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Proper wear of virtually every item of uniform and equipment

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Karsten Heidt

Joined: 09 May 2012
Posts: 560
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:44 pm    Post subject: Proper wear of virtually every item of uniform and equipment Reply with quote

www.soldaten.ca , with a few of my own additions.

Here is a good, comprehensive guide to how to wear pretty much everything. Germans being Germans, there was a prescribed way to do virtually everything. This doesn't rule out individual variations, especially in the field, but these rules should form the baseline for what we do, especially when we are in walking out/other noncombat dress:

1: Uniforms:

1. Stahlhelm: Horizontal, edge even with the eyebrows.

2. Wedge Cap/Schiffen: slanted to the right, 1 cm above the right and 3 cm above the left eye, the front edge 2 cm above the eyebrows; Cockade vertical above in the middle line of the nose/cockade.

This is one of the most commonly mistaken things. The cockade should be centered on your nose, not over an eye somewhere, and whatever you do don't tilt the schiffchen to the left by mistake. What are you, a Communist?! Anyway, you'd also often see a slight tilt on the peaked cap, not as extreme as with the Schiffchen. This was a popular fashion, especially among younger officers who liked the rakish look.

3. Field cap/Feldmutzen (m43 style): Horizontal, the middle of the hat visor even with the eyebrows

One thing you will very frequently see is a sort of "pinch" in the fabric of the front of the crown on M43 caps. The origin of this lies in German basic training in the prewar regular army. Back then even junior enlisted men were issued peaked caps for parades and other formal occasions, and it was actually a chargeable offence to get fingerprints on the patent leather brim. Hence, German soldiers became conditioned to putting on and taking off their caps by the crown, not the visor, which over time created the pinched indentation. The younger replacements would have picked this habit up from the Alte Hase, probably not knowing where it originated. Just one small, realistic touch that we can emulate with virtually no effort.

4. Tunic/Feldbluse: Worn over the shirt - and should easily lay on the body without creasing. The field tunic is always completely buttoned up and hooked at the collar unless orders to the contrary are given; if the duty and weather allows, on order of the superior the neck can be unbuttoned (however only small detachments). All pockets are buttoned up unless you are actually getting something out or putting something in. The arms may not be forced into the arm holes. One must be able to clap together both arms comfortably above the head with buttoned tunic and stick in 2 fingers between the collar and neck. The epaulettes lie on the middle of the shoulder; their middle line is even with the ear lobe of the person. Side and back hooks must support the belt. The Soldbuch must always be carried in the upper left tunic pocket unless ordered to be handed in for security reasons when on patrol, etc.

I know it sucks to be buttoned up completely all the time. You don't have to do it up all the way in combat, but in garrison, at dinners, walking out, you need to if you don't want to get jacked up by the Feldgendarmerie Farbjägerkorps. Collared undershirts may protrude no more than 5mm from the Feldbluse collar. Accurate feldbluse repros should have buttons for kragenbinde, which is a strip of soft fabric to wrap around your neck inside the tunic collar and prevent chafing. At The Front has some, they are cheap: http://www.atthefrontshop.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=guacb

5. Trousers/Hosen: Moderate seat room when standing: the lower edge is even with the upper heel, without folding in the front.

6. Overcoat/Mantel: Must reach to the middle of the lower leg. Arms must extend to 1 cm above the feldblusen arm, that is, reach also to about the hand bones. From the feldbluse, only a part of the collar may be seen, however not beneath the collar from the tunic. Other sides of the overcoat collar must sit loosely, so that the hand can easily pass behind between tunic and overcoat collar.

On guard duty/parade, Mantel must be buttoned all the way to the top. In combat or to be a pimp daddy when walking out, to display your collar tabs, etc, you can leave the top few buttons undone and fold the lapel over.

7. Footwear- Instep must fit tight but mustn't pinch.

Laced boots are to be ladder-laced, not crossed, by official regulations. This was to ensure the boot could be speedily cut off in the event of a wound to the foot.

2. Equipment

1. Belt/Koppel: resting on the belt hooks on your feldbluse or Mantel. Some patterns of Mantel will have vents through which you can pass your feldbluse hooks. It should be tight enough that one side doesn't sag from the weight of your seitengewehr/other belt kit.

