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    Swiss Leibermuster Patterns

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    Post by Dingo 1 Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:35 am

    Yes, that is the type that I have!
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    Post by CollectinSteve Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:33 am

    The major variation of the Splinter pattern is the degree there are yellow blob/strokes. They appear to be completely absent sometimes, extremely faint others, and quite bright in still others. I have no clue if this was a manufacturing variance of a deliberate thing. I've always thought the yellow was added to further distance themselves from the German pattern.

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    Post by vicka1971 Sun May 16, 2010 10:14 pm

    Hi guys

    I want to brag. I got this uniform last weekend at lockal fly market. The guy asked $50,but final price$20( I was very patient) Very Happy [img]Swiss Leibermuster Patterns - Page 2 Swiss110[/img]
    [img]Swiss Leibermuster Patterns - Page 2 Swiss310[/img]
    [img]Swiss Leibermuster Patterns - Page 2 Swiss410[/img]
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    Post by CollectinSteve Mon May 17, 2010 1:14 am

    Nice condition matching set. Everybody should have one of these in their collection, if only to have one of the heaviest field uniforms ever made Very Happy

    I'm glad you didn't pay $50 for the set. They usually go for a lot more, though shipping costs can be as much as the uniform. And even if you did pay $50, that is a lot cheaper than the $500 people used to pay for them before the Swiss surplussed everything!

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    Post by vicka1971 Mon May 17, 2010 11:14 am

    Hey Steve,thanks ,I will keep that in mine cheers . Looks I got GOOD deal Laughing Laughing
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    Post by CollectinSteve Mon May 17, 2010 1:23 pm

    Ack... typo in my previous post. "They usually go for a lot more" should read "they usually DON'T go for a lot more" and then I was going to suggest a price range of $30-$40. My bad Very Happy

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    Post by drmatz Mon May 17, 2010 7:42 pm

    Hi everybody.

    I had an little accident with my storage and i had to dry some uniforms... not sure if was a coincidence, but they were all my swiss stuff... should have taken some better pics, cause there's at least 2 or 3 different uniforms... and as steve mentioned is easily the heaviest uniform out there...

    cheers

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    Post by CollectinSteve Tue May 18, 2010 1:31 am

    Heh... Swiss camo is kinda an easy addiction to get, isn't it? Very Happy

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    Post by Camo_fiend Tue May 18, 2010 12:40 pm

    That's a sign from the camo gods that you need to share your leibermuster wealth with the rest of us. lol!
    Unfortunate that you had that little mishap...glad to see you caught it in time before mildew or mold could set in.

    I never knew that the one variant was such a heavy uniform...guess I need to get one for myself to find out. Cool


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    Post by drmatz Fri May 21, 2010 2:20 pm

    Sorry forgot to follow up.

    Well i was recently diagnosed with a very high camouflage addition problem!! hahahah

    Hi my name is danilo and i'm a cammoholic...

    just kidding...

    Hi ben i am sure i can hook you up with a swiss uniform.. what size you need?

    Let me know and we can work something up

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    Post by DS9ACU Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:20 pm

    don't mean to bring this thread back from the grave but what equipment was issued along with the Leibermuster uniforms? I just found out I bought a Swiss bayonet, and that started to make me think what kind of belt they use, if there are any mag pouches, shovels etc. Anyone know?
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    Post by CollectinSteve Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:18 am

    They used a brown leather belt. Everything else went into the various jacket pockets. If you look at the jacket you will see belt loops. IIRC the earlier models of the jacket had a special holder for the bayonet. The one you have is a later model. The earlier ones had a leather frog instead of the vinyl one on yours. I have no idea how to date them.

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    Post by Martin Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:13 am

    CollectinSteve wrote:Hi all,

    Over in this thread we got to talking about different Leibermuster camo copies.  I have taken a fairly quick look at my Swiss and Bundeswehr 1954 sets and concluded the following preliminary things:

    1.  The Swiss used at least four different patterns for their uniforms (and I'm pretty sure even more if you include other garments).  

    Type A Made from thin canvas and is very similar to BW and WW2 WH pattern.  Consists of 6 colors; tan background, red, green, very light green, white, and black.  A dark red results from overlaps of red and green, but it's clearly not a separate screen.  Typified by small clusters of fairly small white/green dots around the edges of the green and red colors.  The "drips" appear to be thinner and less regular than all patterns which follow.  Made in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

    Type B Heavy twill cotton uniform in the same cut as Type A with only minor differences.  Consists of same 6 colors; tan or brown background, red, green, very light green, white.  White/green dots are more simple shaped and a little larger, but still mostly clustered around the edges of the green and red colors.  Colors are laid out a little more "blobby" vs. the thin tiger stripe effect of all three earlier patterns.  Probably used in the 1960s, definitely in the 1970s and at least 1980.

    Type C  Same as Type B cloth and uniform cut.  Consists of 7 colors, 6 as before but with the addition of a light red.  Unlike the overlapping red/green of Types A and B, the predominate red is lighter with a darker red blobbed over it in places.  There is no major overlapping with the green color, except at the edges where you can clearly see there are three distinct colors being laid down.  The white/green dots are not clustered, they are larger, and are out in the middle of the background color as opposed to be clustered around the edges of the greens and reds.  Colors are also laid out more "blobby".  Definitely used in the late 1970s and early late 1980s (alongside TAZ 82).  Not sure about other dates.

    Type D Light cotton/polly mix (TAZ82) which overlapped with the earlier, heavier sets until TAZ90 was introduced.  Same colors as Types A and B with the reds and greens overlapping and no second red color.  Much "busier" pattern with less of the background color showing through.  The dots are even larger and less numerous than the other patterns.

    2.  I've noted at least two variants of Type C where the red and green screens were reversed. This is consistent on a few pieces, but I'd have to look more closely to see if it has any correspondence to dates.

    3.  The Leibermuster pattern was designed to have the black shapes appear almost randomly so as to reduce repetition.  This was achieved by using a smaller diameter roller for the black so it practically never overlaps in the same way.  This is not true for Type C.  Every matching underlying colored spots I checked had the black in the same exact places.  Types A, B, and D are like BW and WH Leibermuster in terms of using the different sized black rollers.

    4.  Another thing the independence of the black roller allows for is flipping the screen left/right and/or top/bottom.  This allows for even more variations in the overall pattern, which increases the camouflage effect overall.  I haven't spent enough time to see if they did this with uniform Types A, B, or D, but I know for sure they did it on their shelter/ponchos.  Which makes sense since those are supposed to be buttoned together, therefore the more variety the better.

    5.  There are a lot of color variations amongst the uniforms.  The background color seems to be the big one they changed.  I don't know if any of these changes correspond with dates, however it is my observation that the lighter based uniforms are earlier and the darker ones are later.  Certainly the examples of Type A I've seen are very consistent and have a light tan background and all of the TAZ82 stuff I've seen is quite dark.  It also appears that the dark red color fluctuated more than the others.  One example the overlap red/green color is almost brown instead of a dark red.

    Far more research has to be done than I have time for at the moment.  Fortunately, I have about 40-50 pieces of Swiss gear in Leibermuster that I can check over when I do have the time Very Happy

    As a footnote, my brain has always told me that the various Swiss pieces I've handled didn't look the same.  I chalked it up to color variations and the fact that with so many pockets, seams, etc. there isn't a lot of opportunity to see large sections to see subtle differences.  But after looking at them tonight I've concluded that my subconscious brain is more observant in this case!

    Steve

    Hi Steve,

    Have you done anymore work on this? I'm trying to classify some Swiss Alpenflage items I have...
    1979/80 TAZ 57 trousers: http://camouniforms.net/index.php/western-europe/switzerland/alpenflage/1061-1979-1980-taz-57-model-2-alpenflage-trousers

    1992/93 TAZ 83 shirt: http://camouniforms.net/index.php/western-europe/switzerland/alpenflage/1062-2015-01-16-02-21-03

    1988/89 TAZ 83 cap: http://camouniforms.net/index.php/western-europe/switzerland/alpenflage/1063-2015-01-16-02-39-31

    I also found these interesting posts:
    http://theswissriflesdotcommessageboard.yuku.com/topic/2702/t/Combat-Dress-70-or-Alpenflage-Vierfruchtpyama-Liebermuster.html

    http://theswissriflesdotcommessageboard.yuku.com/reply/14088/Shelter-Halves

    http://theswissriflesdotcommessageboard.yuku.com/reply/76320/Re-Alpenflage-Raincoat#reply-76320

    Is there any other information on WH Awards forums? I haven't checked there yet...

