Peter and Don
This subject was covered in detail in the pre-hacked Forum. Below is a repeat of some of the information:
Whittington did a very detailed analysis of Nazi Era holster colors on page 8 and 9 of his Volume III, 1990. He states the following:
Officers: Brown; black with field dress uniform and issue pistol.
NCO and soldiers: black
officers, NCOs and men: black
Officers, NCOs and airmen: brown
Officers: brown. Petty officers and seamen: black
Whittington further states on page10 “Military holsters were not always issued in the correct color-especially in times of shortage or expediency.” Certainly World War II was such a time.
(Note: I would highly recommend Whittington’s books on Nazi Pistols and Holsters.)
Following is information on the color of Luftwaffe holsters from the link below.
* 1937 KRIEGHOFF, SN 9603, RIG Jan C Still
LUFTWAFFE LUGER AND HOLSTER PROCUREMENT AND ISSUE. BLACK AND BROWN HOLSTERS; AND LUFTWAFFE AND ARMY ACCEPTED HOLSTERS; ARE PROPER WITH KRIEGHOFF LUGERS.
In the years 1939 through1942 German archive records indicate the Luftwaffe procured 133,251 Lugers from Mauser (About 30, 000 per year.). The 1935 to 1937 records are not available. From 1935 to 1942 the Luftwaffe procured 11,500 Lugers from Krieghoff. Gibson stated on page 141 "It was unlikely that H. Krieghoff Waffenfabrik provided any accessories (holsters and tools) with the Lugers which they supplied to the Luftwaffe.”
Between 1935 and 1942 at least 133,251 Mauser Lugers and 11,500 Krieghoff Lugers were delivered to the Luftwaffe. Certainly an equal number of holsters were also delivered separate from the Lugers. As the Luftwaffe marked holsters are very rare, it is probable the overwhelming number of holsters delivered to the Luftwaffe were Army accepted. Lugers and holsters were mated at the Luftwaffe distributing/issuing office. It is almost certain that Army accepted holsters were mated to Krieghoff Lugers and Luftwaffe accepted holsters were mated to Mauser Lugers. As the overwhelming number of holsters delivered to the Luftwaffe were Army accepted and relatively so few Krieghoff Lugers were delivered; statistically, it stands to reason that most of the Krieghoff Lugers were mated to Army accepted holsters and issued that way.
According to Gibson (1980, p141) the Luftwaffe accepted holsters were predominantly black (“Some of the 1936 dated examples are brown while others are black. All the 1937 and 1939 holsters are black.....These 1939 and 1940 dated examples are black in color......A few holsters (1937 dated) of the same configuration except brown in color....A number of black military configuration holsters with the LWaA 2nd acceptance stamp and no makers mark or date”) As Gibson observed mostly black Luftwaffe accepted holsters, perhaps the Luftwaffe also procured mostly black Army accepted holsters. (Whittington, Volume III, 1990, Page 9, Indicates that Luftwaffe Officers used brown holsters. NCOs and airmen were issued black holsters and brown holsters holsters.)
John (Huggiebear) and Gibson report that they have observed mostly black holsters with Krieghoff Lugers. Why the disparity between Gibson’s and Johns observations of mostly black holsters associated with Krieghoff Lugers and more recent observations by some collectors of mostly brown holsters mated with Krieghoff Lugers? I would suggest that many of the Krieghoff rigs seen today have been put together by collectors. As the brown holsters are considered to be more attractive by collectors, over the years these have been placed with the usually excellent+ to mint condition expensive Krieghoffs.
Based on all the information and observations listed above, I would suggest that Luftwaffe Krieghoffs were issued in both black and brown holsters(both Army and Luftwaffe marked). While I prefer the brown holsters as being more photographic and pretty, its my opinion that more Luftwaffe Krieghoffs were issued in black holsters than brown holsters.(based on observations)
The manufacture date of the undated and un-hallmarked Luftwaffe accepted black holster shown with the1937 dated Krieghoff above, can only be estimated (its undated). I have observed one such holster with a 1943 dated Krieghoff and late krieghoff tool that was reported to be as issued. While such observations might give some indication as to the manufacturing date of such holsters, it is not always reliable and not absolute.
Until more definitive data is established, I will keep the 1937 dated Krieghoff and the black undated Luftwaffe accepted holster together. Both are shown above.