1/SS. PZ.PI. BAT 1/ 2nd Komp. Hand Book

 

 

 

 

Unit Hand Book Summary 

 

Disclaimer:

 

We are a non-political organization. Our group does not support, condone, or allow any activity which could bring discredit on its members or the soldiers we portray. NO NEO-NAZI NOR EXTREMIST ACTIVITY OF ANY KIND WILL BE ALLOWED NOR TOLERATED. We are military historians and enthusiasts looking to preserve history.

“So you want to portray a German Soldier of the Waffen-SS?”

 

The decision to become a re-enactor is a big one.  Understand that the monetary investment alone is very high.  As a re-enactor you should strive to get out as much from the hobby as you put in.  This group represents a Combat Unit of German Waffen (Combat)-SS soldiers during the World War II. All members of this nonprofit group have had a common interest in the German side of the war and want to tell the story of the average combat soldier of the German military.

Before we start, let us begin with a few simple truths we call “disclaimers”:

1).We are not NAZIS nor do we endorse, support or promote National Socialism.

2). We are not political in any way, so any political issues have no place here. 

3). We are not interested in subverting or contributing in any way to the abandonment of any laws, rules or governing principles of this country or any other for that matter. 

4). We are not a Para-Military Organization nor will we extend membership to anyone who professes any interest in doing or being part of anything stated above. 

5). We are here to honor the veterans and their sacrifices.  We are here to teach and share in the common experience of human history. 

6.) We are also here to have fun re-enacting the armies of World War II.  With that said the 2. Kompanie 1st SS are acutely aware of the horrors of the Third Reich and know that our portrayal may offend some people and we regret that.  We intend no one any offense and clearly state this in our disclaimer to that effect.

 

As a Unit, we portray the combat branch of the SS organization. We are NOT AT ALL associated with the Concentration Camp System or Extermination Squads.   The Waffen, or Armed, SS was a branch of the SS organization that was made up of combat soldiers. By creating a body of armed troops loyal to him, Hitler sought to prevent mutiny against him. The Waffen-SS grew to eventually become an entire separate branch within the armed forces of the Third Reich, and as time wore on and Germany's situation worsened, the complexion of the Waffen-SS changed dramatically.

Originally established to be the elite of the German military, by war's end, over 1,000,000 men had passed through their ranks from a multitude of nations. In many respects, the Waffen-SS was the 20th Century's first version of NATO, in that it was a multi-national, multi-ethnic body that primarily was positioned to fight against the Soviet Union. (Note-In no way are we equating NATO with the Waffen-SS in terms other than their shared composition of a multi-national fighting force)

By war's end, over 35 Waffen-SS divisions had been raised, and volunteers to help fill these units had volunteered and enlisted from many countries, including France, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Holland, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Greece, Turkey, Czechoslovakia, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, and even a few from the United Kingdom.

All that being said, we portray combat soldiers of the 1st SS Panzer Pionier Battalion LSSAH are not modern-day Nazi's. In fact, we do not tolerate any form of neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, extremist, racist, or derogatory behavior within our ranks. We are non-political in this regard, with a "zero-tolerance" policy in place. The hobby of re-enacting and our group has no room for any nonsense such as that, and it is not tolerated in any capacity. We are first and foremost students of history, and we wish to portray a German combat soldier, nothing more, nothing less.

We pride ourselves as being a “Professional Unit”, having a Command Structure that stresses the importance of military bearing and discipline, military customs and courtesies and above all else, Unit Safety.  A typical event weekend will see Unit Members involved in various tasks, to include; building the camp, marching, guard duty, rifle drill, helping in the “kitchen”, perimeter security and dismantling of the camp.  We stress the importance of comradeship and teamwork, for without it; the Unit ceases to function effectively.

In addition, many of our members have WWII impressions other than Waffen-SS. From time to time, they have attended events as German Afrikakorps, Heer, Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe and even Reichsbahn. We primarily portray a German unit with German impressions, but members of our group are not forced to be exclusively Waffen-SS all of the time. Occasionally, one may want to re-enact from a different perspective, and our group offers that flexibility, so long as it is communicated first through the Chain of Command.

Our Unit is dedicated to portraying an elite German Combat Engineer Unit of WWII as accurately as research and materials will allow.  We participate in activities to better educate ourselves and the public at large about this part of history that is often overlooked or misinterpreted.

As a group, we are committed to historical accuracy in our impression in both our public and private programs. We carefully research and document all of our uniforms, equipment, personal items, food, etc... We strive for our high standards of authenticity and are constantly looking for ways to better improve our impression.   Extensive historical research goes into the study of our unit, their composition, equipment, uniforms, leadership, and tactical involvement on the battlefield.  We maintain rigid authenticity standards and a tremendous amount of effort and resources go into building an individual soldiers impression. The construction of one’s personal impression can be a very fun and rewarding process and can literally take years to perfect.

Our group participates in Living History Programs throughout the Florida which include air shows, public interpretations, training events and tactical event weekends.  We are a Friday through Sunday group and encourage all Unit Members to attend for the duration of the entire event.  We are also involved in preservation efforts to help keep history alive for future generations to learn from.

Our unit is comprised of working professionals such as Business Owners, Active Military Personnel, Retired Military Veterans, Civilian Law Enforcement, Government Employees, Service Industry Personnel and Students.  Therefore we will not tolerate any unprofessional nor negative attitudes towards one another, our parent unit nor the hobby as a whole. Any persons who display any such behavior will be asked to leave immediately.

You are responsible for your own Safety and that of others.

 

Each and every member of this Unit is a “Safety Officer”.  You are to be aware of your surroundings at all times.  If you see someone who is doing something that is unsafe or outright dangerous, it is your responsibility to say something.  If the individual does not react or correct what they are doing, then bring this individual or matter to the attention of an NCO or Officer IMMEDIATELY.   All Unit members of are required to sign a “Notice of Waiver of Liability” before issuance of a Manual or any other Documents, Equipment or Gear.  It is each individual’s responsibility to complete tasks within their own particular limitations.  No activities performed are worth the risk of injury, therefore each member is expected to know and act within their own limitations.

 

Our Mission:

 

We are a door to the past.  We are acting out of respect and deference to Veterans of all wars.  We strive to show the General Public the basic lives of the German Soldier of World War II.  Their individual hopes and dreams were shattered in a hail of death and destruction that would last five devastating years.  By 1943 a larger part of the German Army (Heer) and Waffen-SS was made up of those too young or too old to fight.  None the less, these men gave themselves to their duty and served their country.  It is this honor for which we strive to show the General Public.  It is this honor due to all veterans whom we respect.

 

What We Are:

 

We are “History Enthusiasts” who have an interest in the everyday life struggle of the German Soldier of WWII.  This is our hobby and our passion.  It is a very serious commitment we have made in both time and expense.  We want to share our learned knowledge of WWII life and times with the General Public.  We are engaged in learning the many aspects of life during the 1940’s in Europe.

 

What We Are Not:

 

We are not Nazis.  This is as simple we can put it.  We do not believe in the racist hate that was a strong foundation of the National Socialist movement in Germany from 1923 to 1945.  We in no way wish to glorify or amplify the dreaded acts of the Third Reich.  We are acutely aware of the atrocities which occurred and in no way support or excuse them.  We are not an Anti-Government Para Military Unit.  We are not racist, National Socialist or Anarchist or in any way, shape or form associated with the above mentioned movements.  We are in fact completely Non-Political.

Our Hope:

 

If you have received this manual we hope you are on your way to becoming a WWII Re-enactor with our Unit.  We will, as a group, do everything we can to help build your impression so that it is the best it can be.  Along the way we hope you will make friends and have a great time.

 

Promotions/ Awards

 

Promotions within this unit are based on merit and participation. You will advance in rank and responsibility according to your attendance of events, knowledge of Waffen SS aspects, willingness to contribute time and resources to the unit and your ability to competently lead and instruct men.

Rank from previous unit affiliations are subject to 1.SS LAH leadership's approval. Joining will not be guaranteeing the retention of any prior medals, badges, awards, rank or seniority, or progress there towards.

New Unit Members will start with the Rank or SS-Pionier.  Promotion to rank of  SS-Oberpionier occurs once a Unit Member has attended four events, one being a Tactical.

Upon attending their fourth event, Unit Members shall be awarded the privilege to wear the Unit Cuff Title on the Left Sleeve and the “LAH” monograms on their shoulder straps.

The Ordnance Specialist Trade Insignia (Feuerwerker) may be worn on the right sleeve of those who have successfully passed the Ordnance Specialist Exam.

The Waffen-SS used a mixture of Metal, Embroidered Cloth, and Machine Woven (BeVO) Cloth insignia.  By 1943 / 1944 it was common to see any and all combination of insignia items being worn.  For those that could afford it, Insignia was purchased and worn that would suit the individual wearer’s taste.  While some sense of uniformity was encouraged, the Waffen-SS had more pressing matters to deal with in 1943 / 1944.

These are the types of Insignia used:

Cap Eagles:           Metal, Machine Sewn and BeVO

Cap Skulls:           Metal, Machine Sewn and BeVO

Collar Tabs:                   Hand Stitched, Machine Sewn and BeVO

Sleeve Eagles:       Hand Stitched, Machine Sewn and BeVO

Cuff Titles:           Hand Stitched, Machine Sewn and BeVO

Awards

Medals/Badges/Awards shall be earned through actions and service to the unit

Medals, Badges and Insignia purchases are the responsibility and prerogative of the individuals who've earned them. Unit leadership with supply certificates at the award ceremony.

Cuff Title & Shoulder Cyphers: 4 events, at least 1 being a Tactical / Training Event

Iron Cross 1st Class: rare and decisive action with exceptional merit in tactical combat.  Must have 3+ years’ service with 1.SSLAH.

War Merit Cross 1st Class with Swords: Significantly valuable personal material contribution(s) to 1.SSLAH.

Iron Cross 2nd Class: exceptional and/or distinguished action(s) in combat 
*button hole style if group-awarded, ribbon bar style if individually-awarded.