    BTW is it TAZ/TASS 83 or TAZ/TASS 82?

    Regards,
    Martin.
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    Post by Sanglier Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:03 am

    When I posted those crappy photos on the Swiss Rifles Forum 15 years ago, I didn't know Steve was also looking at these things at around the same time, trying to figure out how many camo variations there were. That forum was very active back then, with lots of interesting discussions on Swiss militaria. However, as is the fate of most forums (fora?) with a similarly narrow focus, people eventually ran out of things to talk about and quit contributing. This was already the case before the sudden passing of Frank van Binnendijk, which drained what little life there was left in that militaria sub-forum.  

    The other forum where there was interest for this kind of discussion, ICUS, has become completely inaccessible for reasons that I can only speculate, even as the still-live "International" sub-forum on WAF slowly morphed into a ghost town. At this point, this board might be the last place with any signs of life left, where one or two people might be interested in seeing a follow-up to my ancient SRF posts. So I finally signed up...  

    In the years since those posts, I had come to the conclusion that there were six major variations of the Swiss Leibermuster/Alpentarn/Alpenflage based on features (with many more sub-variants in terms of colors and subtle drawing details), which I designated as "A" thru "F" in a loose chronological order. I have reconstructed their repeat blocks using my own samples and photos that others had posted. It was a PIA to do, given that the repeats are quite large, with many overlaps between pattern types, but also minor variations within the pattern types. Here they are in pictures, with a table summarizing the distinguishing characteristics:

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    Pattern "A" may have been derived from the German original, as there are noticeable similarities within a whole section of the two patterns. It is also the dominant variant found on the earliest garments and Zelt. Like the German pattern, it has no horizontal repeat, and uses different vertical repeat heights for different colors to further randomize its appearance, just as Steve had also noticed.

    Pattern "B" appeared more or less at the same time as "A". It is essentially a section of "A" expanded vertically with a few small shapes added and turned into a parallelogram. The latter was an approach to make horizontal repeats look more "natural", used extensively by the Germans, even making a largely superfluous appearance on the Strichtarn. Here, the black parallelogram is not only wider and shorter than the red/green/white parallelogram, but also had different angles, creating a very effective blending effect. Pattern "B" is noticeably darker than "A", with thicker black strokes.

    Pattern "C" appeared in the late '60s and persisted through the '70s. It is essentially a "B" with synchronized colors and a somewhat widened repeat block. The latter was achieved by partially repeating the shapes inside a vertical strip, giving the affected shapes a staggered or "shadowed" effect.

    Pattern "D" seems to have made its appearance at the beginning of the '70s, and remained unchanged until it was turned into TAZ 90 with the color change. It was created by adding a horizontal band of shapes (represented by yellow highlighiting in my photo) in the middle of Pattern "A" while synching the colors.

    Pattern "E" is essentially Pattern "C" updated for TAZ 83, with some shapes being noticeably split up in the middle. It soldiered on side by side with Pattern "D" until the very end, often on garments produced by the same contractor during the same year.  

    Pattern "F" was a departure from all other patterns in having a square-shaped repeat block. It was the hardest pattern to reconstruct because of its size, the variation of the shapes (many of which are derivatives of one another), and the fact that it was printed in so many different shades over the course of its service!. It clearly had its origin in "B", but contains many unique shapes, and co-existed with "D" and "E" from the '70s onward.

    All TAZ-90 garments I have seen so far are printed in a "D"-based pattern. Presumably the relevant decision makers had figured out that they could hide their soldiers just as effectively using one green and brown pattern as they previously did with 3-4 red and tan patterns. I was able to go farther to the left with my reconstruction of TAZ-90 than I did with Pattern "D", but not as far to the right. Whether this is a real difference or just an artifact of how the garments were cut, I have no idea.

