World War II GIs Pack Personal Items

World War II GIs Pack Personal Items

In this video clip of History's Mail Call, host R. Cameras and diaries were forbidden but compact shaving kits, letters from home, magazines, prophylactic kits and other small items were common.

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The symbolic eyes of censorship peer through paper counter-stamped by Base Censors and then U.S. Censors Offices, Algiers, Algeria, Oct. 12, 1943. U.S. Army photo

The institutional identity of censorship was firmly in place during World War II. The across-the-board agreement of all parties – military censors, newspaper owners, and rank and file war reporters – is well illustrated by a specific instance of censorship immediately after Germany’s surrender.

Although government censorship and propaganda conjure sinister motivation and heavy handed authoritarian measures, the experience of World War II belies the instinct to draw that conclusion.

Indefinite suspension was the lot of Edward Kennedy, the chief of the Associated Press’ Western front staff. Kennedy was the first to report, on May 7, 1945, the end of the European campaign. His story was based on a German radio broadcast announcing that nation’s unconditional surrender. His story was filed prior to approval from the censors. Condemnation of Kennedy was swift, not only from the Army censors, but also from his employer. The Associated Press and fellow journalists roundly criticized his violation of news censorship protocols. Kennedy steadfastly maintained that surrender information was already broadcast on German radio, thus negating the requirement to adhere to censorship strictures. The reflex action of the entrenched military censors, unconditional enemy surrender notwithstanding, was to denigrate Kennedy, a move which adversely affected his career, as Julia Kennedy Cochran wrote in Ed Kennedy’s War (LSU Press, 2012).

Associated Press reporter Edward Kennedy. Kennedy ran afoul of the strict censorship rules when he was the first to report that Germany had surrendered on May 7, 1945. AP Photo

A close cousin to war censorship is propaganda. Censorship keeps news from reaching citizens propaganda slants the method by which news is presented. Both approaches were utilized in World War II to influence America’s perception of the war effort. An important aspect of presentation was war photography. The Office of War Information controlled, through government censors and media self-censorship, the image of combat as experienced on the battle fronts. The first two years of World War II saw a continuation of a censorship of photographs that was practiced during World War I – a complete ban on photos of American casualties. Although graphic images of American casualties were never presented, censorship of more acceptable images was softened a few years into the war in 1943. A dead soldier could be shown if his face was not obvious and if his manner of death was relatively serene and not bloody or horrific. It was thought that demonstrating sacrifice would rally the citizens at home who were growing weary of the war. Along with this censorship of the harsh realities of war, propaganda was used to generate collective action on the home front. Housewives were transformed into armament assemblers, victory gardens sprung up across the nation, silk stockings were collected as war material and war heroes were sent on Victory Bond tours, according to George Roeder’s The Censored War (Yale University Press, 1993).

A dead soldier could be shown if his face was not obvious and if his manner of death was relatively serene and not bloody or horrific. It was thought that demonstrating sacrifice would rally the citizens at home who were growing weary of the war.

Although government censorship and propaganda conjure sinister motivation and heavy handed authoritarian measures, the experience of World War II belies the instinct to draw that conclusion. Censorship outside of the war zone was largely voluntary and readily acceded to by the press and radio in its war reporting of soldiers fighting. The aforementioned Office of Censorship, an agency created early in the war, issued guidelines to newspapers, magazines and radio stations. Over the years of the war, only one radio journalist deliberately violated the censorship code.

U.S. Army soldiers, stripped of all equipment, lie dead, face down in the slush of a crossroads somewhere in western Europe, ca. 1944. Until 1943 there was a complete ban on photos of the dead, but that was loosened as long as the photos did not show the face of the dead. National Archives photo

In combat zones, censorship was not voluntary. Photos taken therein were vigorously reviewed prior to publication. The process consisted of a system of field censors and further review by the War Department Bureau of Public Relations in Washington, D.C. The types of photos that were censored included civilian victims of American firepower and GIs who committed atrocities, as well as enemy soldiers being treated by American medics.

The termination of hostilities did not end World War II-related censorship issues. A 1946 John Huston documentary, Let There Be Light, did not have a public screening until 1980, because of an Army directive that kept the film from distribution. Produced in 1945, the movie dealt with the topic of the psychological trauma of returning war veterans who were being treated at an Army hospital in Long Island, N.Y. Huston, then a major in the Army Signal Corps, was directed to make the film with the original working title The Returning Psychoneurotics. A group of veterans with psychiatric injuries ranging from anxiety neurosis to psychosis were followed for eight weeks, from their arrival to discharge from the hospital. Huston’s goal was to demonstrate the effectiveness of treatment in restoring the men to psychological health and future employability. Upon completion of the documentary, top Army brass viewed it and deemed it inappropriate for general viewing with the supposed excuse of protecting the men’s privacy. However, the men had all signed releases and were eager for the film to be shown. Huston felt the reason for the film’s suppression was to maintain the warrior myth and not allow the true cost of war to be shown, according to the National Film Preservation Foundation.

