The earliest camouflage pattern developed by Austria was introduced in 1957, and is often referred to in English as the "pea pattern." Although bearing some resemblance to the Erbsenmuster
pattern developed by Germany
during the Second World War, the Austrian pattern is only influenced by this earlier design and not based on the original German drawings. The Austrian design consists of dark maroon, mauve, and pea green dots and blotches on a pinkish-grey field. The most interesting feature of the original (1st) pattern is a juxtaposition of inverted clusters, not readily apparent to casual observers but illustrated in detailed photographs (see below). The pattern retained the same features, with perhaps tiny changes to some of the shapes within the cluster, until it was modified at some point between 1961 and 1966. The 2nd pattern seems to have continued in production unmodified until 1976, and contains numerous minor modifications to the existing shapes, as well as a major feature insertion, consisting of a band of shapes that actually disrupted the inversion feature. Two primary types of field uniform were produced in this pattern for the Austrian soldier, the Kampfanzug 1957
and the Kampfanzug 1959
- often referred to within the Army as K4 - as well as several styles of parka, field equipment covers, and a reversible shelter half with a "splinter
" pattern printed on one side. The K4 "pea pattern" was only worn sporadically after the 1970s.
In the early 1960s, the Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung
('Federal Ministry for National Defense') approved the introduction of new camouflage uniforms for use by the Österreichs Bundesheer
('Federal Army of Austria').
Sometimes called Austrian Erbsenmuster ('pea pattern') because it bears some resemblance to late-war SS-Erbsenmuster, Fleckenteppich is a five-colour camouflage, comprising black, brown, medium green and medium grey spots on a tan background, which has a distinctly pinkish cast.
The Österreichs Bundesheer discontinued the use of camouflage uniforms in 1978, preferring, instead, a solid green uniform for its soldiers. However, instances of this camouflage pattern continue to be worn by Austrian military snipers.
The 1966 version has a 16cm longer tile, with the diagonal repeat moved further horizontally and there are some additional blotches to the repeating element.