The very many variaties of DDR Blumentarn

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    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:22 am

    I decided it was finally time to sort through all my Blumentarn pieces to make sure I know what I have.  I wound up with 8 hooded sets and 3 "Strichtarn" hoodless types.  Oh, and just a few extra trousers I'm going to keep around for now Smile  That freed up a full hooded set, several trousers, and one hoodless jacket.  Yeah, I obviously have an addition to this stuff!

    Here are my 8 hooded sets (1958, 1959, transitional 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1964).  The 1958 and 1959 types are similar to each other, the transitional 1959 through 1964 types are similar to each other.  There are minor production differences within both groups.  You can easily identify the earlier type by looking for slash chest pockets and three buttons for the trouser leg pockets.  They used a variety of different metal and plastic buttons, but not the typical plastic pebble type used all the way through 1990.

    The very many variaties of DDR Blumentarn DSC09251_zpssr1kcfwu

    I've found that there's basically three types of cloth; soft/thin cotton (1958-1960), thick cotton, wax impregnated thick cotton.  There's a lot of varieties in the colors, even when new, but soft/thin cotton type is distinctly different from the others.  The other two major varieties appear to be one that favors a light brown and another that favors a very dark brown.

    The drawings for all patterns appears to be the same, however a few have more detailed blue/green "blobs" than the others.

    Extra 1958-1964 trousers.  You can really see the difference in the colors.  Note the one on the far left has internal leg pockets with exposed button flaps.  *NO* idea what that is all about and the date is not readable.  It's in the the thin cotton and metal buttons of the 58/59 sets but has features consistent with both the Experimental 64/65 type (two hand pocket flaps) and the 1965-1970 type (internal leg pocket with two exposed buttons).

    The very many variaties of DDR Blumentarn DSC09250_zpsyaxnn7fe

    Front and back of the three types of hoodless jackets I'm aware of (experimental 1964/65, full production 1965, 1966-1970?):

    The very many variaties of DDR Blumentarn DSC09252_zpstmlixmhy
    The very many variaties of DDR Blumentarn DSC09254_zps7rvp3gya

    For the hoodless jackets notice that the one on the left has no chest pockets, the one on the right doesn't have foliage holders on the back.  There are other differences, but those are the tipoffs.

    I forgot to take pictures of the trousers.  The Experimental 64/65 type has external pleated pockets and hand pocket flaps, the other type has internal leg pockets with two exposed button flaps with no hand pocket flaps.

    Steve
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    Post by jimmyduncan23 on Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:44 am

    very impresive
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    Post by koalorka on Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:09 pm

    Most excellent! I'd love one of the early sets with the vertical chest flaps.

    Recently scored a hoodless late pattern uniform. Is the principle difference between the 64/65 and later models the presence of foliage loops?
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    Post by mylle on Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:04 pm

    Nice post and an impressive amount of Blumentarn stuff....Respect.
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    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:12 pm

    It's not surprising what one can accumulate over 20+ years if one is silly enough to keep buying the "same" thing over and over again Smile

    koalorka wrote:Most excellent! I'd love one of the early sets with the vertical chest flaps.

    These come up for sale on eBay maybe once every 5 years, perhaps less frequently than that.  Expect to pay about EUR 500 for a set in beat condition.  Do not expect it to be in very good condition.  They are too rare and the cloth too weak.  It's not surprising the cloth was abandoned so quickly.  Remember also that these uniforms were reissued for many years.

    Recently scored a hoodless late pattern uniform.

    If it's in good condition you did well.  Condition of these tends to be rather poor.

    Is the principle difference between the 64/65 and later models the presence of foliage loops?

    I've gone back over some research materials and my Strichtarn examples.  Here's how I'd classify them:

    Experimental (1964/65) - unique shoulder straps (often retro removed), foliage pockets (front, back, arms), no chest pockets.  Baggy leg pockets, hand pocket flaps.

    1st Model (1965/66) - chest pockets, foliage pockets (front, back, arms), waist adjustment, button on hood.  Internal leg pockets, hand pocket flaps.

    2nd Model (1967-1968?) - foliage pockets on arms only, no waist adjustment, no button on hood.  Internal leg pockets, no hand pocket flaps.

    3rd Model (1969?-1971) - single loops on arms only, internal pistol pocket for left breast isn't stitched to front of jacket.  Trousers hand pockets have single button loop closure.

    1st Model - 3rd Model also made in Strichtarn.

