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How to Read the Uniform Marking Codes 1944-1945
By Cyrus A. Lee, Transcribed by Jonathan Bocek


Below you will find a brief breakdown of the German size stamps found in German issued uniforms.  Thanks to Cyrus Lee for giving us permission to use excerpts of his Soldat book series here on this site.  If you would like to purchase one of these books, please visit his website at: http://www.soldat.com/  Please note, that technically a couple of the measurements (numbers) below are off.  If they were marked on an actual garment, it would result in an odd size. The system, however is correct. 

In general, all uniform pieces are factory marked on the inside, usually in black indelible ink. The purpose of this stamping is to show origin of production and the size of the uniform piece.  Included in the uniform marking codes, beginning at the end of 1942, was the RB number. The RB numbers reflected a coded number that represented manufacturers on a national scale. The RB number was to replace the manufacturerís stamp.

After the beginning of 1943, the marking codes generally did not reflect the manufacturer, and sometimes, the depot of issue and the year which the uniform item was received. The depot code stamp reflected the probable year of manufacture for that item. The depot was denoted in the code by the first letter of the depotís name. The year the item was received by the depot was shown in the code by its last two digits. This depot code was placed below the sizing information codes.

Below is an example of the marking codes of a Field Service Tunic produced in 1940. These codes are located on the uniformís right side, above the field dressing pocket: 
 

43 44
100
72 64
F 40

 

The 43 indicates the length of the tunic back. 
The
44 indicates the tunic collar size. 
The
100 indicates the tunic chest size. 
The
72 indicates the overall tunic length. 
The
64 indicates the tunic sleeve length. 
The
F indicates the depot in Frankfurt . 
The
40 indicates the year the tunic was received by the depot in Frankfurt .

After the beginning of 1943 the marking codes for the Field service Tunic did not always contain the depot code stamp. An example of the marking codes for a Model 1943 Field Service Tunic:
 

RB Nr. 0/0375/0025
45 46
104
74 68

 

The RB Nr. 0/0375/0025 is the manufacturer. 
The
45 indicates the length of the tunic back.
The
46 indicates the tunic collar size. 
The
104 indicates the tunic chest size. 
The
74 indicates the overall tunic length. 
The
68 indicates the tunic sleeve length.

The marking codes for the greatcoat are the same as for the tunic except that they are marked on the coatís left side. In the case of a greatcoat with a lining, the code may be located within the left inside pocket. The overall length of the greatcoat will be reflected in a number proportionately larger than that of a Field Service Tunic.

The general marking codes for all services trousers produced after the start of 1943 and prior to the production of the Model 1944 Field Service Trouser were all of the same pattern. This is an example of the marking codes for the Model 1943 Belted Trouser. These codes are normally found on the right side of the trouser waistband:
 

RB Nr. 0/0354/0010
78 80
111 96

 

The RB Nr. 0/0354/0010 indicates the manufacturer.
The
78 indicates the trouser inseam length.
The
80 indicates the trouser waist size. 
The
111 indicates the overall trouser length.
The
96 indicates the trouser seat size.

The marking code for the Model 1944 Field Service Tunic was not always the same as that of Model 1943 Service Tunic. The codes for the M44 could be displayed in two different manners, either horizontally, as with other tunics; or vertically. The codes were always to be stamped on the tunicís left side between the third and fourth button. This is an example of the vertical placement of the marking codes for a Field Service Tunic Model 1944:

RB Nr. 0/0634/0020
76
39
84
41
59

 

The RB Nr. 0/0634/0020 indicates the manufacturer.
The
76 indicates the sleeve length.
The
39 indicates the tunic collar size. 
The
84 indicates the tunic chest size. 
The
41 indicates the tunic back length.
The
59 indicates the overall tunic length. 


The marking codes used for the Model 1944 Field Service Trouser were different from the marking codes used on other service trousers. The code on the M44 trousers did not contain the overall trouser length. This is an example of a marking code for the Model 1944 Field Service Trouser:

RB Nr. 0/0514/0300
68 74
90

 

The RB Nr. 0/0354/0010 indicates the manufacturer.
The
68 indicates the trouser inseam length.
The
74 indicates the trouser waist size. 
The
90 indicates the trouser seat size.

All sizes are noted in centimeters. By no means do all uniform pieces contain all the information shown above. Wear and cleaning remove many types of inks; therefore, some of the marking code information may be missing.

 

Sources:
- Lee, Cyrus A.  Soldat, Vol. 3. 1991; rpt. Missoula , Montana , 1998.
 

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