GERMAN THIRD REICH PIONEER OFFICERS TUNIC, IDENTIFIED WITH PAPERWORK.
Very rarely within the Third Reich artefacts is it possible to personally identify the item, whether it be a medal or an item of uniform. We have obtained a four pocket combat tunic coming from the Estate of Herbert Baeder, who was a Oberleutnant within Pioneer Battalion 45, part of the 72nd Infantry Division. The tunic is the basic four pocket officers M.36 style with four patch pockets, all with pleats, deep turned back barrel cuffs, five button front. It is constructed of a lighter weight unlined material similar to tropical cloth but of a style worn either in Southern Italy or the hotter southern areas of Russia. The colour of the material has faded beautifully under the hot sun and through washing leaving the covered areas of the tunic i.e., underneath the pocket flaps, behind the deep barrel cuffs, underneath the shoulder boards, underneath the collar and behind the closing flap of the tunic with its original light grey green. The fading is identical to Africa tropical tunics we have had in the past that have seen significant service. The tunic has the standard dark green officers collar. It is fitted with a well worn set and slightly oxidised pioneer officers collar patches with black centres, some threads missing. A matching well worn set of black wool underlay Oberleutnants shoulder boards. The medal ribbons fitted are the Iron Cross 2nd Class and the East Front ribbon. On lifting these ribbons back the material is shaded below. Interestingly the tunic was, when new, fitted with an enlisted ranks machine woollen embroidered breast eagle on a dark green wool background. Some of the edging of the eagle has broken away revealing the original colour of the tunic below the eagle. There is one canvas inside pocket and a hole has been tailored through the front left hand pocket for the attachment of the sword or dagger straps with the original Assmann DRGM marked clip attached to the interior of the tunic. With this tunic there is a large file of paperwork relating to the service of Oberleutnant Baeder, also a photograph of him wearing this self same tunic when it would appear to have been before seeing field service. The application of the enlisted ranks breast eagle can completely be seen. He is seated, hatless, wearing the Iron Cross 1st Class above the General Assault Badge and the loops are fitted to the tunic for the same badges. It would appear that later he won a further award and two extra loops have been fitted, which are not shown in the photograph. The tunic also was without the Eastern Front ribbon. He is wearing the tunic with the rank of Leutnant without the rank pips for Oberleutnant. We have only been able to obtain minor research to his service, much of the paperwork relates to training, however he did see service in Southern Italy and Southern Russia. There is a good file of documentation relating to his Old Comrades unit in the 1970's and 1980's. Much further research on this individual would be possible.