Lost Battalions FAQ

"We may be slow, but we're worth the wait!"

Who are you guys, I've never heard of Lost Battalions?

Who makes the uniforms Lost Battalions sells?

What makes Lost Battalions uniforms better than other reproduction uniforms?

Give me some more reasons to buy from Lost Battalions and not from somebody else.

Where can I buy Lost Battalions uniforms?

I've sent e-mail to you guys and called and called and just get the machine. Are you really in business?

A guy I know ordered from your company and didn't get his stuff for 6 months! How do you justify that?

Okay, I'm ready to order. How do I pay?

What if I don't like my uniform after I receive it?

What's the mailing address for Lost Battalions?

What's the phone number for Lost Battalions?

About Lost Battalions

 

We're a small company, started in 1995, that manufactures and sells what we, and most of our customers feel, are the most accurate and faithful reproduction World War II German uniforms available. And our American uniforms are very good, too. We sell factory direct, unlike other manufacturers of reproduction WWII uniforms. We make what we sell, with the exception of German visor caps, which we import from Germany.

Our uniforms are intended for "hard core" reenactors who demand the highest possible level of authenticity (right down to the stitches per inch), but don't want to spend over a thousand dollars getting together their uniform and equipment. Our uniforms are extremely close to the very best (and very expensive) repros from Germany made by Janke, and some of our customers tell us they prefer our uniforms to the current products from Janke. By selling factory direct, we've managed to keep our uniforms quite a bit less expensive than lesser quality reproductions sold by other uniform dealers. The downside to this is that demand for our products is very high, so there is often a wait involved in getting orders filled. This is especially true for German wool uniforms.

Also often causes some customer frustration, but it's the price that must be paid for top quality at a very low price.


Who makes the uniforms Lost Battalions sells?

We do. We have one shop manufacturing the standard wool German uniform coats and trousers and another which manufactures such items as panzer uniforms, summer uniforms, overcoats, etc. When we make WW2 uniforms that utilized modern sewing techniques, such as U.S. uniforms, we will sometimes use some excellent subcontractors working under our direct supervision. Our German wool caps are made by a subcontractor who specializes in caps. The only things we carry that we don't make ourselves or supervise the production of are the "Schirm" caps, belt buckles, insignia (all imported) and books.

What makes Lost Battalions uniforms better than other reproduction uniforms?

Stitch-for-stitch accuracy in pattern, materials, and construction.

We produce our own patterns.
All our reproduction uniforms are patterned from original World War II uniforms. While there was, with all nationalities WW2 uniforms, a range of variation in coloration, construction and even patterning, we try to use originals that were in the mainstream of issue items. Occasionally, we end up copying an oddball, but we try to avoid it. Then we keep the original, or a perfect copy made by us from that original, around the shop for continual reference while production is underway.

We use high quality materials.
While it is not always possible to exactly duplicate WW2-era materials, we work hard to match materials as closely as possible, and we'll point out to you in the web site exactly how our materials differ from the originals. We usually use wool that is an 85/15 blend, equal to the best wool the German's had at the beginning of the war. Our cotton twill and "artificial silk" linings are close matches for the original items. Our reproduction buttons are made off originals, from the "US Marine Corps" buttons on our M41 dungarees, the "13-Star" buttons on the US Army HBT fatigues, to our hollow-backed pebbled German uniform buttons.

We put in ALL the pieces!
We put in all the pieces that are in the originals, even when it doesn't show. Even the four-piece collar backs on our 70+ piece German reed green HBT uniforms and the underlining canvas suspenders on the M36 (a feature some published experts on German uniforms don't seem to be aware of). Those features are just two examples of steps Lost Battalions takes that NO other repro German uniform makers bother with. We even use the correct keyhole buttonhole and eyelet machines used by the Germans. And we take the same care on our American uniforms as well.

We have a great price.
Our prices are very affordable, even though the quality of our reproductions is matched by only one, much more expensive manufacturer in Germany.


Give me some more reasons to buy from Lost Battalions and not from somebody else.

We are aware of two other manufacturers (one located in Germany and another in Los Angeles) of reproduction wool German WWII uniforms whose products are carried by US dealers. A third manufacturer, located in the U.S., sells direct, similarly to Lost Battalions, but is quite pricey and actually specializes in the First World War.

By far the best of our competitors is Janke, located in Germany. The uniforms they produce are very good indeed, being in the same class as Lost Battalions. They should be, because the price for a full uniform (cap, trousers, field blouse, shirt) is approximately double that charged by Lost Battalions. However, they make a number of German uniforms that we don't make. So, if you can't wait for us to make you a uniform or need a uniform we don't make, that's the source to use. This manufacturer's uniforms are carried by several dealers around the U.S., but the one to deal with is Bill Bureau out of Massachusetts.

