Drill Uniforms

Recruits in the German Army before the war, and during until supplies were exhausted, were issued the off white denim drill uniform (Drillichanzug).   These uniforms were utilized for a variety of purposes, even after basic training was completed, such as field training, weapons cleaning, vehicle maintenance, etc.   The denim trousers were often substituted for the wool trousers while on training exercises, and worn in conjunction with the wool field blouse. The Drill Uniform consisted of shapeless trousers (Drillichhose) and a shapeless jacket (Drillichrock).   The jacket was worn closed at the neck, and the buttons on the front closure were detachable so that the jacket could be laundered.  Two patch pockets were located on the front skirts of the jacket.

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This prewar photo at right shows early style drill jackets modelled loosely after the Dienstrock.  By 1939, drill jackets were being produced with a simple five button front, in imitation of the Feldbluse.

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Above, new recruits are fitted for helmets.

Below; soldiers in training wear full equipment with their drill uniforms.

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Below, troops clad in drill uniforms and field caps, with minimal equipment worn for doing rifle drill.

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Drill uniforms were often substituted for wool uniforms while training, both to keep the soldier cool in warm weather, but also to keep the more expensive and harder to clean wool uniform from wear and tear.  These gunners wear wool trousers with their drill uniforms.  Infantrymen are often seen wearing the opposite combination; infantrymen wear out trousers very quickly by going to ground and crawling over rough terrain.

Early in the war, tank crews also wore this denim uniform as a vehicle suit; some were dyed green.   With the introduction of reed green summer clothing, the drill jacket fell into disuse for this purpose.  Other samples of these drill uniforms were dyed black for wear by mechanics.

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A listing of rank worn on Drill Uniforms will be added once research is complete.  Here we can see an Obergefreiter (right) wearing a set of chevrons, and below, an NCO wearing lace on the collar. 

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