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Flecktarn

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Flecktarn Jacket

A form of camouflage dreamt up by a couple of old fogies reminiscing in 1976 after one too many boots of Dunkelweizenbier down the Pickelhaube and Piano about how smart the old SS “Peas and Oak Leaves” pattern was. As a result the Germans came up with a series of spotted pattern Camouflages called Flecktarn whose name derives from Fleck (Spot) and Tarnung (Camouflage). And in the days of pre digital computer designed Camouflage this was a very rare and Ally camouflage indeed – unless you were in the BAOR or US Forces Germany where it was common as dog muck. It replaced the West German army Olive Drab camouflage; and since every Mann and his Dachshund had to do national service it left West Germany with about 228 Million combat jackets that were obsolete overnight. Flektarn is thus responsible for the wardrobe of every tiresome pot smoking student waster through the late 80’s and early 90’s.

There is only one problem with this wonder Camouflage. It only works in Germany. Most of it is at the very dark end of the colour spectrum, which suited most Germans of course as they came crashing out of the very dark Teutoburg Forests to stick one on the 3rd Shock Army. Unfortunately other nations sometimes are required (and actually allowed because they aren’t as naughty) to leave their nations boarders where Flecktarn works about as well as SAS Black kit. Just as UCP is Day-Glo, Flektarn is the Camouflage equivalent of a slag heap in the North Pole.

The Germans nevertheless managed to sell the stuff for the Chinese to wear in Tibet, the Japanese gave it a go, and the Danes adapted the colours and wore it. That’s really about it. The French and Dutch gave it a wide berth mostly because it gave their older citizens flashbacks of when their Churches were set on fire, poor Mrs Cohen next door was never seen again, and they had nothing to eat. The Germans have developed a Desert version of it with even less export success, which is a bit like flogging a dead horse, the US rejected Spots and dots camouflage a couple of Gulf Wars ago with their useless Chocolate Chip.