That leaves the third manufacturer, who only sells wholesale to dealers and to the movie industry. "Movie Industry" is a keyword here. Filmmakers aren't really interested in total accuracy; they want something that looks "pretty good" on the outside only, from 20 feet away. That's what you get with German uniforms from this manufacturer, who cuts so many corners the uniform should be a circle. The uniform coat (feldbluse or "tunic") is actually an American cut sack coat (completely lacking the 6-inch horizontal chest darts found under the top pocket flaps which help give German uniforms their form fitting appearance) with oversize American-style armholes, no collar hooks, oversized collars, grossly simplified linings and incorrect top stitching and thread colors. While the price on these tunics is usually only $35 or $40 over the price we charge for the Lost Battalions feldbluse, the trousers and caps are almost double the LB price. Of course, with so many important elements ignored in these uniforms, the attention to small details is totally lacking. One vendor of these uniforms glosses over the problems with them by saying they are "cut for American physiques" or some other nonsense.


Where can I buy Lost Battalions uniforms?

Only direct from Lost Battalions, although we are exploring the possibilty of selling through militaria dealers outside the United States. If you have a retail militaria shop outside the United States and think you might be interested in carrying our product line, please contact us.

I've sent e-mail to you guys and called and called and just get the machine. Are you really in business?

Yes, we're in business and have a full time production staff, but we have a front office of only one, a "part-timer" who handles all the orders, shipping, correspondence, e-mail, and phone calls. He's part time because he has a day job, and yes, he's the owner.

The best time to talk to a human being on the phone is by calling in the evening hours, 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm CT, Monday-Thursday. We try to return all calls within a day or two.

We also get very behind on e-mail from time to time. When we're away from the office for awhile, it can really pile up and we may not work back to your message for weeks. If you have not received a response to an e-mail inquiry within several days, please e-mail us again. Sometimes there also problems with the way a customers' address is configured in the e-mailer or browser program and our responses bounce back to us.


A guy I know ordered from your company and didn't get his stuff for 6 months! How do you justify that?

We can usually have in stock orders delivered to your door within 3-4 days.

If you're ordering something that's not in stock, it costs you nothing to place an order. We do have a big problem keeping items in stock, so we've doubled our production staff, but we're still almost like a custom shop; making the product as orders come in. Before sending a payment, always check with us either on the web site at this link or by phone to find out if what you want to buy is in stock, or slated for production in the near future.

Occasionally, we have preproduction specials on new items we are introducing. We require payment up front in return for very low introductory prices on new items a couple of months before they are actually introduced. Sometimes these products do not come out on schedule and in those cases customers can choose to either wait out the delay or receive a refund.

In other cases, items that were in stock when someone mails in an order are gone by the time the order reaches us. In those cases, the customer has the option of waiting until the item is again produced, exchanging for another item, or getting a refund.


Okay, I'm ready to order. How do I pay?

If you are ordering something that the web site shows is in stock, or if you are paying in advance to get in on a special new product preproduction sale that we have announced on the web site, you can go ahead and make payment, otherwise don't send any money until we tell you.

It costs nothing to get on the order list for something that is out of stock. We'll add your name to the waiting list and we'll contact you to send payment when we begin production. Generally, the item will be out to you within 8 weeks.

We accept Mastercard, Visa, checks (including the ones your credit card company sends you), money orders, and bank drafts in U.S. dollars. Make them payable to "Lost Battalions".


What if I don't like my uniform after I receive it?

We have an unconditional money back guarantee. Our company started in October 1995 and shipped our first product, the German M1941 shirt, in August 1996. Since than we have shipped hundreds of U.S.Army, U.S. Marine, German Army, and Waffen-SS reproduction uniforms and have had only two items (one M1936 German feldbluse and a 43 feldbluse) returned from unsatisfied customers for reasons other than size exchange.

After receiving your uniform items, try them on and examine them closely. You have ten days to decide if you want to keep the uniform. Show it off to your uniform expert friend, your unit authenticity officer, or anyone else you want an opinion from and make your decision within 10 days, then keep it or send it back. However, don't use the 10 day trial to wear the uniform under simulated combat conditions at a battle reenactment and expect to get a refund. Send it back to us in the same shape it came to you.


Lost Battalions
P.O. Box 836936
Richardson, TX 75083-6936
USA

972-235-3442 Voice/Fax
Weekday evenings Central Time


If calling from outside the United States, please remember to provide your country code and area codes when leaving your phone number.



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