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Italian CAMO

While the various German camouflage patterns have been extensively studied & documented for both the Wehrmacht and the SS, information about wartime Italian camouflage if very much overlooked and virtually non-existent.

The widespread use of Italian Camouflage cloth by soldiers of the German Reich coincided with the 1943 disarmament of the Italian forces. Both 1.SS-Panzer-Division “Leibstandarte SS Adolph Hitler„ and 12.SS-Panzer-Division “Hitler Jugend„ participated in the process, & it is perhaps no surprise that members of these two divisions were — to judge by wartime photos — the most conspicuous users of Italian camouflage material. 

Following the capitulation and disarmament of most of the Italian armed forces in 1943, stocks of Italian material were used by Germany to meet the increased demand for equipment in the face of the slowly deteriorating wartime economy. The German armed forces not only issued already existing stocks of Italian shelter halves and ponchos, they used the Italian camouflage material to make a wide variety of uniforms and field gear items. Many uniform items were tailor made or theater made including tunics, smocks, trousers, coveralls and caps, but the material was also used to make some standard issue items such as M31 zeltbahns and fur lined anoraks/parkas (typically made out of mouse grey material). An important thing to note is that items made using Italian camo material were used by all branches of the German armed forces serving in the Italian theater of operations (Heer, SS, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine).