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    BGS Stuff

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    Post by TennoHeikaNate Tue Dec 20, 2022 2:23 am

    And here is my BGS stuff, an ongoing ensemble that'll hopefully be displayed on a mannequin one day.
    Apologies if I get anything wrong, and again everyone is more than welcome to share their own stuff here too.
    Besides that, would anyone like me to make a thread for all the old BW splinter era and pre-1990 BGS photos I have? Between the two
    I probably have a good 100+ or so that are just sitting in my reference folder otherwise. I can also make some for other countries like old
    JSDF photos for example to keep my main item showcase threads more clear and save on some scrolling for people who are just interested in the items themselves.
    Anyway, just a thought, here we go!


    First up is a gorgeous, unissued brotbeutel. Dated 1963 IIRC. Cost me a pretty penny!
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    The BGS canteen/cup set with its strange leather/vinyl? carrier. I think 74 is the date there, made by PSL.
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    A pair of equipment straps, one made by MEGO in 1962 and the other by Larsen in 1963.
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    A mess kit strap, not marked BGS so I think it's actually a BW one, but I have it with my BGS webbing you'll see here shortly.
    Made by H. Rooge in 1970. I didn't take a comparison shot but the mess kit strap is slightly longer than the equipment straps, which will
    not fit around the mess kit.

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    FAL pouches. One was made by Max Stelzer, Berlin, in 1958, the other C. Riese, Berlin.
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    A mess kit, made by HSZ in 1979. Taller than the BW one, with a thin middle lid/tray. The old JSDF Type 1 mess kit is nearly identical to this style, which I'll
    share in a future thread about the old JSDF webbings and equipment.

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    Suspenders/yoke, made by Max Stelzer in either 1967 or 1971, I think '71 by the way their stamps usually go but I'm not positive.
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    Sumpftarn rain poncho, tag missing unfortunately.
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    Rucksack, from Max Stelzer, Berlin, in 1955. Sadly quite worn with stains, a hole in the outer pocket, and one of the buckles
    is missing from the left shoulder strap.

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    A pair of shoulder boards for a "Meister Im BGS" (Master in BGS).
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    A 1964 dated M53 Stahlhelm, with named/unit(?) written inside the liner. One end of the chinstrap was broken sadly as it is quite dried
    out, so I fed and buckled over it to keep it in place. I also found the net for it later on, although the clips are quite rusted.

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    The first sumpftarn coat I got, only pic I have right now. In quite poor condition, typical demilling cuts and missing buttons, tag, and even
    the rear D-rings were cut off.

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    My second coat, in much better but still demilled condition, dated Feb 1968.
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    The sumpftarn parka with pile liner, in amazing condition save for some stitched up demil cuts across the sleeve pocket flap. Otherwise immaculate.
    Hard to ask for better condition these days with how expensive these are now. This one is even in my size!

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    And all the field equipment that I have together, on a regular leather BW parade belt standing in for the correct BGS web belt.
    I have the poncho rolled up under the breadbag flap. I'm unsure however if the BGS used BW e-tools/carriers or if they had their own model
    or used ones painted in their shade of forest green. Same goes for the GM54 gas mask/canister, unsure if they used regular BW issue ones or their own.
    I currently lack the jackboots, green wool trousers, and the elusive sumpftarn zeltbahn to get this ensemble to a displayable level, unfortunately the last
    zeltbahn I saw went for $350+.

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    And lastly for now, just for fun, a couple of Sturm/Mil-tec items.
    An M43 feldmutze, that feels like it was made out of a zeltbahn or perhaps the shoulder raincape material off a sumpftarn coat,
    and an MA-1 cut jacket ("BGS Fliegerjacke" according to the tag) that seems like it might have been made out of original material,
    albeit sewn horizontally.

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    And that's all for now!
    Enjoy!
    -Nate

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    Post by mylle Tue Dec 20, 2022 8:03 pm

    thanks for the pics and the effort you put in this thread. Nice stuff and pics.