War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords: Exceptional cumulative non-combat contributions to 1.SSLAH.

Eastern Front Medal: 5 overnight in sub-freezing temperatures counts 1/2 day for inclement weather 4 hours or more rain day.

Silver Tank Destruction Badge: 1 badge per tank, SPG, or 3 armored vehicles.

Gold Tank Destruction Badge: Awarded upon earning the 5th Tank Destruction Badge.

General Assault Badge: Having attended 12 events.

Close Combat Clasp in Bronze: Having attended 24 events.

Anti-Partisan, Bronze: 6 combat days against a respectable Soviet and /or Partisan force/ or 6 rec. sanctioned sabotage successful missions.

SS Long Service Medal: 4, 8 &12 Years corresponding years with 1.SSLAH.

SA Sports Badge, Bronze: Honorable discharge from, or current active service with the US Military, Allied Military or Law Enforcement.

Field Gear

M40 Steel Helmet   { Stahlhelm }:

Identical to the M35 except that in the m40 the reinforcing rings in the vent hole were omitted and replaced with a simple slightly raised edge.  This helmet has a crimped or rolled edge around the bill, sides and skirts which is its’ identifying feature.  The liner is constructed of leather with a steel ring.  It is fastened to the helmet shell by means of split rivets and washers and the size is adjusted with a drawstring.

M42 Steel Helmet  { Stahlhelm }: 

An order in 1942 abolished the crimped edge of the M35 and M40 helmets as a cost saving measure.  This produced a sharp edged appearance.  Otherwise, the helmet is identical to the previous models.

Marching Boots / Jack Boots  { Marschsteifel }: 

Nothing defines the WWII German Soldier better than the black Marching “Jack Boots”.  These are constructed of fine, smooth black leather (some examples have rough-out lowers) and have heel irons, toe plates and hob nails.  Heel irons and hobnails are not mandatory but are recommended as they save on “wear and tear” on the bottoms of your boots.  Proper footwear is ESSENTIAL to a good impression.  When you consider how much time you spend on your feet and what tasks you are expected to perform, footwear is an item you don’t want to skimp on.

Black Leather Belt  { Koppel }: 

A black leather belt 1 3/4 inches wide is the foundation for wearing your field equipment.  It is an essential part of your Service Uniform and is worn with “Walking Out” Dress.  The belt is made with the rough side out to help prevent chafing of the tunic.  The rough side is actually more waterproof as well.  It is worn above the pocket flaps of the tunic and is supported by belt hooks attached through the tunic waist.  A “tongue” of leather with a double row of holes is sewn to the inside of the belt and provides adjustment for the buckle.  A hook sewn into one end is what catches the buckle and secures it to the waist. 

 Waffen SS Belt Buckle { Koppelschloss }: 

Buckles made of Aluminum may be left unpainted.  Buckles made of Steel may be painted Field Gray or Aluminum.  Only the Waffen-SS buckle is authorized to be worn.

Ammunition Pouches { Patronentashe }: 

Pouches may be of the sewn or riveted pattern.  They are constructed of pebble-grain black colored leather and have three compartments per pouch enabling the wearer to carry 60 rounds of 7.92mm ammo on his belt.  There are belt loops and a “D” ring on the back of each pouch for securing them to the belt and “Y” straps.  One pair is required for all individuals carrying the K98 Service Rifle.  The pouches are worn at the front of the belt, 3cm from either side of the belt buckle.  Brown Luftwaffe Pouches are strictly prohibited.

M31 Canteen { Feldflasche }:

Original, Post-War and Reproductions are authorized.  The cups may be the large aluminum or steel style or the small Bakelite version.  The Metal cups may be painted field gray or black.  The Canteen is made of aluminum and holds 0.8 liters of liquid.  It has a brown felt cover.

M31 Mess Kit { Kochgeschirr }:

Original (aluminum or enameled steel), Post-War and Reproduction Mess Tins are authorized.  It is a functional item and should be used to eat from or cook in while in the field.  It can be mounted on the Y-Straps, the Assault Pack or hung in the left side of the bread bag.  The Mess Kit should be painted Field Gray.

M31 Breadbag  { Brotbeutel }:

Original and Reproduction Breadbags are Authorized.  The bag is made of a water proof canvas and may be Field Gray, Olive Drab, Brown or Tan in color.  It has a single interior compartment and later versions have the addition of a small flat pouch for the rifle cleaning kit sewn onto the inside of the front.  Hanging the bag from the waist belt is accomplished by two loops of double canvas sewn to the top near the corners.  There is also a double canvas strap for wear over the shoulder when a belt is not worn.  Two tabs on the outside flap are for hanging the canteen and mess kit.

Spork  { Essbesteck }:

There are two types of eating utensils issued in Germany.  One was a combination of knife, fork, spoon and can/bottle opener, the other was a more common folding spoon and fork combination known as a Spork.  These items were made of steel and aluminum.  They are used to eat with in the field and do not require painting.

