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February 4, 2018

The German Hair Force: Portraits of German Soldiers With Long Hair in 1971-1972

For 15 months during the 1970s, Germany’s armed forces, the Bundeswehr, allowed soldiers to wear their hair long, reflecting trends in society. The move angered the country's NATO partners during the height of the Cold War and earned the military the disparaging nickname of the “German Hair Force.”


  1. Purpose of trimmed hair and limited facial hair is hygeine and uniformity. This idea was a joke.

    1. Hygiene is a stretch, given the context. Replace hygiene with "making sure your gas mask seals properly" - which seems like something that'd have been pertinent back during the cold war. I give them credit for being so experimental, if nothing else. Part of me feels this post isn't the full story on this though.


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