Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,402 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
IMPERIAL LUGER HOLSTER COLORS
Observations indicate that almost all Imperial German Army holsters were manufactured brown in color(some were later dyed black).

NAZI GERMAN HOLSTER COLORS
Whittington in “German Pistols and Holsters 1934-1945 Volume III” did a detailed study of German pistol holster colors. He states the following on page 8-10:

GERMAN ARMY:
Officers: Brown. Black with field dress uniform and issue pistol.
Non-Commissioned officers and soldiers: black

WAFFEN SS
Officers and Non-Commissioned officers and men: black

LUFTWAFFE
Officers and Non-Commissioned officers and airmen: brown (Note: some black holsters for Non-Commissioned officers and airmen)

KRIEGSMARINE
Officers: brown
Petty Officers and seamen: black

Note: During wartime holsters were not always issued in the correct color.

Based on observations and information presented in Gibson, I would estimate that most Luftwaffe stamped holsters are black (not brown as stated by Whittington)
Jan
 

·
Gold Bullet Member
Joined
·
1,819 Posts
Jan,

Good information for fellows like me, always trying to narrow the gaps of the unknown when identifying holsters.

As for the imperial period three of the member of this forum have in their collection black (outside) colored holsters for the LP08. Mauro, Keoki7 and myself have together 3 of them, marked "Mars" 1915 Berlin.
See the thread of Mauro 01/31/2004 under Imperial Lugers, holsters & other acc.

A question: after examination of quite a lot of police - holsters, I came to the believe that they are always brown. You do not mention the police force in the list as published by Whittington. Am I right here?

Thanks,
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,402 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Joop
Prussian State Police Landjagerei (rural) holsters are brown and Schutzpolizei(city) holsters are black. As there were more city police than rural police, I would guess that there more black holsters were produced than brown.
Jan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,743 Posts
I guess that we would have to break the subject material down into lugers and non lugers to best understand the entire picture. I have come to find that what Jan has outlined is basically true with the exception of when one enters the small pocket arena. We must also further limit our discussion to pre war policies of color and then highlight the changes that occur in 1943 till the end of hostilities in May of 1945. Without going into a long litinay of details, basically, the pre war Wehrmacht luger holsters for the officer corps were brown , the Luftwaffe officer were brown with the most of the LW2 proofed holsters being black, the Kreigsmarine were all black and never changed colors for the duration. This tells one that the pre war colors were Brown for the Officer Corps and Black for the enlisted ranks. This policy changed when the German Forces went from an offensive posture to a defensive one and the benchmark here can be identified as the Battle of Krusk [ June 1943]. From this point forward the Germans quickly learnt that the Russians also knew of the pre war policy of officers having brown leather and so did their snipers and field redying to black was introduced to keep from getting their Officer Corps from being targeted. This reintroduction of colors was even carried over to the Party Members when the Russians entered Germany. Hilter signed orders in November 1944 that all Gau Leaders were to change from carring their pistols on the right side to the more common military left side. This was not done just to satisfy some particular bureaucrat as the Russian sniper was good , damn good, at his/her job and they soon came to identify which was a higher priority target than just some field grunt. It also helped if captured that they didn't have anything different than what was found on the military forces. I don't know if I helped or hinder ones knowledge but this statement is for the period of 1933 to 1945 only. I claim to have little or no knowledge in other areas of German military.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
quote:Originally posted by huggiebear

I guess that we would have to break the subject material down into lugers and non lugers to best understand the entire picture. I have come to find that what Jan has outlined is basically true with the exception of when one enters the small pocket arena. We must also further limit our discussion to pre war policies of color and then highlight the changes that occur in 1943 till the end of hostilities in May of 1945. Without going into a long litinay of details, basically, the pre war Wehrmacht luger holsters for the officer corps were brown , the Luftwaffe officer were brown with the most of the LW2 proofed holsters being black, the Kreigsmarine were all black and never changed colors for the duration. This tells one that the pre war colors were Brown for the Officer Corps and Black for the enlisted ranks. This policy changed when the German Forces went from an offensive posture to a defensive one and the benchmark here can be identified as the Battle of Krusk [ June 1943]. From this point forward the Germans quickly learnt that the Russians also knew of the pre war policy of officers having brown leather and so did their snipers and field redying to black was introduced to keep from getting their Officer Corps from being targeted. This reintroduction of colors was even carried over to the Party Members when the Russians entered Germany. Hilter signed orders in November 1944 that all Gau Leaders were to change from carring their pistols on the right side to the more common military left side. This was not done just to satisfy some particular bureaucrat as the Russian sniper was good , damn good, at his/her job and they soon came to identify which was a higher priority target than just some field grunt. It also helped if captured that they didn't have anything different than what was found on the military forces. I don't know if I helped or hinder ones knowledge but this statement is for the period of 1933 to 1945 only. I claim to have little or no knowledge in other areas of German military.
This is a thread of information I have long wanted to see. It is helpful and informative. It is a bit unclear, however, how strongly these rules hold.

