http://www.prussianglory.com/

He sells beautiful stuff and there is a listing for the Kaiser Alexander Garde Regiment of Michigan, which reenacts pre WWI Germans. Hope this helps.

Musktr.Willheit
IR 120
Alan Williams

Musktr. Albrecht Willheit
5th Kompanie, Infanterie Regiment
''Kaiser Wilhelm, Koenig von Preussen"
 (2. Wuerttembergisches) Nr. 120

Offline Rockman

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2007, 08:37:22 PM »
Vielen danken! I have checked out the site! --Very much a mouthwatering site to visit.... like a Christmas wish catalog is for kids!  Know where I'll be getting a pickelhaube from...
Howdy there!  I'm Oedipus Tex! --You may have heard of my brother Rex....

Offline QMSWalrus

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2007, 04:34:33 AM »
Rockman,

You may find the works of Kn?tel, Kn?tel & Sieg useful, both the series of prints on the Prussian and German Armies and the book "Handbuch der Uniformkunde".
The book was republished in English in the 1980s, by A&AP (ISBN 0-85368-313-1), the prints have been reproduced a number of times (it seems) over the years, and are usually available singly.

Any use?

Tom
God and the Soldier we adore
in time of danger - Not before
Danger past and all things righted
God's forgotten, the Soldier slighted.

Offline Rockman

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2007, 11:17:20 AM »
EVERYTHING helps! I appreciate all the info & advice.  This is a project that will be ongoing for a while, so any info will be useful in putting together a good impression.  I hope to leave this thread open, so anyone that cares to , can chime in.  If I weren't already engaged in two other time frames, I could speed up my developement. --You other multi time period guys know what I mean!  --Maybe if I could win the lottery......
Howdy there!  I'm Oedipus Tex! --You may have heard of my brother Rex....

Offline Oskar_2ndChev

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms - Prussia's Glory
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2007, 03:58:52 PM »
Has anyone ordered anything from Prussia's Glory? The stuff looks excellent but I'd like know a bit about them before putting out some cash.
Adam Lid
aka Oskar Landschultz/Matthew Hawkins
3rd Squadron, 2nd Chevauleger
http://2chevauleger.org
Co. H, 2nd US Cavalry

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Re: Pre-War Ger. uniforms - Prussia's Glory
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2007, 03:58:52 PM »
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