Heer Assault Gun Uniforms
By Willi Schumacher
Assault Gun Uniforms
The uniform selected by the High Command for the crews of assault guns and tank destroyers was the same as the black panzer uniform but in the gray-green color. The primary reason for the change in color was camouflage and the counter-intelligence given when black uniforms were spotted in the field. Unlike the panzer troops, assault gunners and reconnaissance crews were required to exit their vehicles to conduct advanced sweeps and the black panzer uniforms were ill-suited for this task.
Assault Gun Field Jacket and Insignia
This jacket is identical in style to that of the black panzer field jacket except it is manufactured in gray-green wool. The only significant difference was insignia. Initially the Totenkopf stamped metal devices were worn on dark-green backed elongated rectangles with bright red piping denoting artillery, of which most assault gunners were considered. Some of the Panzerjäger units wore pink piping around their Totenkopf collar tabs. Eventually the Totenkopf was ordered removed and replaced with the standard double Litzen collar tabs. NCOs and other ranks wore the standard woven double Litzen collar tabs machine-sewn onto the collar surrounded by bright red "Russia braid". There is photographic evidence of NCOs and other ranks with the Totenkopf stamped metal device applied directly to the assault gun collar and then surrounded by the same bright red "Russia braid". Officers wore the standard double Litzen collar tabs with dark-green wool backing and red (artillery), pink (Panzerjäger) or golden-yellow (Aufklärungs, or motorized reconnaissance) piping between the Litzen. Shoulder boards for the officers was the same as that of the panzer officers, using the same slip on boards but with red, pink or golden-yellow piping and gilt metal ciphers. NCOs and other ranks used the same shoulder straps used by their contemporaries wearing the gray-green field uniform, that is with the dark-green tops and similar branch piping. NCO ciphers were in aluminum metal and other ranks were embroidered directly onto the top of the shoulder strap in the color of the branch. National emblems were woven white, later silver-gray, thread on gray-green backing for NCOs and other ranks. Officers wore either the silver bullion or woven aluminum wire thread on dark-green backing. Generals wore their standard gold and red collar tabs and gold bullion national emblem on dark-green backing.
Assault Gun Field Trousers
These were identical to the black panzer field trousers except they were manufactured with gray-green wool.
Assault Gun Headgear
The assault gunners wore the standard gray-green M1934 and M1938 overseas caps with insignia on gray-green backing or the standard gray-green wool M1943 field caps with gray-green backing. Officers caps had aluminum wire piping and usually had higher-quality aluminum wire thread or bullion insignia. Generals caps had gilt aluminum piping and gold bullion insignia.