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Original RZ-20 German WW2 Fallschirmjager Parachute For Sale

Original RZ-20 German WW2 Fallschirmjager Parachute

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Original RZ-20 German WW2 Fallschirmjager Parachute :


BACKGROUND: As a result of observations of the Russian experimentation with the newly developing paratroop personnel in 1928 the Germans began serious consideration of also developing paratroop units and plans were drawn up for formation of such units in late 1935. Both the Luftwaffe and Army eventually established paratrooper units, consisting of voluntary personnel, on January 29TH 1936 and March 31ST 1937 respectively and a paratroop training school was established at Stendal in early 1937. Originally development of special clothing and equipment was undertaken by both branches of service to provide the paratroopers with functional items specifically designed with parachute jumps in mind until January 1ST 1939 when all the paratrooper units were transferred to control of the Luftwaffe. During WWII the German’s utilized no fewer then eighteen models of parachutes with minor variations to each. Parachutes used by paratroopers (Fallschirmjagers) were the automatic type with a static line attached to the aircraft which pulled the chute from the bag, deploying it when the individual exited the aircraft while the parachutes utilized by aircrew personnel were the manual type with a pull rip-cord for deployment. The parachutes were not personal items but were retained by the units stores and were distributed as required. When in storage or transportation the parachutes were housed in specific canvas bags and/or protective sheet metal containers. This is the third pattern parachute introduced for operational use in early 1940 just in time for operations in Crete. It followed the basic design of the preceding two models (RZ 1/ RZ 16) with an improved quick release harness system, and the first use of a camouflage patterned parachute.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The harness, which is attached directly to backpack consists of two heavy tan web horizontal chest retaining straps, two vertical over the shoulder straps, and two between the leg straps. Leg and chest straps have large aluminum locking/quick release devices. Devices consist of a large rectangular ring which fits into a spring loaded clip with triangular locking bar and cylindrical quick release device. Triangular locking bar flips back so tip slips into cutout on quick release cylinder. Cylinder has push buttons to both top and bottom which releases triangular tip for ease of removal. Harness straps all have sliding aluminum fit adjustment buckles and it appears several repairs were made as can be seen in the photographs. Chest straps have large "D" rings to either side for the parachute suspension lines. One of the shoulder straps has a machine stitched, printed and ink stamped label with script, "Gurtzeug Gerät-Nr. :10-3504 A-1 Anforderzeichen: Werk-Nr. 1645116". (Harness Model (equipment) number :10-3504 A-1, Requisition number and Work (order) number 1653499). Tan canvas backpack with olive green and tan tape reinforcement trim. Pack has four triangular flaps which meet at tips and close by tie string at reverse center. Top flap with external pockets for the static jump line. Pack also has a machine stitched, printed and inkstamped label with script, "Sprungschirm für Fallschirmtruppen Gerät-Nr. :10-431 B-3 Anforderzeichen: Fl 30272 Werk-Nr. 1653499". (Parachute for Paratrooper Troops, Model (equipment) number :10-431 B-3, Requisition number Fl 30272 and Work (order) number 1653499).

I repacked the camo chute and all the lines, static line and parachute are complete and in good condition. Chute numbers also match the remainder of the rig as does the deployment bag that the chute is packed into. Comes complete with its original storage bag. Roughly, 15 3/4" tall, 17 3/4" wide, 10 3/4" deep, heavy, khaki/tan canvas construction parachute storage/transportation bag with machine stitched seams, features a fold back, top flap with seven, evenly spaced, unique, nickel/silver plated, alloy closures snaps. The closure snaps are very similar to the American, "lift-the-dot" style snaps. The closure snaps all still function. The outer edge of the top flap and all the outer seams have a narrow, ribbed, khaki/tan cotton reinforcement strip machine stitched in place. The bag has dual, wide, vertical, olive drab canvas web reinforcement straps with an HBT, (Herring Bone Twill), weave which run under the bottom and up each side of the bag with the looped tops acting as carrying handles. The fold back, top flap is well marked with a faint, mostly illegible, purple inkstamped Luftwaffe requisition number. The interior of the bag has a single, large compartment and a khaki/tan cotton reinforcement strip to the reverse of the closure snaps, machine stitched in place. The bag is in overall good condition with light to moderate age and usage toning, some light moisture staining yet in very good shape.

Also included is the original storage container. Roughly, 16 3/4" tall, 19" wide, 12" thick, ordnance tan painted, magnetic sheet metal construction, rounded corner, container with a vertical brazed seam to one end, a brazed on bottom panel and a removable top lid, for storage/transportation of a personal parachute. The removable top lid has a heavy, steel wire, swivel hinged, pressure, securing latches, brazed to the top edge of each corner. All four securing latches still function, yet do exhibit a lot of wear. The sides and ends of the container have three evenly spaced, impressed, horizontal, reinforcement ribs. One end of the container has a brazed on, opened topped, metal frame designed to insert an information tag. The information tag is blank. The top lid has two, brazed on, heavy, steel wire, swivel hinged, carrying handles and is well marked with faint, black, stenciled script that includes, "Wetterfester Behälter f. Personenfallschirm", (Weather proof container for personal parachute). The script also includes, "Anforderungszeichen Fl 414953", (Requisition number), and "Gerät-Nr. 10-5454-A-1", (Model/Equipment number). The interior of the top lid still has much of its original, black rubber, waterproofing seal. The container retains about 55% of its original, age darkened, ordnance tan paint with large areas of light to moderate surface spotting bleed through. The container is in overall fair condition with several small dings and dents. The only component missing is the blue log book...

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