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M38 Palm Smock
M38 Palm Smock

: $124.99

M38 Palm Smock Size*:

Product Description
M38 elasticized neck,
rayon drawcords

Placket cover, chest access
Low waist Fully reversible
Assembled with the
correct charcoal gray
50cm pattern, identical to WWII,
no added/ fake artwork
Treated with genuine
Teflon water repellent

Model is 5'11", 165 lbs. Smock
size "L".
Fall colors.
Model 1938 Tarnjacke in "Palm" camouflage. This was the first pattern of pullover smock worn by the German troops throughout WWII. The "Palm" design appears to have been the first pattern to be produced with the rotary printing method rather than hand screening. They used it primarily in the production of smocks- they are easy to find in period photos, and authentic examples are reasonably plentiful even today. It appears that production of the pattern ended in 1942 or 43 as no known photos or examples of the later "M42" smocks have been found. It was not used for Zeltbahns. Helmet covers and caps were also made from this fabric, but are extremely rare.

The M38 was designed to be worn over the uniform and field equipment- the two vertical access slits in the front were meant to allow the soldier to access his ammunition pouches. Although this method of wear provided the best concealment effect, muffled the rattling of the gear and prevented branches from snagging the wearer, it proved impractical and is rarely seen being worn this way in period photos. The M38's most distinct characteristic is the elasticized neck and placket flap on the Fall side. On the earliest smocks, the neck opening is notably larger than later production M38's. These were worn from 1939-45.

Like all of the Tarnjacken, the M38's are fully reversible with "Spring" colors on one side and "Fall" on the other. Most soldiers wore the cuffs tucked in and often rolled the skirt under the waistband.

ATF's Smocks: Our Tarnjacken are designed by and made exclusively for us, with only original WWII samples being used for creating the camouflage and the garments.

Although Palm camo has been reproduced by several companies over the past 30 years, we are the first to have duplicated the exact size and artwork correctly. The design on authentic WWII cloth "repeats" every 50cm, which is the circumference of the rollers used to print it. Rollers in that size are no longer available, so the other companies were forced to alter the design either in scale or by adding in extra "leaves and twigs" to make it fit the current printing equipment. We found a manufacturer with a newer printing system (no, not ink jet) which utilizes mechanical flat screens- which allow virtually any repeat or pattern size as they are not restricted by roller sizes. Having the 50cm pattern means that a "shrubbery" will always be present at or near the shoulder (long story). So, yes, the process isn't quite the same as WWII, but the results look identical.

Once the artwork was re-created, the next bit of fun was choosing colors- which was accomplished using authentic WWII smocks. The problem with Palm is that it was not used on Zeltbahns, which are my normal source for authentic fabric- and smocks are far to expensive to cut. Luckily, all of the colors are shared with other patterns and we were able to create color swatches for the printer to match- and after months of trials and tribulations, we got them right.

Our fabric is likewise custom made- woven with the same densely woven, fine sized yarn making it water and wind repellent. No light shows through. Finally the cloth was treated with Teflon making it as water repellent as cotton can be, short of waxing.

The smock itself is copied straight from our originals- which were huge. This was meant to fit all soldiers and be worn over the shirt, tunic and greatcoat. Unlike Heer smocks, the pullovers appear to have come in only one, very large size. (I have measured dozens of originals.) The chests have a circumference of 58-60", the sleeves are 20" around and cuff to cuff is 74+ inches.

Some of our smocks Originals....

Our smocks are assembled like the genuine articles. They were normally sewn with medium and dark gray thread, 5mm eyelets (machine or hand sewn), and neatness was an afterthought. I instructed the inspector to be rather casual in trimming excess thread, to pass mis-printed fabric, and to allow a somewhat sloppier than normal finish overall. This is characteristic of WWII smocks- not an error.

Finally the drawcords are the correct 4mm flat rayon cord- originals came in numerous shades of green, gray, fieldgray, brown and even black. They are dead on. Leather laces were not "factory".

Shading: WWII smocks are known for being assembled with parts of mis-matched shades or even different camo patterns. We attempted to persuade the factory to replicate this, but the concept gave them a seizure so we had to drop it.

Size: The originals will fit up to 48" chests, yes, allowing for the uniform underneath. On small guys, they are enormous- but that's how they were in WWII. For bigger frames, we also created an XL which will fit up to 60" chest.


Washing: Although washer/ dryer safe, we recommend cold wash and hang dry for longest life and fewest highlights.