Hi to all you dedicated Bloggers.
Today’s Blog is all about something totally different for a change. Today we are going to do “Swiss” (and I don’t mean secret bank accounts or chocolate) What I’m on about here is the Swiss Leibermuster Kampfanzug Camouflage Uniform, or as we collectors know it the “Alpenflage,” (Fall or Autum) Camouflage Uniform. It was also nicknamed the “Vierfruchtpyjama” (4 fruits pyjamas) Camouflage by the Swiss soldiers. This is one of my most favorite camo uniforms that I like to wear from my uniform collection…………………. Not that it makes me feel Rich & Sweet….. LOL!!! No the main reason is that it is so soft and comfortable. The Swiss seem to make the best of everything.
After WWII the Swiss Army used variations of the German “Heeres Splittermuster 31″ and the “Wehrmachts Sumpfmuster 44″ camouflage patterns for their helmet covers and their shelter halves up until 1955. After that date a new camouflaged combat uniform was trialled and then adopted in 1957 which was the Swiss Leibermuster (body pattern) Uniform. It is a 6 colour camouflage in which the shapes of the various elements are closely based on the SS Leibermuster Uniform while the colours seem to have been inspired by the Czechoslovakian Leibermuster combat uniforms which appeared in the mid 1950′s Over the years since 1957 there have been considerable variations in the colour of the base fabric and a lot of differences in the thickness of the “Black Branches”. Although the “Leibermuster” pattern uniforms are still used by the Swiss Reservists, the general issue of this camouflaged uniform was discontinued in 1993 and was replaced by the Swiss Woodland Camouflage Uniform. Interestingly though, the new camo pattern really only differs in the colours that it uses…………… The shapes used are much the same.
Well enough of the history lesson and onto why I like this uniform. My one is of 1970′s manufacture with the Blunt Ended Epaulettes, in what is referred to as being made out of “Butter-Soft Denim” with vinyl patches over the elbows and knees (for extra strength and waterproofing) and Boy!!! is it nice to wear…………………. so soft and flexible. The Swiss Steel Helmet comes with a Camo Helmet Cover and I have an original Alpenflage Cap as well. The Jacket has a zip-up front with snap studs on a flap that cover the zip. (to keep the cold alpine wind out) and a warm hood on the back of the collar. The “Back Pack” on the back is integrated with the jacket in that it clips onto the jacket so that you dont have back pack straps going over your shoulders. The jacket has so many pockets for mags, gear, water bottles, food, cleaning kits, etc, etc, that you really dont need a Tactical Vest over the top. The pants come with integrated “H”harness or Braces. (this is pretty COOL because your pants will never fall down) They have plenty of pockets as well. One thing these pants have that no other combat pants have (and I stand to be corrected here) is that they have a “Leg Strap” on each leg that I suppose is for grabbing onto like a handle (if your comrade is shot) and lifting or dragging him out of harm’s way.
Anyway, this is what a Swiss soldier looks like in a very nice uniform. The only difference (if you can spot it) is that my gun is not real.
Happy Collecting……………………………. The “Quartermaster”