Gas Mask Container w/ Straps { Tragbusche fur Gasmaske }:

Original, Post War and Reproductions are authorized.  The mask itself is not required but the container is strongly recommended for a complete authentic kit.  The container is usually strapped over the right with the lid facing the wearers left elbow.  The retaining strap at the opposite end is attached to the belt to prevent the container from swinging freely.  If possessed, the gas cape bag may be strapped to the container, although historically this was prohibited.  The Gas Mask Container will be painted either Field Green or Field Gray.

K98 Bayonet  { Seitengewehr }:

Original or Reproduction Bayonets are required if carrying a K98.  The handles are wood or Bakelite.  The scabbard may have Factory “Bluing” or be pained “Flat Black”.

K98 Bayonet Frog  { Seitengewehrtacshe }:

Reproduction Bayonet frogs are encouraged to save wear and tear on originals.  The Bayonet and Frog are worn on the waist belt on the left side and may be worn in conjunction with the entrenching tool.

Leather Combat Y-Straps  { Koppeltraggestell mit Hilfstragereimen }:

Original and reproductions are authorized.  Y-Straps are used to help support the waist belt and equipment.  The connect in front to the “D” Rings of the ammunition pouches and the single hook in back is placed under the waist belt on the wearer’s back.  In lieu of ammo pouches, the front hooks connect to “D” Ring leather or canvas loops that slide onto the front of the waist belt where needed.  The Y-Straps are to be worn over the Smock, Winter Clothing and Zeltbahn (when worn as Camo or a poncho).  Canvas Y-Straps are authorized, although Leather ones are strongly preferred.

Helmet Cover { Stahlhelmbezuge }: 

The SS began experimenting with Camouflage Equipment and Uniform Items in 1936.  Helmet Covers were a standard issue items to Front Line Troops by May 1940. The Helmet Cover is made from camouflaged materials like the Smock and is reversible with Fall and Spring Colors.  The Patterns of Oak A, Oak B, Palm, Burred Edge and Plane Tree 1/2, 3/4, and 5/6 were all used by the Waffen SS and are acceptable.  The Helmet Cover is secured to the sides and the rear of the helmet by black aluminum rocker clips.  The front edge of the cover is secured by a reinforced lip of metal which overhangs the bill of the helmet.  The later model covers had loops attached for foliage.  Dot 44 Covers are not authorized.

Smock { Tarnjacke }:

Like the Helmet Cover, Smocks began to be issued in 1936.  The Smock is made from camouflaged materials and is reversible with Fall and Spring Colors.  The Patterns of Oak A, Oak B, Palm, Burred Edge and Plane Tree 1/2, 3/4, and 5/6 were all used by the Waffen SS and are acceptable.  It is pulled over the head with center drawstring cinched up to cover the tunic.  The tunic collar is to be pulled out over the smock’s neck.  As per 1940 orders, all equipment is to be worn over the smock.

M31 Shelter Quarter { Zeltbahn }:

The Zeltbahn was a multi-purpose piece of equipment that was issued to every soldier at the beginning of his basic training. This simple but ingenious item could be combined to make tents or shelters of various sizes, for all sorts of camouflage and as a rain cape, an improvised floatation device or an emergency stretcher.  Oak A is the pattern currently being produced at the most reasonable price.  Russian and French Zeltbahns may be used for a tent or ground cloth.  Originally the camouflage patterns were all produced in the time consuming manual screen printing until the development of the machine roller printing in 1940. By the end of the war no fewer than ten assorted camouflage patterns had been developed and used by the SS.  As the war continued the SS developed and introduced new camouflage patterns and manufacturing techniques including the machine roller printed.

 Optional German Field Gear Equipment

Shovel w/ Carrier { Spaten mit Tasche }:

There are two types of Shovel that are authorized.  There is the M87 Short Straight Handle Shovel and the M38 Folding Shovel.  Both of these shovels had a leather carrier where the retaining strap was tightly cinched holding the Shovel in place.  The carrier is looped onto the waist belt and worn on the rear left quarter of the wearer’s backside.  Without carrier, the shovel is inserted into the front of the belt (this practice was against regulations, but commonly done).  Often times the Shovel was sharpened to a razor sharp edge and used as a weapon in Close Combat Fighting.

Gas Cape w/Bag, Rubber or Cloth  { Gasplane auf Beutel }:

The Protective Anti-Gas Cape is carried in a protective Rubber or Cloth Bag.  The Bag is then strapped to the Gas Mask Container.  This method of wear was aganst regulations and was universally ignored.  The practice of securing the bag to the gas mask container with a large rubber helmet band or leather equipment strap became quite popular.

Low Boots { Schnurschuhe}:

The Low Boots worn with Leggings / Gaiters was first introduced a material saving measure in 1940.  They were first issued to rear area units and replacements so it took time for them to show up in numbers in the front lines.  The boot is of the lace up variety and is of ankle height.  Hobnails and heel irons are not mandatory but are recommended to save wear and tear on the bottoms of the boots.  Jump Boots and Mountain boots are not authorized.

