Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The guestion has come up on another board[Military Handguns Forum ]on GUNBOARDS, the point i was making was that color indicated rank in the Heer i.e.brown for officers and black for enlisted. the guestion of rank and branch of service is of course covered by Whittington in v3. I am respectfully reguesting input from on this issue from other members, orginal gueston concerned a HSC holster,the cite i used was as follows," leather eguipment made for officiers tended to be orangefarbe, a light reddish brown, but darker browns were also used.It was ordered in july 1943 that brown items be dyed black,but this was not always accomplished".from GERMAN COMBAT EGUIPMENTS 1939-45 P.5 MEN AT ARM SERIES NO 234 AUTHOR G. ROTTMAN[1992] OSPREY,LONDON U. K. THANKS IN ADVANCE
 

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I think it is safe to assert that the color of a pistol holster is completely indepemdent of the rank of the user. Any notion to the contrary flys in the face of military logistics in general and the organization of the German military.
It is true that within the NAZI party that there were special holsters and pistols for the "golden pheasents", this was not carried through in the military.

Tom A
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, In the german military, officers had to buy their own eguipment to include brown holsters, and belts. the point i was trying to make, and col whittington i believe was making in his book was that officers usually wore brown eguipment, and EM usually were issued black at least in the HEER, i realize from about 1943 and later the supply situation probably altered this somewhat, i
believe the literature would support this position,at least to 1943 or for unit combat leaders who were issued weapons by TO&E,as a retired logistics officer[s-4] in the Guard i agree that supply is sometimes situational in nature and as the war continued the uniform regs were not always followed. respectfully
 

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Although officers bought their own equipment at the beginning of the first world war, I do not believe that this custom applies as a sweeping statement. Such personal purchases would not have Waffen-Amt acceptance marks since they would be commercial purchases. Also the reality at the beginning of the WWI was not the reality for the Reichwehr of the Weimar Republic where reuse, rework and adaptation seem to have been the rules. In the Third Reich, a 1939 German Police Print showing Gendarmerie and Shutzpolizei Uniforms shows the former with brown leather equipment and the latter with black (Still Weimar Lugers pg vi.) In 1943 and later the P08 was replaced by the P38 as the standard issue side arm for the Wehrmach. I think the brown for officers only theory is a nice theory but is not supported by the facts. I would also point out the number of holsters converted from brown to black by dying, sometimes only the front. How would we explain these? My 1918 P08 brown holster has an LZA marking strongly indicating Imperial Army issue. It is not a private officers purchase but it is brown. this holster can be seen on this forum in the Imperial Lugers section. would suggest a more correct statement would be that early military issue holsters tended to be brown with a shift to black during the mid stages of WWI. Certain units in both the military and the police continued using brown holsters well beyond WWI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't think you can seperate holster color, at least intially in ww2 in the Heer from the uniform regs which clearly reguired officers to buy and wear brown or orangefarbe personal eguipment, even ersatz holsters were manufactured in this color, under the german and in general the european system officers were reguired to buy their on eguipment to include field gear i.e. map cases etc. as the war
progressed and shortages occurred this eguipment was issued from supply, also as stated previously officers eguipment was ordered to be dyed black and more officers[line]were issued 9mm pistols with supply system black holsters, i have or had several brown issue 9mm holsters i.e. radom and hi power holsters, and several holsters dyed black which were orginally brown but i submit at least intially the issued color for EM. was black to match the regs for EM leather eguipment,and brown for officer private purchase eguipment in the Heer. I am sure as police units were called up this confused the situation as some police branches colors were black[schutz]and brown[gendarmerie] per Weimer Lugers[Still p.vi] thanks for the comments, its a interesting subject. respectfully.
 

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Jim, an interesting line of enquiry might be how many of the small caliber, 32 or 380, officers pistols are in brown holsters. I am not well iformed on these and am aware that some were also issued to tank crews, but if the majority were officers purchase and are also brown holstered it would support your thesis. It does not seem to be the case on Imperial lugers as I noted above, but that is out of the time period you were asking about. There is a picture of Heinz Guderian sitting at a table with his luger rig near on pg 28 of Still Third Reich Lugers but I cannot hazard a quess as to its color from the B&W photograph
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The army officer was reguired by regs to have a sidearm and holster as part of his dress uniform the holster was brown to match the sam brown belt and shoulder strap. the pistol was usually 32 or 380,but p08s were also carried, if EM were issued a small pistol the holster color at least intially was black,the factor which confuses this point is that the SS were all issued or purchased black holsters as reguired by their regs and as a result you will find a lot of waffen amt marked black small pistol holsters and commerical black holsters, but having said that the majority of my 32 pistol holsters are in fact brown or if black have been dyed black from brown,it was only as the result of 9mm pistol shortages that small pistols were issued,usually german army NCOs and tank crews were issued p08 and p38 and other 9mm pistols with the exception of senior NCOs i.e Oberfeldwebel and Stabfeldwebel,but as the war went on more 32 and 380 pistols were issued to EM in non combat units and combat units because of shortages,and you will see brown small pistol holsters with waffenamts appear for issue to officers because of shortages of leather in private markets. it gets confused after 1943 because officers were reguired to dye field but not dress leather eguipment black. this is what i believe is supported by both the uniform and gun literature in my humble opinion at least. thanks again for the comments respectfully
 
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