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    Post by TennoHeikaNate Wed Dec 21, 2022 12:22 am

    Thank you Alex, means a lot! It does get annoying once I start making these threads when I realize how many pics I have that are poor quality or some I straight up forget to take, like detailed pics of features or tags and markings. I've got so much stuff in boxes now I can't remember what's where half the time.  BGS Stuff 1f605
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    Post by idiot88 Tue Jan 03, 2023 7:31 pm

    Thanks for your personal pics and the historical pics. Now I see that I can use my airsoft FAL with my BGS camo! I guess I never realized how long they used the stahlhelm.

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    Post by TimB Tue Jan 03, 2023 10:55 pm

    Great collection and the photos, nice in colour. The D-rings on the rear of the jacket were for the bread bag? I am fascinated by some efforts to eliminate "web gear" by the use of clothing. I have a Swiss jacket which was for that purpose. I have loaded up the pockets with gear and gone for a hike and got a sore back. A belt helps to put some of the weight on the hips. Are there any photos with the troops using these D-rings for that purpose? Also, one of the nicest cam patterns I have seen and good to see the old FALs again, I get a lump in my throat for the good old days.

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    Post by TennoHeikaNate Wed Jan 04, 2023 1:43 am

    Thanks guys! @Tim yes, the two belt loops on the breadbag can be fed through the D-rings of the jacket or parka instead, though I've never seen a single pic of it done in practice. Since most pics showed guys would attach both their canteen and mess kits to the flap of their breadbag, I think the combined weight would weigh down the rear of the coat/parka and choke you out!
    Instead it seems most guys would wear their breadbags by their carrying strap across the chest to their left, and the belt was used to carry the mag pouches and e-tool.
    The jacket features two metal hooks on the sides, slightly towards the back like on the WW2 coats, which would help keep the belt of the webbing in place. Both of my jackets are missing these unfortunately.
    Despite this many pics show them not holding up the belts, either ignored or just ineffective. In all I think old web gear is just not very ergonomic to wear, hence why there was many movements to make uniforms that carry the equipment, as the Swiss did with their TAZ alpenflage, before LBVs caught on.
    Here's a couple of pics where you can see the metal hooks on the jacket not doing their job. It does seem however the hooks would make the belt and mag pouches sit a little too high for comfort, at least to me.

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    Post by ripcord Wed Jan 04, 2023 1:56 am

    Besides the great pieces you have shown, the photos are outstanding!

    Thanks for sharing.

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    Post by Porkchop Wed Jan 04, 2023 11:50 pm

    That Bomberjacket from Miltec is still one I am trying to find. Great collection!

    And doesn't the cut of the battlejacket/ combat shirt remind you of a BDU shirt, even though it probably predates it by about 15 years?

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    Post by TennoHeikaNate Thu Jan 05, 2023 5:13 am

    Thanks porkchop! Yes, there's quite some similarity there. I always thought the integrated rain cape/suspender slots on the combat coat was a really unique feature, the closest thing I could equate to it would be the Swiss TAZ jackets with their internal cape and straps that attach to the trouser buckles to distribute the weight.
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    Post by Sanglier Fri Jan 06, 2023 3:22 pm

    TennoHeikaNate wrote:I always thought the integrated rain cape/suspender slots on the combat coat was a really unique feature, the closest thing I could equate to it would be the Swiss TAZ jackets with their internal cape and straps that attach to the trouser buckles to distribute the weight.

    I see this feature as an evolution of the caped shoulder on the WSS tropical tunic, which was itself modeled after the caped shoulder on the Italian Sahariana coat. For many of these early post-war uniforms, it's as if the designers picked up where they had left off at the end of the war (I'm assuming they were mostly the same people, or apprentices thereof), only this time they were not in a hurry, nor were they running out of resources, so they went a little nuts cramming as many ideas into their creations as they could come up with.

    The most elaborately constructed caped shoulder I know of is the one seen on their contemporary civil defense jackets, which were, in my view, the most complex and ridiculously over-built work garments ever produced. Labor must have been incredibly cheap and abundant back then for them to make something like this for a bunch of emergency rescue workers.