Leggings / Gaiters { Gamaschen }:

The Leggings were constructed on canvas and were reinforced with leather.  They were secured around the ankles by means of leather straps and buckles.  They were worn so the buckles are on the outside of the leg and the strap is pointing is rearward.  The color may vary from Field Gray to Olive Drab.

 

German Pocket Flashlight, 3-color style  { Taschenlampe }:

Box type Flashlight with the switch on top and a leather tab for buttoning on the uniform.  Originals or East German “Narva” types are authorized.  These flashlights had sliding plastic lens covers that allowed you to change the color of light from white to red, blue or green.  Original hand crank type flashlights are also authorized.

M38 Fat Container { Fettbüsche }:

An item that could be found in almost every breadbag was the so called Fettbüchse or Fat Container.  It was a small round box made out of Bakelite which contained butter, fat or schmalz (lard) which was used for cooking or was spread on bread.  Apparently every soldier was authorized approximately 72 grams of this fat per day and a fat container could hold about three rations (approximately 220 grams).  These containers can be found in a lot of different colors.

Assault Frame { Gefechtsgepack }:

The combat assault A-frame packs were designed for wear with the combat Y-straps, on their development in April 1939, and were utilized by assault troops to lighten their load and still carry necessary items into battle. The assault pack was designed to have the mess kit and quarter shelter/poncho strapped to the frame giving personnel the capability to carry all the basic necessities into battle.

Assault Frame Bag       { Beutel zum Gefechtsgepäck }:

The assault packs were issued with a separate, small, removable bag that would be strapped to the frame and was designed to carry the K98 rifle cleaning kit, necessary underclothing and toiletries, rations and eating utensils.

Tent Pole / Peg Set { Zeltbahn Zubehör }

Along with the standard issue M31 Zeltbahn, , each soldier was also equipped with tenting accessories that consisted of the M1892 tent rope, the three piece M1901 breakdown tent pole, and two M1929 tent pegs enabling the individual to utilize his Quarter shelter with others to form a tent. Normally these tenting accessories would be carried in the individual’s backpack or rucksack although there was a specially designed carrying bag for these items that was issued on a limited basis. The early issue tent pegs were metal while later tent pegs were molded Bakelite, or wood.

Shelter Quarter { Zeltbahn}:  x 3

It takes 4 Zeltbahns to make one tent.

M31 Rucksack { Rucksack }:

During the war, the early M34 and M39 "pony fur" backpacks were found to be costly and time consuming to produce, which resulted in the introduction of a wide variety of less expensive, canvas construction rucksacks. Many of these came in two versions, one having integral shoulder straps, the other without them, the latter intended for wear with the combat Y-straps.

K98 Cleaning Kit { Reinigungsgerät 34 }

The M34 cleaning kit was introduced in 1934 and was utilized with all bolt action rifles.  It was carried in the bread bag or the in Assault Frame Bag.

Pionier Pocket Knife { Kabelklappmesser mit Drahtabzieher }:

Engineer’s Pocket Knife known as a “Cable Stripping Knife with Wire Puller”.

Identity Disc { Erkennungsmarken }:

On mobilization of the Wehrmacht, (Armed Forces), in August 1939 all personnel were issued an identification (dog) tag to be worn on a cord around the neck. Following the outbreak of WWII all new recruits were issued a dog tag on their registration for military service by their original military unit. If killed or wounded, half of the dog tag would stay attached to the individual and the other half would be sent to the appropriate administrative office for processing. Originally most dog tags were constructed of aluminum, but later, as the aluminum was required for other, critically, essential items, (Circa late 1941-early 1942), zinc construction tags began to be issued in large quantities with steel dog tags being issued in limited quantities around mid-1944.

Hand Grenade Bags { Granatentache }:

A “Field made” item that allowed multiple grenades to be carried.

 

Fighting Knife / Boot Knife { Stiefelmesser }:

The fighting knife, also known as the boot knife, was first introduced during WWI but its use was extended through WWII. Trench warfare required the need to have a close quarter weapon in case that enemy troops infiltrated the lines. The trenches were not extremely wide. There was not a lot of room to have large body movements. Hence the introduction of the fighting knife.  The German fighting knife was small in size because the idea was to be able to carry it on the side of the boot.

Mosquito Net { Moskitonetz }:

Originally issued to troops in hot and humid climates, it is a very useful item in Florida.


Optional German Personal Items

Wool Blanket { Marschdecke }:

A standard piece of equipment for all German army EM/NCO personnel was a wool/rayon blend blanket that was issued for use during the fall and winter months and returned to the military storage depots for the spring and summer months. The blankets were manufactured with an interwoven colored stripe at each end allowing the owner a reference point to roll the blanket up in a consistent manner to attach it to his field pack.

M31 Clothing Bag { Bekleidungssack 31 }

In 1931 the German army introduced the M31 clothing bag for issue to all EM/NCO personnel with the main purpose being the storage of non-essential personal items that weren't deemed necessary in the field. Front line EM/NCO personnel were issued with a backpack or rucksack, which they carried themselves and a single clothing bag while EM/NCO personnel serving in rear areas were issued two clothing bags, and didn't receive the backpack or rucksack until transferred to the front. Front line personnel's M31 clothing bags were stored and cared for by the units supply train under the control of the units Quartiermeister, (Supply HQ unit/Quartermaster), and were exchanged for the backpack/rucksack when personnel were on furlough from the front.