    My assumption is that the desert and Multiumfeld 16 patterns are also based on "D".

    There may be other variants, but I have not seen them and no longer have any urge to look for them ...

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    Post by Camonut314 Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:40 pm

    This is a fantastic endeavor; thank you so much for taking the initial time to develop all this, and the additional concern with sharing on this forum. As I've said before, Leibermuster/Alpenflage holds a special place in my heart.

    As far as additional Swiss variations go: there was an original run of helmet covers which had green/tan dominant color schemes, much like the Spanish Rocosos uniforms. I have a couple of them, but I doubt that I could find elements of their patter large enough to correlate.

    I also know that there was a very early pattern Zelt with convoluted sleeves etc. I don't know if this would have been Pattern "A" as you describe, or perhaps yet another variation...
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    Post by Sanglier Thu Aug 04, 2022 8:35 pm

    The early teal green-tan reversible helmet cover is tough to classify because, as you just pointed out, only partial features are visible on these tiny panels. However, of the few black shapes that I was able to identify on my one and only example, they all match those seen on the standard Pattern "A"; which is not really surprising.

    As for the sleeved Zelt, if you looked closely at the upper and lower right corners of my panel labeled " Swiss Leibermuster A", you would have seen the shoulder joints of those very sleeves!   Swiss Leibermuster Patterns - Page 2 1f600
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    Post by Sanglier Wed Nov 30, 2022 5:15 pm

    It's interesting (and sad) to read the new thread on the general forum today lamenting the slow decline of this board. The main reason I signed up here in August after years of lurking was that this was one of the only fora left that still showed any signs of life at all! Between photobucket wrecking these discussion communities some years back and knowledgable people deciding to move on for any number of reasons, it certainly does look like the Sturm und Drang era of internet discussion forums may be drawing to a close. Maybe reference books will make a come-back?  

    At the risk of talking to myself, I am adding one more photo to the comparisons I posted in August on the many types of Swiss Leibertarn in existence, showing a 1952-dated reversible Zeltbahn (not mine, unfortunately) that is quite possibly the earliest CH Leibertarn-printed equipment issued by the Swiss military. It had completely escaped my mind that I had saved these photos until I was sorting through a backup disk a few weeks ago.

    This exact same material was used to make the early blue/tan reversible helmet covers. As one can see, other than the colors, this reversible pattern (spring = upper left, fall = lower left) is virtually identical to the later Type A pattern (represented on the right side by my 1961 Zelt). The differences in shapes are all minor. Everything I put down for Type A in the comparative table also applies to this pattern, which I'll call Type A*. The only feature of note, other than the colors, is that the alignment of the red and green shapes to the black shapes seems horizontally shifted in the A* pattern relative to the alignment observed in the (later) A pattern. Given that there is no horizontal repeat in the A pattern, this shift would imply that there may be some shape differences at the left and/or right margins of the overall drawings, or that one overall drawing is narrower than the other. However, this is impossible to tell without a much bigger sample size.  

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    Post by Camonut314 Thu Dec 01, 2022 12:16 am

    Don't worry, I'm sure I am not the only one still here! Glad to see yet another addition to the history! Maybe you'd eventually have enough to write your own reference book Wink . I've got a helmet cover I've got to dig out one of these days...

    But for now, I'd thought I'd share a couple of interesting screen shots I grabbed from YouTube (video published by 'Bloke on the Range', who had on a guest to give a sterling talk on the history of Swiss rifle grenades, aka, Carrots of Death!)

    It's a shame that the photographs are probably too blurry to make out any significant differences in camouflage pattern, but we can certainly see a very different uniform to what was eventually adopted.

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    Post by Sanglier Thu Dec 01, 2022 2:55 am

    I just watched those videos. Now I know the answers to all the rifle grenade questions that I never asked. Smile I had absolutely no idea how complicated some of these things were internally.

