Feldgrau

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This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
Feldgrau
 
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #4D5D53
sRGBB  (rgb) (77, 93, 83)
HSV       (h, s, v) (56°, 7%, 14%)
Source Mindjunker
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
Feldgrau of the Wehrmacht (Stalingrad 1942)
Service dress in Hellgrau (German Bundeswehr)

Feldgrau (English: field-grey, also field grey) has been the official basic color of military uniforms of the German armed forces since the early 20th century until 1945 or 1989 respectively. However, according to the color code there was no exact scientific definition, so slightly different grey tinctures were possible. Armed forces of other countries selected slight variations or shadows of that color according to the German Feldgrau. Metaphorically, feldgrau used to refer to the armies of Germany (the Imperial German Army and the Heer [en: ground forces, or army] component of the Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht).

Abstracts[edit]

Colloquially, today feldgrau means plainly the color of the German uniform, especially for the time of World War II, but also for the East German National People's Army (here under the description steingrau [en: stone-grey, also stonegrey] ). Certainly, feldgrau was introduced to the Austrian Bundesheer (en: Federal Army) in line to the German pattern as well.

The word feldgrau means "field grey", and by World War I the color was a light grey-green, though there is no specific color, rather a color range of greys to browns, that was one of the first standardized uniforms suitable to the age of smokeless gunpowder.

History[edit]

In 1910 the so-called field-grey peace uniform (de: feldgraue Friedensuniform), with colored cuffs, facings, shoulder straps and gorgets was disposed by decree in Prussia, followed by all other German countries and armies, last by the Bavarian Army in April 1916. Formerly, the Germans wore a Prussian blue shade similar to that of the French.

Simultaneous it characterised the end of a variety of different colored uniform in German states. With that new unique “field-grey peace uniform” the Imperial German Army (de: Deutsches Heer) started military campaigns in World War I.

Other countries selected feldgrau as basic color for uniforms, shoulder straps, sleeve insignia, or pieces of equipment etc. as well. So was feldgrau introduced by the Swedish Armed Forces in 1923 in line to the German pattern.

Other countries today[edit]

Austria[edit]

Austrian service cap in Hechtgrau (en: pike-grey) color 1918
Austrian uniform color

With formation of the Austrian 1st Federation's Armed Forces in 1929/21 (de: Österreichisches Bundesheer der ersten Republik, lit.: Austrian Federal Army of the first Republic) there was a close orientation to Germany. For instance the feldgrau uniform (providing some camouflage features) and the corps colors of rank insignia adopted. However, slightly different grey shades were possible as well. Pike-grey (de: Hechtgrau, see file "Austrian service cap in 1918") did not prove to provide the anticipated camouflage features.

Today, in line to the national traditions, the textile color of the Austrian 2nd Federation's Armed Forces (de: Österreichisches Bundesheer der zweiten Republik, lit.: Austrian Federal Army of the second Republic) is named feldgrau (also braungrau [en: brown-grey] - uniform jacket), and steingrau (also steingrau-oliv [en: stone-grey-olive], or more popularly NATO-oliv [en: NATO-olive] - uniform trousers).

Chile[edit]

The Chilean Army also wears a full dress uniform in feldgrau.

Sweden[edit]

The Swedish Armed Forces used a very similar color for infantry uniforms, for example the grey m/39 and later on grey-green as the German ones. The last uniform to use the color was the woollen m/58 winter uniform.

Shades of grey[edit]

The table below shows some shades of grey in line to the rough RAL colors

Number Sample CIELAB L* CIELAB a* CIELAB b* German name English name Description, examples
#5d5d3d
(HTML-code)
Feldgrau Field grey Basic color Feldgrau of the Reichsheer and Reichswehr 1907 — 1935
#4D5D53 Feldgrau Field grey Basic color of the Wehrmacht 1937 — 1945
#555548 Steingrau Stone grey Basic color of the GDR National People's Army 1956 — 1989
RAL 7000 58,32 -03,14 -04,71 Fehgrau Squirrel grey surface camouflage paint to vessels of the Deutschen Marine
RAL 7008 45,91 03,34 17,92 Khakigrau Khaki grey original name: Graugrün (en: Grey green)
RAL 7009 43,19 -02,43 03,87 Grüngrau Green grey original name: Feldgrau Nr.2 (en: Field grey Nr.2)
RAL 7013 39,21 00,59 06,33 Feldgrau/Steingrau Field grey/Stone grey Austrian Bundesheer
RAL 7016 33,84 -01,33 -02,83 Anthrazitgrau Anthracite grey Added for use by the Wehrmacht
RAL 7021 30,65 -00,43 -01,22 Schwarzgrau Black grey 1937 added for use by the Wehrmacht under the name Dunkelgrau (en: dark grey)
RAL 7037 30,65 -00,43 -01,22 Staubgrau Dust grey since 1956 used by the German Bundeswehr under the Hellgrau (en: light grey)

References[edit]