Gray Wool Socks w/ White Size Rings { Socken }

Knitted socks were a basic issue item for all enlisted personnel. The enlisted personnel’s knitted socks were issued in three sizes of small, medium and large and were marked accordingly with one to four green or white rings on the cuffs.

Gray Wool Gloves { Handbekleidung }:

While officers and NCO’s wore grey suede or leather gloves with field, service, guard, parade and reporting dress enlisted personnel only wore them on occasions when commanded. However knitted gloves were a basic issue item during the winter for all enlisted personnel. The enlisted personnel’s knitted winter gloves were issued in four sizes of small, medium, large or extra-large and were marked accordingly with one to four green or white rings on the cuffs.

Gray Toque { Toque }:

Tubular Head Scarf that was used to keep your head warm when wearing your steel helmet in cold climates

Gray Wool Scarf { Schal }:

Scarf used in inclement weather conditions.

German Ear Muffs { Ohr Schützen }

The severe cold encountered on the Russian front in the winter of 1941/42 found the Germans completely unprepared not only in heat retaining cold weather garments but also snow camouflage garments. This resulted in numerous, hastily improvised and makeshift heat retaining and snow camouflage items being utilized including everything from civilian winter clothing to white bed sheets.  The ear protectors proved to be unpopular as they restricted hearing and as a result were generally only utilized by second line troops.

Esbit Field Stove { Esbit Feldkocher }:

Each soldier was issued with a standard, small, portable, dry fuel tablet stov.  The dry fuel tablet stove was issued with dry hexamethylene tetramine fuel tablets that could be carried in the stove when in the closed position. The dry fuel tablet stove was generally carried in the breadbag along with other assorted personal items.  Following the old adage that, an army runs on its stomach, the dry fuel tablet stove must be considered one of the most important of all personal equipment items.

Wrist Watch / Pocket Watch   { Uhr }:

During the first half of the 20th century a wristwatch was a luxury item that not everyone could afford and military watches were NOT fashion items but the tools of the trade.  As a general rule, the lower enlisted ranks could NOT afford a watch and their duties rarely required that they be issued one. Contracted watches seldom were able to meet the demand of the German War machine therefore watches were often salvaged and re-issued.  Plain Pocket Watches are also acceptable. 

Wooden Foot Locker {Kiste }:                                                                              

Ideal for transporting & storing your items at events.  See the Spiess for more details.

Required Uniform Items Check List

M40, M42 or M43 Wool Tunic     { Diesntrock }:

Wool Service Tunic.  M40 has scalloped pocket flaps and pleated pockets.  M42 has scalloped pocket flaps and pockets without pleats. M43 has straight cut pocket flaps and pockets without pleats.  The M40 and M42 had a greener hue to them while the M43 tended to be more of a Field Gray.  In 1944 all versions were still being issued and worn.

M37  and /or M43 Wool Trousers  { Diensthose }:

The M37 Trousers have straight legs and are cut with a high back.  This model can only use suspenders.  The M43 Trousers are baggier, with a reinforced seat, have tapered ankles which are better suited for low boots with gaiters.  They can take either suspenders or a waist belt.      All Trousers are to be worn with either suspenders or a waist belt.   

Suspenders { Strumpfhalter }:

Elastic Suspenders with leather button flaps are to be worn.  “Clip-Ons” are not authorized.

Trouser Belt, Canvas for M43 Trousers { Troppen Koppel }:

Either a Canvas Web Version of the Service Belt with Waffen-SS Belt Buckle or a narrower canvas/leather belt may be worn.

Service Shirt { Diensthemd }:

During World War II there were a few types of shirts that saw use with the Waffen-SS.  The White M33 Shirt was soon seen to be to conspicuous and was replaced in 1941 by a reed green shirt.  This featured a lay down collar, had no breast pockets and buttoned only halfway down the front.  In 1942 this shirt was modified with the addition of breast pockets.  In 1943 a gray green cloth shirt was introduced which could also be worn as an outer garment without the Tunic.  It was similar in construction to the earlier shirts.  It featured a collar, two un-pleated pockets and had straight pocket flaps.  Most were made of the knit type of material.  The pre-war brown shirt was also issued as there were large stocks of these on hand.

M40 Side Cap { Schiffchen }:

The Side Cap or “Overseas Cap” is a visor-less, Wool Cap that was produced from 1940 until 1943 when it was replaced by the M43 Field Cap.  Those that still possessed M40’s continued to wear them until War’s end.

M43 Field Cap {Feldmutze}:

This cap was meant to become the Universal Cap in 1943, although the m40 Side Cap was still highly preferred for its smart appearance.  The M43 features flaps on the side that can be pulled down to protect the wearer’s head in cold weather.