    Good catch noticing those 1955-1956 pattern uniforms in the archival footage! I've only read about them before but never knew what they looked like until now. No wonder the Bundeswehr abandoned their own 1955 trial uniform, after seeing what the Swiss had done in parallel! Sure would like to examine one of these in the flesh if there are any surviving examples. I think it's a relatively safe bet that it was printed in Type A or A* Leibertarn, and made out of plain-woven canvas, like all pre-1963 Kampfanzüge.
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    Post by Sanglier Thu Dec 01, 2022 5:41 pm

    This Dale guy also posted an interesting video of the Kampfanzug as it was issued in 1961, which was more or less in its finalized form by then, but still featured some unique characteristics not seen on subsequent models. Some are relatively insignificant, like the cut of certain components, but others are functionally different, or more noticeable, such as the two pictured below, screen-captured from the video.

    Swiss Leibermuster Patterns - Page 2 Hg7JzWz

    The super-oversized trouser suspenders with dual buckles (per side) were changed to a slimmer single buckle design in 1962, with the secondary suspension duty being transferred to the internal strap sewn inside the coat, which doesn't seem to be present on the 1961 model.

    The integral bayonet frog on the 1961 coat also appears to feature a leather strap for securing the scabbard loop. This strap was changed to canvas (same material as the rest of the coat) in 1962.

    Incidentally, by my count, the 1962 version of the Kampfanzug coat was assembled using 96 cloth components (plus 66 snaps, 9 buttons, 4 zippers, and 33 other hardware pieces). It's certainly a lot, but not as many as what it takes to assemble a modern Arktis-type smock, which has upwards 115 individual cloth components (though many of them are identical modules; which was less so the case on the Kampfanzug). A lot of the features and reinforcements on the Kampfanzug were created via folding, rather than attaching a separate piece of cloth; which (somewhat) simplified their construction. Still, compared to later combat uniforms fielded by the Swiss, which became so simple and (almost) rudimentary in their layout that anyone could have made them on a home sewing machine after a few hours of training, these 1950s - 1970s coats and trousers must have required an unimaginably long (and expensive) assembly line to put together. If body armor had been standard back then, they would have undoubtedly integrated that into the design as well.
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    Post by CollectinSteve Mon Feb 13, 2023 5:33 pm

    Sanglier wrote:It's interesting (and sad) to read the new thread on the general forum today lamenting the slow decline of this board. The main reason I signed up here in August after years of lurking was that this was one of the only fora left that still showed any signs of life at all! Between photobucket wrecking these discussion communities some years back and knowledgable people deciding to move on for any number of reasons, it certainly does look like the Sturm und Drang era of internet discussion forums may be drawing to a close. Maybe reference books will make a come-back?  

    I for one am happy that you made the efforts to come here and post your findings. I think the decline of forums is in part because I think the interest in collecting (of any sort) is declining amongst the younger people. Collecting takes space, money, and time. If you don't have all three, you're not going to get far. It seems it's getting harder for all three things to line up. I was out of here for a few years due to time, for example.

    I'll come back sometime soon and digest your findings and compare them against what I discovered. A quick flip back and forth between the two shows a lot of common observations. Which is good!

    Steve

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    Post by Zedthefed Mon Feb 13, 2023 11:53 pm

    CollectinSteve wrote:
    Sanglier wrote:It's interesting (and sad) to read the new thread on the general forum today lamenting the slow decline of this board. The main reason I signed up here in August after years of lurking was that this was one of the only fora left that still showed any signs of life at all! Between photobucket wrecking these discussion communities some years back and knowledgable people deciding to move on for any number of reasons, it certainly does look like the Sturm und Drang era of internet discussion forums may be drawing to a close. Maybe reference books will make a come-back?  

    I for one am happy that you made the efforts to come here and post your findings.  I think the decline of forums is in part because I think the interest in collecting (of any sort) is declining amongst the younger people.  Collecting takes space, money, and time.  If you don't have all three, you're not going to get far.  It seems it's getting harder for all three things to line up.  I was out of here for a few years due to time, for example.

    I'll come back sometime soon and digest your findings and compare them against what I discovered.  A quick flip back and forth between the two shows a lot of common observations.  Which is good!

