The standard combat uniform of the Austrian Army (Heer) has been olive green since the 1970s. Although the nation did produce its own distinctive camouflage pattern from the 1950s through the early 1970s, it has not adopted a national pattern to be universally distributed to the armed forces since. This trend is likely to continue, as a solid tan version of the standard combat uniform has been issued to Austrian personnel serving in arid environments since 2003.
Austrian Camouflage Patterns
The earliest camouflage pattern developed by Austria was introduced in 1957, and is often referred to in English as the "pea pattern." Although bearing some resemblance to the Erbsenmuster pattern developed by Germany during the Second World War, the Austrian pattern is only influenced by this earlier design and not based on the original German drawings. The Austrian design consists of dark maroon, mauve, and pea green dots and blotches on a pinkish-grey field. The most interesting feature of the original (1st) pattern is a juxtaposition of inverted clusters, not readily apparent to casual observers but illustrated in detailed photographs (see below). The pattern retained the same features, with perhaps tiny changes to some of the shapes within the cluster, until it was modified at some point between 1961 and 1966. The 2nd pattern seems to have continued in production unmodified until 1976, and contains numerous minor modifications to the existing shapes, as well as a major feature insertion, consisting of a band of shapes that actually disrupted the inversion feature. Two primary types of field uniform were produced in this pattern for the Austrian soldier, the Kampfanzug 1957 and the Kampfanzug 1959 - often referred to within the Army as K4 - as well as several styles of parka, field equipment covers, and a reversible shelter half with a "splinter" pattern printed on one side. The K4 "pea pattern" was only worn sporadically after the 1970s.