As collectors, there is always a sense of satisfaction when you complete a set. It becomes something of an obsession when you are looking for that one last piece of equipment needed to complete a particular set. Today we will look at some WW2 German soldiers’ equipment we can find for sale across our partner sites. Some pieces are more common than others, but all are becoming harder and harder to find. Hopefully we have helped you find that one item that completes your set!
German Army Afrika Korps Tropical Belt & Buckle Set
Every soldier in the German armed forces, be that Wehrmacht, SS, Luftwaffe, DAF and so on, had their own belt and buckle set. However, each branch of service had its own variation. This example is an army eagle but what makes it so interesting to collectors is the belt itself. Most belts were simply black leather belts. There are a few variations, but for the most part they are all the same. However, the troops out in Africa were issued with canvas belts. This is known as a “Tropical” pattern and is considerably rarer and hard to find.
This example is available from Military Antiques in the UK for a price of £450 and is complete with its steel “Gott Mit Uns” (God be with us) Wehrmacht buckle. For extra rarity, the buckle has its canvas tropical tab still intact.
K98 Rifle Ammunition Pouches
The reason I started with the belt was simple; it formed the basis for most of the standard equipment. Take the K98 ammunition pouch for example. The belt would run through the back of the pouch, holding it to the soldier’s waist. Most infantrymen would carry two such pouches, one on each hip. So to follow the logic of a soldier having a pair, I have picked out two nice examples. One from Olivers Army in the UK listed at £75 and the other from The Ruptured Duck in the USA for $110. Both are in lovely condition and would look fantastic on a mannequin / belt setup.
Gewer 43 Rifle Ammunition Pouch
A great development came during WW2 with the semi-automatic rifle being mass produced. The German example of this was the G43. Used as a sniper rifle at times but more frequently as an infantry weapon, the G43 was a fantastic rifle in combat. Those who have been around the collecting world for a while may recall a huge mountain of G43 pouches being found in Eastern Europe a few years ago. Although this did dent the rarity and value of them for a while, they still remain a rare piece. This fantastic example is for sale in the UK for £175 from Malcolm Wagner Militaria.
German Army Gas Mask Can
The next piece of equipment every soldier would carry is a gas mask. Although there are a few variations of tin, manufacturer and size, they are for the most part the same design. It would be carried in a tin, either with a hook attached to the soldier’s waist belt, or via a carrying strap over the shoulder. This next item is just the gas mask tin and is available from Axis Track Services via Relicorps in the UK for £50.
Soldier’s Water Bottle Canteen & Cup
How far would an army make it without water? The answer of course is, not far. Each soldier would carry their own water bottle with a cup attached to the top by a leather strap. Although millions were made, good original and untouched examples are getting very tough to find. Eagle Relics in the UK have a soldier’s water bottle set for sale, complete with its steel cup, leather strap and its felt cover still intact. It is currently up for sale for £145.
German SS Marked Mess Tin
Much like with water bottles, mess kits are a very important part of keeping an army rolling. Each soldier would be issued with one to eat from when out in the field. This example, however, is of particular rarity. Early on in the war the SS regiments were issued with their own marked items. This even went to the level of SS marked bullet casings! With the mess tins, this meant that the front bracket was stamped with the SS runes in a circle, indicating it was produced for SS units.
In a collecting sense these days, SS tins and camouflaged tins are likely the two most desirable and difficult to find in any condition. Luckily M&T Militaria in the UK have this fantastic condition example available for £250.
German Army Tornister Backpack
Up next for a standard soldier would be his backpack. This particular type is known as a tornister. It is a fairly straightforward design with an opening flap to reveal a large pocket on the inside. Most examples are backed with horse hair, although not all are. The backpack could be used to carry a soldier’s mess tin, basic equipment, rations or whatever else he desired. This was the standard backpack, but many specialist variations exist for different regiments, jobs or types of equipment.
This particular piece is currently for sale in Australia from Sabre Militaria for AU$245.
German Army Browning Hi-Power Holster
Finally, no soldier’s belt set would be complete without a holster. However, rather than go for the classic holsters for the P38 or the Luger, I wanted to find something a bit more unusual. Browning were based in Belgium, so when the Germans occupied the country, they took control of the FN factory and began production of a German Browning pistol. This also meant the production of German holsters for a Browning pistol. Chelmsford Militaria in the UK have a nice condition Browning Hi-Power holster currently for sale for £275.
So, that concludes today’s look at a German soldier’s equipment from WW2 for sale across our partner sites. Of course as with most subjects, there are so many offshoots, variations and combinations available that in a short post we could never cover it all. But that is exactly what makes collecting militaria so interesting!
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