Although the logic underlying dying officers' holsters black on the eastern front makes sense, I have seen very very few black-dyed small caliber pistol holsters of the WW2 period. The only one I recall is a dropping-style commercial (AkAh) M1922 holster. Other black small cal holsters of the 1944-45 period were manufactured in black leather and also have black stitching. Have you seen other WW2-era brown holsters that were dyed black and are known to have been dyed during the war?

I wonder what sources Whittington used?

It is interesting to note that holster color might be of importance in protecting officers and others from sniper attack. However, the Germans were fond of elaborate uniform variations and the caps they often wore, even in combat situations, would also have been an important clue as to rank. Officers usually wore silver/gold cords on their caps and enlisted men wore black straps. In addition, regular soldiers usually had ammunition pouches, breadbags, bayonets, tool pouches and the like on their belts. Officers often had map cases or lacked ammun pouches. That is just my casual observation. Perhaps it is not a good observation but it seems these clues would aid a sniper, if these clues were reliable.

I also note that manay Browning P35 and Radom P35 holsters of 1944 are brown--many are also black. Do we know if these were widely issued or were specific to certain branches of the military?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,402 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In my opinion, Whittingtons designations on holster colors are a general guideline. However, observations of known examples do not always seem consistent with these guidelines.

For example, based on my observations and data presented in Gibson, most Luftwaffe stamped holsters are black not brown.
Jan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I just joined this forum and it is such a huge coincidence that the Luger accessory I have questions on is an odd colored Luger holster in BURGUNDY color. In fact I just put a new post to this forum about it and an unusual acceptance mark on it. Here are the photos I put in the original post. Any ideas would be appreciated?? Someone mentioned maybe a special color issued to the German clergy. I guess anything is possible.

Download Attachment: Luger Holster.jpg
10.74KB

Download Attachment: Luger Holster Marking.jpg
21.48KB
 

·
Moderator / Gold Bullet Member
Joined
·
11,110 Posts
Rambob, The burgandy color is seen seldom. It is a pleasing color and found on a wide range of German leather goods. I don't believe one could assign any color the Germans used to a specific branch of service. Blacks and browns of many shades were spread around and while predominant colors can be tied to the Police, Army and Luftwaffe there are many exceptions.
Your friend who suggested the cordovan colored Luger holster was issued to the German clergy in 1939 has no perspective of what the German armed forces were all about. I suggest a trip to the library for him. Jerry Burney
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,392 Posts
Jerry,

I agree entirely. Apart from Schutzpolizei and Landjägerei, there appears to be very little logic behind the use of either black or brown holsters in the army.

Reckmeier was mainly interested in production methods and came to the conclusion that tanning resulted in brown leather (through use of tannin, made from oak bark).

Imperial directives (also quoted by Goertz) ordered all leather equipment to be black. Apparently this was originally done using boot polish. The reason given was that officers´ equipment should be the same colour as that of "other ranks". Officers have told me that this was not popular and that senior officers often retained brown leather equipment.

German armed forces never paid the same attention to conformity in this respect that we would generally have expected and this has led (as so often) to lurid conjecture.

Patrick
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,964 Posts
Rambob,

The Germans did start a war in 1939. But I think the real reason for the number of anomalies is a combination of war, large number of suppliers and the immediate service that the 1939 holsters saw. Not being polished/cleaned/issued for years during peace-time.

As I'm not a holster/uniform specialist I have another question. More often than not, brown holsters show wear marks of light grey paint that appears to have originated from the belt on which the holster was worn. This wear mark is often seen between the loops on the back.

Does the paint point towards a specific group of wearers? Luftwaffe?
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top