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Late-War Developments 1944-45


Decline in Quality - Constructon and Materials


As with almost all other types of equipment, with the war entering its final year the quality of the Luftwaffe's flight boots (both components and construction) went into a steady decline. Small pieces of inferior grade leather and suede were used on the exterior (even of different colors), so that many late-war boots exhibit very much of a hastily thrown together, patchwork appearance.

In addition, the small plated buckles mounted on the cinch straps were replaced by sets of rather complicated, spring-loaded 4-piece adjustable zinc friction buckles. As fabrication of these little affairs must have been considerably more complex than the former simple metal stamping, the precise reasoning behind the substitution is unclear. Some late-war boots have the later buckles mounted only on the ankle straps. It is most likely that, under pressure near the war's end, manufacturers simply used whatever hardware became available at the time.


Sources:

Prodger, Luftwaffe vs. RAF, II, 150.

Author's observations.


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