It took me a long time to get belt hooks, but it was one of the best things I did for my uniforms. It keeps the belt exactly where it should be, which is right up at the bottom of the ribcage and over the bottom pockets on the tunic. It may feel a little weird at first to wear it that high, but you get used to it quickly, and it looks far better than having your belt hanging down on your hip bones like a cowboy.

2. Belt buckle/Koppelschloss: With the field tunic and overcoat it lies between the bottom pair of buttons. Right edge of the belt buckle should be even with the line of the button flap on the front of the tunic, on the centerline of the torso.

3. Bayonet/Seitengewehr: The bayonet frog sits immediately behind the left side hook, over the left rear hip.

When you are on duty/official business, you MUST have headgear and a sidearm...for mannschaften, that will most often be your bayonet. It shows everyone you meet that you are tasked and can't engage in too much smalltalk, be diverted, etc

4. Cartridge Pouches/Patronentasche: Each must be the same distance from the belt buckle and sit tight, that is, they may not stick out or hang down from the belt due to longer loops. The shackles on the buckles and on the belt are to push in so that they serve as support.

So far as I know there wasn't an official distance from the middle for the pouches, but you shouldn't have them so far in they obscure your belt buckle, nor should they be under your armpits.

5. Rucksack with carry straps, Overcoat Roll, Zeltbahn, Overcoat Straps: The overcoat roll aligns with the lower edge of the Rucksack. The overcoat straps are guided by the loops of the Rucksack, so that with tightly strapped overcoat roll, the pins of the clasps point toward the rear of the person. If the Zeltbahn is strapped on, the upper edge of must be about even with the lower edge of the collar of the tunic. The lower edge of the packed Rucksack must lay about on the middle of the belt. The Rucksack carry straps must so sit that the rivets on the straps stand at about the same height and the straps do not cut under the arms.

6. Bread bag/Brotbeutel: is carried on the belt over the right rear hip, and specifically for dismounted troops{not on horseback}: rear carry loop and hook strip between the pair of back buttons, front carry loop between the right back button and the side hook of the tunic. (A good guide to achieve this position is put the left carry loop to the left of where your Y-strap is hooked, and then pull the Brotbeutel to the right until it's not scrunched up. Mess tin attaches on the left of the bread bag, canteen on the right, so it is easier for you to get at without removing your equipment. Also, even if you have nothing practical to put in there, you plan on eating dirt throughout the battle, etc, please just put in a t-shirt or towel or something so it isn't obviously empty. Empty pouches look like a butt.) Mounted {on horseback} troops have a free hand, the bag may be carried more toward the front or the back of the rider as comfort dictates.

7. The small entrenching tool is carried on the belt so that it does not rub and clatter with the bayonet. The strap of the case is exposed between bayonet and entrenching tool.

Bayonet frog is hung between the two straps of the e-tool carrier, and the bayonet scabbard is passed through the e-tool retaining strap so that the two items don't clatter together. Put the e-tool in with the face of the blade facing outwards, that way it will angle slightly away from your legs and not interfere with movement.

8. Pistol/Pistole: Carry the pistol for cross-draw, meaning that the holster is on the left side of the body, pistol's butt facing forward.

Last edited by Karsten Heidt on Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:49 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Johann Hansen

Joined: 10 Jun 2009
Posts: 969
Location: Mississauga.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post! Thanks for putting it together. This should be something we go over get training event, just to nail our impressions down a bit further.

If you are looking for Collar binds, check MilitaryTour on Ebay, they usually have packages of 2 for $10 +$7 shipping.

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Location: Mississauga

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you get the helmet to stay "Horizontal, edge even with the eyebrows. "

In einem kleinen Unterstand, träumen vom fernen Heimatland.
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Karsten Heidt

Joined: 09 May 2012
Posts: 560
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

COL.TIKER wrote:
How do you get the helmet to stay "Horizontal, edge even with the eyebrows. "

All that means is it should be straight on the head, not pushed back exposing the forehead. Brim should be in line with your eyebrows, no higher than that.
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