German Kit; Two Bits That Baffle Me.

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Steve G, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. Steve G

    Steve G Senior Member

    Just watched Stalingrad and was very soon telling my mate; " There! See? Those damned 'corrugated', longish cylindrical tins they carry, slung on a strap and hanging over their lower backs. What the hell are They for??? ".

    This has probably bugged me most of my life! :lol: Someone, Please put me out of my misery and explain the damn things to me?

    And then there's the rather 'Roman Centurionesque' looking 'upper breast plate' things some of the Germans were wearing, as the newer lads arrived in Stalingrad. Sort of rounded, quarter crescent things. Hung round their necks by chain? Quite large and obvious. Anyone with a clue will know straight away what I'm referring to.

    What's that all about, please? Some echelon or branch (I'm sorry I don't know any better, more correct term) of the German army of the period?

    (Note to self; Learn how to spell 'Weirmacht' however it's supposed to be spelled. And log it into Spell Checker!)

    Cheers :)
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Google is your friend,

    'Gas mask canisters' for the first.
    'Feldgendarmerie gorgets', (MPs, or "chain-dogs") for the second.
  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Steve g -
    as far as I recall the long corrucated thung was their gas mask

    the Romanesque breast plate was a divisional sign


  4. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

    Have to agree 'Gas mask canisters' and 'Feldgendarmerie gorgets' Heres a photograph showing some German Kit with the gas mask container just to the btm left of the tunic.

  5. Steve G

    Steve G Senior Member

    Gas Masks! So That's it? Brilliant! Damn; That never occurred to me. A life time of mystery sorted.

    And 'Feldgendarmerie gorgets'? Fits perfectly with the circumstances of their appearance ~ though I'd never have dreamed of such a search term. My above description might have taken me another life time to track down through Google.

    And " Wermacht " is now added to my Fire Fox Spell Checker. Thanks, Tom! Looks like the hat trick to me :D

    I note also the hob nails on those boots. Spotted that tonight (on the film). No wonder the marching columns of Wermacht made such a satisfying crunch!

    Damn again; I wonder if I can catch M&N's sale, in time for a reference book of uniform and kit? Good lord, I'm becoming a complete 'Anorak'! :lol:

    'Mind you; I'd Love an anorak in Flektarn. Absolutely perfect cammo for round here!

    Cheers, gentlemen :)
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Surely you have heard a company of British Infantry marching through the streets - a noise like the sound of a Lancaster - unforgettable......

  7. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    I was once told what the 'Gas Mask' container was really used for by a German veteran. I thought it a little unlikely but after a couple of separate conversations with different German veterans most seemed to say the same thing, so I can only assume it to be true.

    He said that as a newly trained soldier arriving in his unit, he was told to throw away his gas mask. It seems that several of the old style glass preserve jars, the ones with the wire latch and rubber seals, slid perfectly in to the container. These jars contained preserved meat, vegetables or fruit which could be eaten on bread and supplement their tinned rations. Apparently the glass jars were kept safe from all but the most serious whack on something hard.

    As I said, this is hearsay but hearsay form independent sources. It's not easy to confirm but has anyone any photographic evidence that would confirm it one way or another?
  8. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    The fluted gas mask tin is iconic in terms of German kit - unique to them .

    The catch which closed it - to be found replicated on almost all kit which required a springloaded clip.

    Attached a photo of a Feldgendarmerie gorget.

    In the dark this one glows like mad , the script and eagle just glare out at you , my youngest finds this " freaky".

    Attached real one on the left , reproduction on the right.

    It is true that as the war went on the masks disappeared and were replaced by food stuff , mind you if the "Chain Dogs" found it gone they could put the offenders on a charge.

    Gas mask tin and a small battery box the closing clip is just scaled down version from the gas mask tin.

    The waffenstamp mark can be sen on both item , the Jerries seem to put this on most things , the square compartment on the lid housed spare glass for the mask itself.
    The masks themselves have asbestos in them best not to put one on .

    Attached Files:

    Paul Reed likes this.
  9. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    And " Wermacht " is now added to my Fire Fox Spell Checker. Thanks, Tom! Looks like the hat trick to me :D

    I would alter it to read Wehrmacht :)
    von Poop likes this.
  10. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Some additional info on the gorget from "Gorgets of the Third Reich" By Richard Deeter and Warren Odgegard.( DD Enterprises 1977).
    Feldgendarmerie* Gorget and the Feldjager** Gorget , the Feldjagers being a very uncompromising service.
    * ( The Chain Dogs).
    **( "The Headhunters".)




    Their powers were quite sweping , they could stop anyone enforce military law , without question and no member of the armed forced could refuse to help them in the execution of their duty.
    The Allies continued to allow them to function after the surender , bearing arms and working with the Allies to maintain order amongest the surrendered German troops.
    They found them to be efficent and well disciplined , German troops accepted their instructions without question.


    Attached Files:

  11. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Something on a similar theme... (4 mins 30 - German gas mask cases etc)

    From: 11 Jul 2013

    "James Holland compares three items of kit from the Second World War to dispel the myth that the Germans were more efficient and better equipped than their British counterparts. This film has been produced by Bright Button Productions Ltd. as part of the Chalke Valley History Hub. With thanks to The Clore Duffield Foundation."

Share This Page