    Steve


    Last edited by CollectinSteve on Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Post by koalorka on Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:32 pm

    I think I've got the mid- to late-model, but in unissued condition. Funny how they issued these alongside Stricheltarn for so many years.
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    Post by CollectinSteve on Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:23 am

    Yeah, not too sure about why.  Maybe someone has a definitive rationale for it, but I don't think I've heard anything more than speculation.  Doesn't seem to be just to use up old cloth.

    Looking at my Strichtarn examples again, it seems that the foliage pockets on the arms disappeared sooner than for the Blumentarn type. Not entirely sure.

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    Post by CollectinSteve on Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:46 am

    Made a correction above (in bold):

    3rd Model (1969?-1971) - single loops on arms only, internal pistol pocket for left breast isn't stitched to front of jacket.

    To be clear, on the earlier models the pistol pocket is secured directly to the front of the jacket. Which means when you view from the exterior you can see stitching on the left chest. For 3rd Model the pocket is internally suspended, which means you can't see it from the exterior.

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    Post by dynamo.alex on Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:46 am

    definitely a nice bunch Steve, excellent stuff.
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    Post by henrik_clausen on Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:48 am

    Hi,

    Here is a pretty comprehensive webpage on this subject: http://www.flaechentarn.de/

    (only in German)

    Best regards
    Henrik
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    Post by CollectinSteve on Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:15 pm

    Hi Henrik!

    Yeah, that is an excellent source. He's a little less firm on the hoodless jackets, but there's enough stuff on his website to fill in some gaps in what I have in my hands.

    Steve
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    Post by koalorka on Fri May 05, 2017 10:20 pm

    Sharing my set. The "M" I take to be the date code used by the NVA? That would make it a late, 1970 pattern.


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    Post by CollectinSteve on Fri May 05, 2017 11:41 pm

    Beautiful set!  I've got some of the post 1964 pieces in this condition, but mostly what I have is beat to Hell.  That's because most of the stuff that's offered for sale is beat to Hell Very Happy

    Correct... M = 1970.  X = 1971 and, as far as I know, that's the absolutely last batch of Blumentarn made.

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    Post by vicka1971 on Sat May 06, 2017 10:54 am

    Steve, WOW very nice .Love it A+
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    Post by koalorka on Sat May 06, 2017 6:11 pm

    Might as well throw in my 1963 hooded set. This has the waxy coating, which kind of scares me...

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    Post by mylle on Sat May 06, 2017 6:43 pm

    Interesting, my jacket is also from 1963 but not waxy.

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    Post by CollectinSteve on Sun May 07, 2017 1:40 am

    The wax treatment was, I am told, designed to make the wearer more able to withstand a gas attack. The Czechoslovaks also had anti-gas features in their uniforms from the same period. Not sure if others bothered.

    I don't know when they started using it, but for sure it's easily found on 1963 and 1964 hooded uniforms. Though as Alex points out, it seems it wasn't 100% applied to everything even from this time period. Alex's was made same quarter, same year, same factory as Raff's. I do think the coating broke down/washed out over time, though Alex's jacket looks near new.

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    Post by koalorka on Sun May 07, 2017 8:11 pm

    Yes, it's most likely an NBC coating; give the unfortunate trooper an additional few hours of life in the radioactive fallout environment they were supposed to operate in.
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    Post by CaptainForrest on Tue May 09, 2017 2:25 am

    when i see blumentarn for sale or ones that sold the sizes say size 1 or 4 what is that suposse to be?
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    Post by Haydamaka on Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:15 pm

    CaptainForrest wrote:when i see blumentarn for sale or ones that sold the sizes say size 1 or 4 what is that suposse to be?

    On the two las pics above (posted by mylle and koalorka) one can see big numbers "1" and "2", just on top of III 63...

    Those might be the sizes of uniform you are asking about...
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    Post by jeva on Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:57 am

    Need some help from the king off wisdom CollectinSteve.

    It is Blumentarn but the stamp is strange.

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    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed May 01, 2019 2:24 am

    It's a stamp for MdI (Ministerium des Innern). This is the Ministry of the Interior which was responsible for policing duties. The trousers you have are the experimental 1964/1965 type, in your case specifically produced in 1965. Even without the stamp it's easy to tell because this is the only Blumentarn trouser with external fully pleated pockets. They produced a lot of them because they turn up on eBay fairly regularly. The jackets less so and they tend to be modified to post 1965 standards on the shoulders.

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    Post by Haydamaka on Wed May 01, 2019 10:38 am

    Thank you, Steve, for your brief and professional comment!

    As for me, I like this version of Blumentarn trouser with external fully pleated pockets much more than the standard pants with "internal" cargo sidepockets.
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    Post by Necrolust on Thu May 02, 2019 4:37 pm

    One of my favorite camo...Thank you guys for sharing..

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