    Steve

    This is my Big problem Steve. I'm at the point where I'm out of space, I work full time, and any patterns I don't already have either are very rare, very expensive, or both. I started putting more money into Milsurp Guns instead. I don't really post here much because I'm only 30 and really don't have anything to add to the discussion since basically everything I know is from here anyway.

    A+ to Sanglier for the Alpenflage repeat findings! A few years ago I tried a bunch of times on working on creating a workable repeat and could never find a consistent one except in the F style. Pics related. Just didn't have enough examples on hand to take pictures of. So I gave up. Now seeing that the repeat is Diagonal?! It's no wonder I was having trouble.

    Swiss Leibermuster Patterns - Page 2 Alpen_10
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    Post by Sanglier Thu Apr 06, 2023 1:27 am

    The video link Steve posted here has some very clear sequence of the full camo fabric being treated at the factory. Using a screen capture of the video, I can now update the composite image showing the colorway transition from Leibertarn Type "D" to TAZ 90 to the new Multiumfeld 16 pattern.

    It is now 100% clear that when they changed from Type "D" to TAZ 90, they chopped off a portion of the drawing on the right margin of the pattern for whatever reason, and expanded the left side of the pattern by a roughly equal amount, such that the total pattern width remained about the same. Looking at the updated pattern as a whole, there is an obvious, abrupt transition between the new, rather busy shapes on the left side of this perfectly vertical expansion boundary and the more "relaxed" shapes of the original pattern on the right side. Given that there is no horizontal repeat, it's a little surprising that they made so little effort to create a smoother transition for their addition. The Austrians, by contrast, did a much better job expanding their pea pattern by following a more organic line. Or indeed, when the Swiss themselves used the same approach to create pattern "D" via an organic expansion of pattern "A". Perhaps the person/team responsible for the TAZ 90 renovation project reasoned that the shapes are large enough that the transition line is not really noticeable on a finished garment; therefore any effort to blend them in better would be superfluous?

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    Post by Kl1989 Fri Sep 29, 2023 4:25 pm

    Sanglier wrote:Good catch noticing those 1955-1956 pattern uniforms in the archival footage! I've only read about them before but never knew what they looked like until now. No wonder the Bundeswehr abandoned their own 1955 trial uniform, after seeing what the Swiss had done in parallel!

    hopefully not too offtopic, but a little background infos about this subject might be interesting... Bundeswehr not actually trial Leibermuster. They were developed for the European Defence Community 1952-54 and trialled by several Belgian units 1955. But the German designers worked with Amt Blank, so BW had access to a few uniforms and used one as a placeholder for the 1955 press conference photos (BW model was still in development at time). EDC Leibermuster was rejected after failure of the EDC project in favour of "national" camos in Belgium and West Germany instead of issues with the design.

    According to the Schuster book ("Das Ausstattungssoll der Heeresangehörigen der Bundeswehr 1955-2010"), that cite Swiss documentation, the German designers and Swiss Army exchanged uniform samples during development of the 1955 trial uniforms, so it seem Switzerland was at least partly influenced by EDC uniforms. But he also mention there was already in early 50s some Swiss experimentation with the Leibermuster pattern, which seem to predate the exchange with the EDC designers (probably refer to the Zeltbahn from 1952). The EDC uniforms were designed 1952, but not made in camo until later (around 1954 for prototypes? then 1955 for Belgian trials).
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    Post by CollectinSteve Sun Oct 01, 2023 7:28 pm

    The EDC (EVG in German) uniform construction influence is pretty solidly seen in the Swiss uniforms. Odd considering I don't think Switzerland ever considered joining it. Oddly even Spanish airborne uniforms were based on EDC despite no indication they were going to join either. French, Belgian, and German mid 1950s uniforms all went into production dominated by EDC features, all of which were abandoned by the late 1950s or (in the case of Belgium) early 1960s. Except for, again, Switzerland and Spain. Spain even continued using the thin canvas cloth right up until the 1970s, whereas Switzerland switched to ribbed cotton in the early 1960s.

    The uniform was an interesting concept, but IMHO it deserved being killed off. Soooooo impractical.

    Steve

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