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Two Germany’s One Flecktarn

Edgar Sherman Design is excited to be partnered with Noveske Rifleworks and B5 Systems to bring a special edition suite of rifles and accessories to the market. Noveske is launching a limited edition run of rifles that will be equipped with Flecktarn ESD slings. We are releasing the slings to our website as well for those interested. Still, we figured a brief overview of why we like this camouflage and its history is important as knowing the why behind everything gives meaning and purpose to something’s existence.

For starters, we want to take a second to address the clever title of the article. While at face value this is a reference to a gnarly early 2000s video that is seared into the minds of millennials around the country, it is not. 1990 part of the German reunification process the Militaries of both East and West Germany were consolidated into the single military you see in Germany today. Germany’s two halves reunited under one camouflage, Flecktarn, thus bringing you two Germanys and one Flecktarn.

Flecktarn has been a staple camouflage for Edgar for years as it works extremely well in New England, it looks cool, and having family and studying abroad in Germany it had become a favorite. These are just a few of the reasons why Edgar likes it but the primary reason comes down to its effectiveness.

Flecktarn is a family of multi-color disruptive camouflage patterns consisting of dark green, grey-green, red-brown, and black over a light green base. Flecktarn is a composite formed from the German words Fleck (spot, blotch, mark, or mottle) and Tarnung (camouflage). The original German five-color pattern was designed for use in European temperate woodland terrain. German five-color Flecktarn has been adopted, copied, and modified by many countries for its camouflage patterns.

Like many NATO militaries of the Cold War, the Bundeswehr (German Army) primarily issued sold-color uniforms to avoid looking similar to the Soviet counterparts. However, behind the scenes, the Bundeswehr continued to refine and test various patterns. 1976 Germany trialed replacements for the solid olive-grey “moleskin” combat uniform. At least four different camouflage patterns were tested during the Bundeswehr Troop Trial 76. These were based on patterns in nature and set to different sizes to see how they interacted with the human eye when observed.

At the end of the trial, the clear winner was “Flecktarn B” due to the pattern size and colors utilized. The “Large” pattern used on Flecktarn B provided the best mix of concealment at a distance and up close, avoiding the optical effect called “isoluminance,” a phenomenon in which the eye interprets many patterns and colors as a single mass. Upon completion of the trial, the pattern started being issued in late 1989. A year later, Flecktarn was only widely introduced to the newly reunited German Army. The pattern has been used since with a few variations, such as a Desert pattern(Tropentarn, Wüstentrndruck), a Snow Pattern(Schneetarn), and a hybrid uniform cut in both woodland and desert patterns.  Flecktarn is used by all Bundeswehr service branches and is the standard issued pattern of choice to this day.

While the German Army is starting to move toward Multitarn (German multicam) as its next-generation pattern Flecktarn has influenced many other countries’ patterns or is being completely copied. Like many good designs if the only thing that’s changing over the years is colorways that’s a good sign of a timeless design.
In addition to the limited edition rifles, and accessories the ESD Flecktarn sling is set to be a permanent colorway in the ESD sling moving forward and will be available on our website and through our dealers!

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