Collar Bind { Kragenbinde }:

Made of a cotton/rayon mix, the Collar Bind buttons into the Collar of the Wool Tunic.  This serves as protection from wool collar chafing the wearer’s neck.  It also prevents the wearer from sweating directly onto the collar of the tunic.  These were no longer officially issued after 1943 with the introduction of collared shirts.

Internal Suspenders for the M40 Tunic

These Internal Suspenders are a required item for the M40 Tunic.  These are necessary to hold the four Belt Hooks in place that support the waist belt and combat equipment when it is worn.

Belt Hooks x 4  { Seitenhaken }

Four Belt Hooks are required for the M40, M42 and M43 Tunics.  These support the waist belt and combat equipment when it is worn.

 Optional Uniform Items

M40 Reed Green HBT Tunic      { Drillichrock }:

First introduced in 1933 in off white, the HBT Tunic was intended to be worn for Fatigue Duty.  By 1940 it was being produced in the reed green color and was being used as a summer combat tunic.  This Tunic has only two hip pockets without flaps.

M42 / M43 Reed Green HBT Tunic { Drillich Bluse }:

Introduced in 1942, the M42 HBT Tunic was an exact copy of the M42 Wool Tunic.  Unlike the M40 Drillichrock, this model featured 4 pockets with pocket flaps.  In 1943 the pocket flaps were simplified by making them straight cut across the bottom.

M43 Reed Green Drillich HBT Trousers { Drillich Hose }:

HBT Trousers were produced in the same pattern as their wool counterpart.  Either suspenders or a waist belt could be worn for support.  The legs were tapered to allow a better fit with low boots and gaiters.

Camo Field Cap  { Tarn Feldmutze }:

Introduced in 1942, the Camo Field Cap is ideally suited for use during Fatigue Duty, when wearing a Wool Cap is not practical.  These caps were produced in Oak A, Oak B, Burred Edge, Palm and Plane Tree 1/2, 3/4 and 5/6.  These caps are reversible with both Fall and Spring Sides.

Sports Shirt w/ SS Runes or LAH Emblem  { Sport Hemd }:

A White Tank Top or “Wife Beater” worn with the SS Runes of the LAH centered on the Chest.

Sports Shorts, Black  { Sport Hose }

Special Cut.  There are currently a few vendors who are making these.

M40, M42 Wool Greatcoat  { Mantel }:

The Wool Greatcoat is an essential item for cold weather.  Either the M40 or M42 Models are acceptable.

German Wool Sweater: V-Neck, Tutrle Neck or “Homemade”  { Pullover }

German Sweaters were a common item during the war.  The Pre War pattern had a V-Neck, while the 1942 model was a Turtleneck.  It was often common to see civilian style or “Homemade” sweaters in use, sent to soldiers by parents, wives or girlfriends from back home.

1944 Dot  Camouflage {Erbsenmuster}

In early 1944, the Waffen-SS SS introduced a new uniform, meant to replace the pullover camouflage smocks as well as extend the service life of the wool uniform. It consisted of a tunic and trouser, very similar in pattern to the M43 wool uniform. The camouflage pattern was dubbed "Erbsenmuster" (Peas pattern) and was meant to be used in all seasons, dispensing with the need for the reversible uniforms. The 44 Dot uniforms were issued to all Waffen SS units and were worn concurrently or in conjunction with the earlier smocks and helmet covers. They were worn both on their own, and over the wool uniform. 

Parka

These were issued to the Waffen SS in the Fall of 1943 to replace the "Kharkov" Fur lined models. They were made from the same fieldgray poplin as the previous coats, but otherwise mimicked the Heer's reversible winter uniform. The only pattern change was the use of scalloped pocket flaps, and placing the size markings in the neck instead of under the storm flap.  These were later produced in the various SS Camouflage Patterns.

 

 Why Reenact German?

 

The following is an article contributed to the Panzergrenadier.net web site. Instead of re-inventing the wheel this article said it best when describing why some people prefer to re-enact German Units of WWII.

 


Excerpts from the article by, Paul Dalby titled An introduction to the hobby

Taken from  http://www.panzergrenadier.net/introtoreenactment.ph

 

 

The main protagonists in WWII were of course the Nazis and their Allies and the British, Americans and Soviets along with their Allied Nations. Whilst it can be easily understood that a re-enactor would wish to portray a Tommy, a G.I or even an Ivan - some folk may have difficulty getting to grips with the reasons behind someone wanting to portray a solider of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy or Imperialist Japan. The immediate assumption may be that the person doing so glorifies in Right wing idealism and may be inclined towards those extremist views. This is not so. Whilst it is fact that such people do still exist, they are seldom if at all to be found engaging in bona fide, organized re-enactments of the type undertaken by the rank and file re-enactors. Why? The reason is simple. The people engaged in this hobby are military and historical enthusiasts, Collectors of Militaria, Restorers and Operators of Military Vehicles, Modelers and photographers. The furthest thing from an Axis Re-enactor's mind is rekindling the flames of racism, genocide and hatred. There is a great awareness of these factors and as a result, an Axis re-enactor will usually be very well informed and if questioned, able to discuss the Holocaust, it's cause and effect and the resulting aftermath with the interested party. Just as a British or American re-enactor will research his or her unit's history, campaigns, deployment, uniform and equipment scales of issue etc., a German re-enactor will be able to tell the observer all about his/her chosen unit and associated detail.

