Revive Expanding Banner 1500×510

The History of Third Reich Uniforms

By G. Paul Garson

The evolution of Third Reich uniforms followed from a long history of European uniforms in general and Imperial German uniforms in particular. It is acknowledged that the varied apparel worn by the German armed forces is, and has been, the most popular focal point of interest in the entire field of uniform history.

In that highly militarized society, some 20,000,000 Germans, both men and women (and even children), donned a uniform of one kind or another during the 12-year reign of the Third Reich. The dramatic designs of Nazi-era uniforms were created in a wide assortment of styles and colors and, in great part, helped to project and promote the image of Nazi Germany as a powerful nation––a nation to be feared and respected. (Read more about the Nazi rise to power inside the pages of WWII History magazine.) 

The pantheon of medals, badges, pins, ribbons, and other emblems literally “advertised” the prowess and achievements of their wearers. Third Reich uniforms apparently often had a direct effect on the individual wearing the uniform. In many cases, they seem to transform ordinary men and women into personifications of the State and the ideology it represented. 

Well, it was so theatrical. You know, I guess pure evil … whoever designed the Nazi’s uniforms was a theatrical genius. And the German cause was pure evil, that’s all there was to it. I don’t think there’s been another war like that.

—Kurt Vonnegut



Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Top Ad Space

Top Ad Space 2

Middle Ad Space

Bottom Ad Space

Our Magazines

Military History Magazine Cover



There are moments in military history that forever alter the flow of human events. Times when the very landscape appears to shift. In the annals of military history magazines, this is one of those moments.

WWII History Magazine Cover



It changed the world more than any other single event in history. There have been countless thousands of published works devoted to all or of it. But there’s NEVER been anything like THIS before.

WWII Quarterly Cover



WWII Quarterly, the hardcover journal of the Second World War that is not available in bookstores or on newsstands, and can only be obtained and collected through a personal subscription through the mail.