    BGS Stuff Ze3vVAG

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    Post by TennoHeikaNate Fri Jan 06, 2023 5:46 pm

    Thank you for pointing those out Sanglier, I've never seen one of those CD jackets before but now I can really see the similarities!
    Looking at the Italian Sahariana/WSS tunic I can see the upper cape/pocket flap design, I start to see similarities with old trench coats with the upper rain cape flaps, which I believe are themselves evolutions of older 1800 period overcoats and cloaks that had separate rain capes that could be worn over the shoulders.

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    Post by CollectinSteve Sun Jan 08, 2023 2:18 am

    Great batch of pictures! BGS is of particular interest to me, so some feedback to follow Wink

    Most of the original BGS pictures are from the early 1970s, though you have some from the 1950s sprinkled in there too. From a uniform/kit standpoint the two periods have very little to do with each other as pretty much everything changed between the two periods.

    The BGS vet that took and posted all those wonderful pictures of the 2nd Model camo parkas and jackets (sleeve pockets on left arm) in use should get an award of some sort Wink For whatever reason I've found the 1950s pics much easier to come by.

    Notice that there are no camouflage trousers in any of those shots because there weren't any. All use of camouflage trousers were used by 1st Model camo uniforms from 1957 through about 1963. For the period 1967-1976 wool (winter) or cotton (summer) trousers were used. They are difficult to find, for sure. Wool ones oddly easier than cotton. I have a spare wool set somewhere.

    Finding verified BGS equipment is a challenge. Polizei used much of the same stuff but in different colors, which sometimes is the only way to distinguish between Polizei and BGS (or in some cases Berlin Polizei). If everything appears correct, BUND markings usually confirm it is BGS. However, BUND markings are on items made for THW and ZB organizations, so if the color is wrong and it is marked BUND it isn't BGS. Leather pieces are usually well marked as BGS. Y suspenders have the markings on the inside of the rear belt strap.

    Then there is time period. Color changed after 1976 to a decidedly green color and it was standardized for all BGS and Polizei units, as were their uniforms. At this point things get trickier to differentiate between BGS and other organizations.

    BGS used an E-Tool carrier similar to BW, but in black leather. Shovel is in graygreen color.

    The belt was the standard black leather with 2 pronged metal buckle. This was used by BGS, Polizei, THW/ZB, Zoll, Justiz, and I think Frost as well. Which means there are TONS of these belts out there, but any one of them is not likely to be BGS specifically. As long as a belt is not marked for one of the other organizations, then IMHO it is fine to assume it is BGS. Nobody will know anyway as the belts are the same Smile As with anything, though, it differed a little over time.

    The BGS used graygreen shelter quarters during the 1960s through 1970s, not camouflage. Tons of them were on German eBay a few years back and my local surplus shop had the tent pole carriers filling a shopping cart. The Sumpftarn zeltbahns were not all that hard to find, but they have gotten pricier in the past 10 years. Still, you should be able to find one for far less than $350. Last ones produced were 1963 IIRC.

    I have no idea what BGS used for gasmasks after the 1950s WW2 style went out of service (likely early 1960s). I don't think I've ever seen one in collector's hands. Which, come to think of it, is rather odd as they certainly had them available.

    Well, that exercised some deep recesses of my brain well enough to get a good night's sleep tonight Wink

    Steve


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    Post by CollectinSteve Sun Jan 08, 2023 2:30 am

    The suspender slots in the Sumpftarn jacket goes back to the original 1st Model. The graygreen uniform between 1st and 2nd Model Sumpftarn had it as well, which isn't surprising since it was essentially the same jacket. The funny thing is that pictures from the 1st Model uniform time period showed BGS members preferring to wear their suspenders OVER the cape, not under it. It is very common to have significant damage to 1st Model jackets from shoulder rank buttons getting torn off from the shoulder straps. I've had jackets with the whole shoulder opened up because of it.

    [quote="Sanglier"]
    TennoHeikaNate wrote:The most elaborately constructed caped shoulder I know of is the one seen on their contemporary civil defense jackets, which were, in my view, the most complex and ridiculously over-built work garments ever produced. Labor must have been incredibly cheap and abundant back then for them to make something like this for a bunch of emergency rescue workers.