What usually attracts a person to portraying "The Dark Side" is not a love of Hitler or a fetish for leather as is often portrayed in the gutter press. German industry and science has for centuries been seen as efficient, functional and innovative. If an individual kerns towards the technical side of things, he or she will inevitable be drawn towards design, functionality and innovation! This can be summed up in the pre war German products such as Mercedes Benz motor cars, the great Airships of the Zeppelin Company, aircraft manufacture, cameras, optics... the list is exhaustive.

War is not only a cruel and devastating phenomenon. It also pushes technological development far beyond normal bounds. German scientists and engineers developed some of the most astounding machines and devices which are still being used today, be they in their original form or as modern derivatives. Sitting and talking with many "German" re-enactors, the author has found that one common theme which runs through the community is that of admiration for the superb design and technology employed by Germans during WWII. Germans designed the first General Purpose machine Gun, culminating in the MG42 which is still unsurpassed as the best fixed barrel belt fed machine gun in the world. Germans built submarines and developed schnorkel technology. Germans developed jet aircraft and guided missiles. Germans perfected all arms combat using mixed battle group tactics - Something employed by all armies today. Germans developed and issued purpose made camouflage garments. Germans perfected the assault rifle and were the first to issue them in great numbers. The German Army of the Third Reich was, without doubt the most fearsome, professional and successful army known to the World to date. It was beaten not by poor leadership within the Officer Corps. It was decimated by a crazed leader, political infighting and sheer weight of numbers from the combined forces of the Allies. The German Soldier as a result suffered immediately post war as a result of propaganda and the shame of being linked to several sets of the greatest atrocities then perpetrated on mankind. The German Soldier was stereotyped as a Nazi beast and therefore shrank back into the shadows to suffer the same enforced guilt as the rest of his nation. Not for him the parades and medals of the victors. Not for many of them even, a pension!

German Soldiers did number amongst their ranks, ardent Nazis. But the greater number were ordinary Germans. Blinded or duped or simply patriotic enough to enlist, be conscripted or volunteer to server their country just like the men arrayed against them. Today it is easy to sit and examine the vile policies and events perpetrated in the Name of National Socialism and tar the Germans of that era all with the same broad brush. Whilst we must NEVER forget and never attempt to excuse the forced deportations, torture, industrialized murder, terror and other atrocities carried out in the name of Adolf Hitler and his Germany, we must now, in the 21st century, look back at ordinary Germans and without unduly sympathizing or lessening the events of the 1940s, look at the suffering of the unwilling Germans. We must re-examine the part played by ordinary men who never saw a death camp or a hanging. Never herded families onto trains. Never smashed in doors in the dead of night and beat the inhabitants into revealing the names of resistance fighters etc. We must look at people such as the veterans we have found in the UK and abroad who were young boys, full of life and ideals. Who took up arms for what they genuinely believed was a noble cause until it all crashed down around them. They were let down. They were deceived by the Nazis too... They did not see memorials built to them. They went back to live in a Germany that didn't want to know. That hid them away or ignored them. Families didn't ask "What did you do in the war Opa?" because schools taught children that the War was a bad time and should be forgotten. Many men never went back to Germany and the author has personally heard many say "There was nothing left for me to go back to"

So it is completely strange that in the countries which fought the hardest against them and had the most to lose from them that people today, research their uniforms, their lives, their weapons and tactics. People rebuild their tanks and cars. People learn their language and then they get together and recreate tiny, sanitized slices of their experiences... ultimately for enjoyment if we are honest. For a hobby, a pastime. But just beneath the surface of that is not a dark desire to build a Fourth Reich, nor does it need justifying ...It is a fascination and ultimately a tribute to two diametrically opposed things. One - the men who lost. And Two - the system that won and is libertarian enough to allow us to actually portray those who, 60'odd years ago now, would for good or for bad, have changed the face of the world to something we can only speculate upon.

So next time you see an SS trooper, a Fallschirmjäger or an Army Panzergrenadier and you think "trador" Just take a moment. What you are looking at is primarily, a hobbyist. Just like the centurion at the ice cream van, the Pikeman in the beer tent or the MVT enthusiast driving his jeep around in flip flops and shorts... The man you are looking at is an enthusiast, not a wannabee or a walt. He is the same as the hang glider pilot, the water skier, the deep sea fisherman. He has an interest and dares to be different. He's not in town getting drunk and fighting. He's there at the event you are attending, enjoying himself and giving many other people the opportunity to share with him something unique and ultimately educational. He's also preserving something that will eventually be lost and consigned to newsreel footage and subjectively written books.. He also draws a fascinating parallel. As with the soldiers facing each other in 1939-45 - He is a man just like you and me ... nothing else.

 

Take some time and check out the panzer grenadier web site it is full of excellent stuff for re-enacting. http://www.panzergrenadier.net