In 1940, the Wehrmacht designed a series of uniforms and equipment for troops operating in hot weather areas. This is the first style tunic produced, and that most commonly seen worn by the Deutsches Afrika Korps (DAK). It is similar in cut and design to the standard "M40" Feldbluse, but it's made from olive cotton twill rather than wool, it has an open collar, it only has a partial lining and 2 sets of belt hook holes rather than 4. This uniform was worn throughout the North African desert campaigns, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy and is occasionally seen on troops in France and Russia.
ATF's Tropical Uniforms: As with most other products, these uniforms are absolutely unique to us. The majority of vendors sell the uniforms made by Sturm or one of the Chinese dealers on ebay. These are in no way related. Our contractor used my original 1st Model tunic, fabric samples from an original, unissued uniform (that mice had mangled), and the German WWII sizing tables we acquired from Berlin (Hdv 337) that we use with our Texled uniforms. Original DAK uniforms come in several weights and shades of fabric- some are nearly denim. I chose the thinner cloth in order to make the uniforms more comfortable in hot weather (there was no cost savings). The color is a golden olive that appears to be the most "typical" shade found on unused originals. These fit correctly, the belt hook holes are properly located, the hardware is great, etc, etc..
Fit: As with the new wool uniforms, I determined that length is a more pressing problem than chest sizes- if these sell well, we'll introduce shorts and longs sometime in the future. These tunics are a "regular", with the belt line placed 45cm below the neck, which the Wehrmacht determined to be the correct length for people who are 5'9"- 6' tall. Sleeve length is 25" which equates to a 34 dress shirt sleeve. Shrinkage is actually minimal. To learn how German tunics are sized, we have a page explaining it.
Insignia: Tropical tunics normally used their own unique insignia- however, "continental" insignia was not hard to find being worn in period photo. Also, officers wore the same tunic as enlisted men, and they did not have "tropical" pattern insignia. To purchase insignia see the Heer Insignia Page .
Breast Eagle placement: The German placed the eagle several centimeters lower on tropical tunics, possibly so it wasn't obscured by the lapel.
Washing: These are actually washer/ dryer safe. However, it will chip the paint on the buttons and the insignia (if any is on it) may not be very happy. Hand wash cold and hang dry is still the best option for longest life etc.
Bleaching: Afrika Korps uniforms present a special problem in that some guys will want to look like an "Alte Hase" with the nearly white uniform. One can bleach these uniforms- they will lighten and gradually go to beige. Unlike some other reproductions, they don't turn orange. I got the best results by wetting the uniform, then spraying it with a bleach & water mix in a spray bottle. Spray it on, wait a few minutes, if you want it lighter, hit it again. I did this on a stripped tunic, so I'm not sure how insignia would react- I suspect the collar tabs and shoulder boards might react badly.
Insignia sold separately
We no longer sew insignia.
Other models? At this time we have no plans whatsoever to offer the other two models of Tropical tunics.