When Were Traditional Sailor Uniforms Worn?

The kind with the bib in the back. I assume most navies followed a similar practice. I am thinking Kriegsmarine specifically though.

For the Kriegsmarine, depending on rating, it was mainly reserved for parades and walking out. For parades (full dress) it was worn with a short bolero style jacket with a row of nine brass buttons down each breast and was open apart for a loop and button just below chest height. The collar of the shirt was worn over the jacket. When mounting guard equipped with rifle and ammo pouches, without the jacket, the sailors shirt was tucked into the waistband, not worn “long”. Photos taken of the crew of “Graf Spee” in Montevideo harbour in 1939 show them wearing the white (warm climate) version of the traditional sailors dress, but it would seem this dress was worn less and less as the war progressed. The standard working gear for German sailors, other than dirty work, was the pea jacket, the standard shirt with the “Nelson” collar being worn under the jacket. The jacket had open lapels to display the shirt and two visible flapped external pockets in the skirts. On the lapels were two square pale blue collar patches. Maate (petty officers) wore gold edging to the collar (as per unteroffiziere in Das Heer) and one or two rows of braid on the rear edge of the collar patch depending on rank. The pea jacket was usually worn with a sidecap rather than the sailor hat. Senior NCOs and Warrant officers wore the reefer jacket as officers. Full substantive ranking and trade badges were worn on both the pea jacket and the parade uniform. On the white uniform, such badges were blue. On submarines and to some extent light surface vessels, uniform was much more “relaxed”.

Found this post card of Kaiserlische Marine dated '99 (1899??):

With a further search I’m sure earlier evidence of the bib can be found.

Edit: I may have misread the purpose of your post! :roll_eyes:

I admit my questions come from reading Osprey’s book about German U-Boat crews. The book admits that German U-Boat personnel did not wear regulation items while at sea for obvious reasons, but typically any old clothing that was comfortable and practical. The book did describe what uniforms were used by the German Navy from World War One to World War Two. Problem was, it did not say in detail what was supposed to be worn on what occasion.

Why bring up the traditional sailors’ bib uniform? Because the custom figure maker I found makes both Hogan’s Heroes figures and bib sailors’ figures but not the pea coat or reefer jacket figures. I realized I could have Hogan and his crew disguised as Kriegsmarine figures-but I had no specific plan as to what they would do.

One of the pictures in my UBoat books is of the bridge crew, one of which is clearly wearing a British Battle-dress jacket (without any of the original insignia)!

Hogans heros? Yes please! :grin:

Captures British uniforms were used by German submariners.

Go to Shapeways and look up Printle Models and you will hit jackpot.

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Yes, they captured vast quantities after Dunkirk. It was decided to issue them to U-Boat crews as that use was least likely to cause blue on blue issues! U-Boat crews frequently wore the checked shirt and of course the U-Boat leathers which were also via Italy, issued to 12SS Pz Div! So bizarrely enough, MiniArt set 35275 may be of interest to you!

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What were “blue on blue issues”?? Some kind of KM fashion-sense?? :grin:

Being mistaken for the enemy and getting shot by your own side. Unlikely in a submarine!

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Being mistaken for the enemy and getting shot by your own side. Unlikely in a submarine!

But if you do make sure you have expandable bras that you can launch out of the sub and have float to the surface…

(Dont know if anyone got the Operation Petticoat movie reference… :rofl:)

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Thinking of what our heroes would do in sailor uniforms, they would likely be going to a naval installation. I wondewred what a gate guard would look like. Also dressed in a sailor uniform? And with a rifle I assume.

Friendly fire.

In context of uniforms, yes. Nevertheless, at least one US submarine (USS Dorado) and another one probably (USS Seawolf) were sunk by friendly fire. Number of US submarines were sunk by their own erratic torpedoes.

The British submarine HMS Triton sank the submarine HMS Oxley. HMS Unbeaten was lost to RAF Wellingtons. The Polish submarine ORP Jastrząb was sunk by British naval forces. The Soviet V-1 submarine (formerly HMS Sunfish) was sunk by Coastal Command Liberators. Number of Kriegsmarine, as well as Italian submarines were lost to their own forces.

I’ve read in a book, Anthony Beevor’s ‘Berlin: The Downfall 1945’ I think, that some SPG crews fighting the Russians were also issued U-Boat uniforms.

I seem to remember there was a Dragon figure set labelled as Germans at Dieppe 1942 or somesuch, which had German sailors in combat kit. For guard mounting they would wear the sailor suit, with the shirt tucked into the trousers and belt kit, ammo pouches. Note that there were many Kriegsmarine shore facilities (e.g. naval shore batteries) were the personnel wore normal field grey uniforms, but appointments were in gold or yellow rather than silver or grey.