    They were also extremely heavy! I had examples of 1950s ZB and THW uniforms at one point in my collecting time and I think they could have survived a direct hit from a nuclear weapon Wink I would not want to have worn one of those on a summer rescue mission. The bib overalls plus that heavy jacket must have been extremely uncomfortable.

    Steve

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    Post by TennoHeikaNate Sun Jan 08, 2023 3:48 am

    Steve, thank you very much for identifying the different equipments used by the BGS. Unfortunately I have a feeling a lot of them will be much harder and more expensive to find today compared to 20 or 30 years ago, but it gives a solid place to start!
    I also have no idea what gas mask was used. I have at least one pic from what looks like the 70's of what appears to still be the GM54 type mask still being worn, but after that I'm not sure, along with whether or not the BGS had their own canister design or painted the normal BW GM54 canisters in their forest green color. I wouldn't be surprised if the BGS got large stocks of hand-me-down BW GM54s after the BW switched to the M65.
    As I mentioned, I've got a large number (probably at least around 100) of BGS photos of both the Sumpftarn and old green uniforms and various equipments being worn and used if anybody would like me to make another reference pic thread for them.
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    Post by CollectinSteve Sun Jan 08, 2023 2:26 pm

    For sure the early BGS used the WW2 style canister type gasmask. I have a couple of them. They are basically the same as Bundeswehr, but are distinctly marked BGS (or BUND) on the inside lid. Now I'm forgetting who used the cloth covered ones VERY early on. Got one of those as well Smile

    This type of gasmask was discontinued early 1960s, but of course old kit is hard to kill so it is possible some were used here and there later on. But it wouldn't be widespread.

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    Post by Sanglier Sun Jan 08, 2023 6:33 pm

    CollectinSteve wrote:

    They were also extremely heavy!  I had examples of 1950s ZB and THW uniforms at one point in my collecting time and I think they could have survived a direct hit from a nuclear weapon Wink  I would not want to have worn one of those on a summer rescue mission.  The bib overalls plus that heavy jacket must have been extremely uncomfortable.

    Steve
    [/quote]

    Yes, Steve, I still have a set of the woolen uniform that I got from you at the end of that “point in (your) collecting time”.🙂

    The buttoned-down vented convertible shoulders on these are certainly functional, but also contribute to the discomfort. With the reinforcement strips under the flap and behind the breast pocket, there are 4 layers of cloth at the front and 3 at the back where the flap is buttoned to the body, making for a junction that is both indestructible and unforgivingly stiff. Combine this with the old-fashioned high-and-tight arm hole, and the fact that the cape was tailored to fit closely to the shoulder rather than loosely draping over the latter, once the coat has been washed, the inevitably shrunken cape piece behaves very much like a tourniquet around your armpit when it’s buttoned down at both ends. For sure not something you’d want to feel when you are hot and sweaty and swinging a pickaxe!

    The Yugoslav version of this uniform seems to be strongly influenced by the German design, just greatly simplified, more cheaply built, less tailored in fit, and a lot more comfortable.

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    Post by Porkchop Mon Jan 09, 2023 3:37 am

    An amazing amount of information.

    Regarding the field shovel aka entrenching tool, at least until 1976 The Bundesgrenzschutz was using the Wehrmachtsfeldspaten, Initially, they were using WW2 surplus but later there was supplemental manufacturing. One such manufacturer was Carl Busse in Mainz, Rhineland Palatinate.Their stamp was C.B. Mainz Year eg. 1952 they had already been producing military equipment during Nazi times such as leather holsters for Brownings produced in occupied Belgium. The M38 folding spade became the most popular entrenching tool in the Bundesgrenzschutz. Initially, the blade was painted black and later the colour changed to police green. I am not sure when the BGS ceased to use an entrenching tool. By the way the NVA ( East Germans) used exactly the same e-tool until dissolution.

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    Post by CollectinSteve Mon Jan 09, 2023 3:43 pm

    Sanglier wrote:Yes, Steve, I still have a set of the woolen uniform that I got from you at the end of that “point in (your) collecting time”.🙂

    Heh... and now I know exactly who you are Smile Since I wasn't active when you joined up here, a belated "welcome" from me seems to be appropriate.

    Steve

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