THE GERMAN INFANTRYMAN

A QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE TO THE WW2 GERMAN WHERMACHT SOLDIER

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EARLY AND LATE WAR UNIFORMS

UNIFORMS:

German soldiers, during the early part of the war, wore grey M1936 field tunics. The later uniforms were updated versions. M1936 series greatcoats and sweaters were also worn for colder environments. A M1940 greatcoat was given out as well. An M1944 uniform was also issued in order to lower production costs.


Later in the war, summer uniforms were issued for combat in Africa. There were also M1943 uniforms issued, and parkas for colder environments.


CAMOS:

Most Whermacht units wore grey uniforms. In Africa, however, tan colored summer uniforms were used. Many Waffen SS units used flecktarn camo.


HELMETS AND HEAD-DRESS:

Infantry soldiers were at first issued M1935 Stahlhelms. M1940 and M1942 versions were introduced, and these were brought into service for their lower production costs at the sake of quality. Field caps were also used from the beginning of the war. From 1943 and onward, caps with buttoned straps on them, or mountain caps, were issued and worn. These were known as mountain caps because they had been worn by the Gebirgsjäger, or mountain troops. Officers wore peaked caps or mountain caps.


FOOTWEAR:

German soldiers, at first, often wore jackboots, and there were different kinds of jackboots, such as ceremonial and combat jackboots. Later in the war, however, their size and distribution were toned down to save leather. Most were later replaced with ankle-boots. These ankle boots were used before the war for casual wear and work around the barracks, but were used in combat with gaiters from 1941 onwards. There was an M1937 version and a later M1944 version.

EQUIPMENT

WEBBING AND LIVING NECESSITIES:

The basic German Infantryman's webbing (the equipment by which he carries the items necessary to survive and fight) consisted of a leather waist belt with leather Y-straps that went over the shoulders. Later in the war these were supplemented by canvas webbing ones, initially supplied to troops in tropical zones, due to their cheapness and practicality. Attached to this were items such as ammunition pouches (which varied according to the weapon carried), a bayonet (Seitengewehr), an entrenching tool (Schanzzeug), a bread bag (Brotbeutel), a water bottle (Feldflasche), a gas mask container (Tragebusche) and possibly even a pistol and holster. Quite often, the gas mask was 'disposed' of, and the container used to carry personal items, extra rations and ammunition. In addition, an assault pack (Sturmgepäck) could be attached at the back using an 'A-Frame' and consisted of the Model 31 Cooking Pot (Kockgeschirr), a small bag for carrying additional equipment over which was placed a rolled up poncho with tent pole sections and pegs (Zeltbahnrolle), a blanket and (if necessary) the greatcoat rolled up and placed around the other items in a horseshoe shape and attached by straps. On the march however, the Marching Pack (Marschgepäck) could be attached to the 'A-Frame' with the greatcoat, blanket and poncho wrapped around that instead. The Marching Pack was gradually replaced from 1943 onwards with the Model 1944 Rucksack, due its increased practicality.

WEAPONRY

Specialty German weapons included:

  • Mod. 24 Steilhandgranate (famous stick grenade)
  • Mod. 39 Eihandgranate
  • Panzerschreck anti-tank weapon, which fired 30M, 60M, and 100M panzerfaust rounds.
  • GWR-34 and GWR-36 mortar systems
  • Granatwerfer-42 flamethrower

FLYER INFORMATION

Made and compiled by Nicholas Wilson.

All pictures were taken from various internet sources.

Information compiled from various internet articles and pre-existing knowledge.

Leave a comment for suggestions on what I should add or correct.