U-Boat Packchen from British Blouse with Provenance

U-Boat Packchen from British Blouse with Provenance

Code: 56307


Although sometime contentious by virtue of the number of “created” U Boat “Packchen” offered by the unscrupulous, this Khaki Drill British Blouse is one of the early examples impressed into service in the U-Boat service due to the early shortages of suitable attire.

Taken from captured stocks left behind after the fall of France, U-99 and U-30 were the first crews to wear these Blouses, the Germans later producing their own version.

Once in my own collection, this Blouse was originally obtained directly from the family of Obermaschinistenmaaten Fritz Wohlleben along with a good inventory of his other items, by a German dealer who sold them off separately at the Kessel show some years ago. Wohlleben served on U-13, U-14 and U-48 with some other sources saying he also served on U-444.

These items were bought at the show by a Swedish collector from whom I later acquired them and comprise, the Blouse with his U-Boat Badge, Minesweeper badge and his Bordmutze.

The Blouse is in very good condition and completely free from damage. The original British friction buckle has been replaced with a three pin claw buckle, the cloth turned back and closed by two buttons to allow it to be removed for washing, absolutely in keeping with the modifications undertaken by the Kriegsmarine and seen on other known original examples. All buttons are Kriegsmarine with a silver wash, no doubt reflecting the use of what was available at the time and although there are buttons at the shoulder, no loops have ever been added for a shoulder strap.

There is a ribbon for the Iron Cross 2nd Class and two pairs of award loops on the left breast along with a machine embroidered eagle on the right breast. Most importantly, Wohllenben’s privately acquired name tag is sewn into the neck.

The U-Boat War Badge is a late war variant zinc example by Juncker whilst the Minesweeper badge is in Tombak by RSS. Both are in very good condition.

Finally, the Bordmutze is in excellent condition with a machine embroidered eagle in golden cotton above a cockade. Absolutely free from damage the cap is lined with a blue rayon lining.

Over the years I did try to locate other items from Wohllenben’s inventory and whilst I did locate his tropical tunic, the collector in the USA was disinclined to part with it.

A rare and absolutely genuine collection from a U – Boat sailor.