One of the simplest camo patterns ever. Doesn't even count as a camo pattern, more like a solution where the dithering of the rainstripes allows for two shades depending the viewing distance. Light tan/green with dark brown rain stripes when close, medium tan/olive further away. Since it fulfills the same niche in the Warsaw Pact as OD did in NATO, it is arguably superior by concept due to the color properties, if not by color selection.
Patterns presented: NVA Type 1 Strichtarn, NVA Type 2 Strichtarn, NATO Olive Drab for reference.
Produced between 1965 and 1968, and in use for several years thereafter, the first type Strichmuster (line pattern) is a very simple pattern incorporating long, slender brown rain straits on a light greyish-green background. The "rain" theme was common with many Warsaw Pact nations (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria) and was probably influenced by WW2 German designs such as Splittermuster and Sumpftarn. This is generally referred to as 1st Type East German strichtarn.
A second type Strichmuster design was introduced in 1968. This version differed from the original in having thicker brown rain straits on a greyish-green background. In production until the collapse of the DDR in 1990, numerous types of uniform, shelter half, helmet cover, field cap, field equipment and even a special airborne trooper fighting vest were produced in this pattern. This camouflage was also worn in Africa by insurgent groups, particularly in Angola and South West Africa.
In 1965, the NVA-Stricheldruck (German: 'National People's Army dashed print') camouflage pattern was introduced, as a replacement for the Flächentarnmuster camouflage, which had been adopted in 1959.
Stricheldruck is a very simple two-colour camouflage pattern, comprising short, earth red vertical dashes printed over a field-grey background. There is very little contrast between the two colours, however — for which reason it seems unlikely that the pattern was an effective camouflage. As you can see, from the inset illustration on this page, the colours tend to blend with each other, even at comparatively close ranges.
Obviously, if this 'blended' colour were too dissimilar to the overall background, then a human silhouette would be recognisable.
This potential problem notwithstanding, when Erich Honecker's government pledged aid and military supplies to assist the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) in its fight against South African rule and Apartheid, the Stricheldruck camouflaged NVA Felddienstanzug (German: 'field service uniform'; FDA) came to be worn by guerilla fighters of the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN). For this reason, the South African Defence Force (SADF) had a small number of identical copies manufactured, for use in counter-insurgency operations.