Ultimately, many aspects of World War II were hidden from public view, from the horror on the battlefield to the mental suffering of combatants. Unlike subsequent wars, which television brought into America’s living rooms, the presentation of World War II was carefully managed to maintain popular support.

World War II GIs Pack Personal Items - HISTORY

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A U.S. landing craft approaches Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion in Normandy, France on June 6, 1944. Robert F. Sargent, U.S. Coast Guard/National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons

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A U.S. fighter plane spins its propellor on the deck of the USS Yorktown in the Pacific, November 1943.

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Both during and soon after World War 1, politicians and pundits began referring to the devastating conflict as "the war to end all wars."

One can hardly blame them for such a grandiose name. The West had never seen anything like World War 1 before. Between 1914 and 1918, approximately 17 million soldiers and civilians died while another 20 million lay seriously wounded.

Yet even this was not in fact "the war to end all wars." Just two decades later, most of the same countries waged war on much of the same ground. This time, however, the casualties were more than four times worse.

With combined civilian and military death toll estimates ranging as high as 85 million, World War 2 remains the single deadliest cataclysm in human history.

Between 1939 and 1945, the world endured not only its bloodiest and most far-reaching military campaigns, but also some of its deadliest famines, civilian exterminations, and epidemics. In Nazi concentration camps across Eastern Europe, those years saw the worst genocide ever on record.

Yet, today, the devastation of any one of these facets of World War 2 -- let alone all of them taken together -- is so vast that it becomes unfathomable.

As the famous quote widely misattributed to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, one of World War 2's most important figures, goes: "One death is a tragedy a million is a statistic."

Perhaps, however, the best way to attempt to drag World War 2's 85 million deaths out of the realm of statistics and back into the realm of tragedy is not with words, but images.

From the battlefields to the faces of the civilians who never set foot on one but whose lives were shattered all the same, the World War 2 photos above bring history's greatest catastrophe to life.

Rare World War II color photo of African-American engineers participating in nighttime flag ceremony, Ft. Belvoir, VA. Each soldiers is wearing a garrison cap, a wool Service Coat over wool shirt and trousers, with a cartridge belt. The rifle is the M1 Garand.

Military equipment and gear are described on the individual pages or sub-sections of for all the specific types. In addition to the sections linked below, weapons, military vehicles, and rations are covered in their own sections that you can find from the menu bar on the page top.

  • Individual Equipment
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    • World War II
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      • Militaria and collectibles, the tangible part of military history

      Marines in full combat gear look out from their truck in convoy, Marine barracks, New River, NC, May 1942.

      German Army Equipment of the Second World War

      The German Army uniform for temperate wear was a smart, practical and well-tailored piece of clothing. Once war had broken out however, soldiers in the field wasted no time in making the uniform even more comfortable to wear and as time went on, standards of dress became evermore casual. Typical variations to be seen included rolled up sleeves, open-neck collars, trousers worn outside the jackboots and equipment worn in a non-standard manner or configuration, which applied to the infantry and many of the field arms such as artillery and engineers. In addition to this, the effects of resource and materials shortages, caused modifications to the standard uniform and helmet (see below), generally aimed at making them simpler, cheaper and faster to produce. Also as the war went on, new weapons and equipment caused modifications to combat equipment when they entered service.

      Uniform: Early War

      The uniform variant in use at the start of the war was the M1936 pattern (see Figure 1). This had replaced the old World War I-style and Weimar Republic-style uniforms (M1920 and M1928) in the mid-1930s, when the German Army expanded massively after Hitler effectively tore up the remaining provisions of the Versailles Treaty. The Field Tunic (Feldbluse) featured four large, pleated, patch pockets (Aufgesetztetaschen - a major recognition feature), five field gray (feldgrau) painted buttons and four hooks (attached to inside straps) to help support the main belt. The garment had a turn-down collar with dark bottle green facings, a feature also seen on the shoulder straps (Schulterklappen) and behind the national emblem (Hoheitsabzeichen) over the right breast pocket. Up until very early in the war, these were pointed and featured the regimental number on them but soon after war broke out, they became rounded and the regimental number was taken off. Officers' shoulder straps were braided. In many cases, the shoulder straps and the collar patches (Kragenpatten) featured coloured piping which denoted the wearer's arm of service (for example, white for infantry, red for artillery and black for engineers). The tunic was made of field gray wool with 5% rayon and was partially lined. Officers' tunics were broadly similar but specified to be of the turn-back variety and many officers had theirs privately made in finer quality material. One of the first changes was the introduction of the M1940 Field Tunic which, while broadly similar to the M1936, had a higher percentage of artificial fibres (20%) with the dark green facings starting to disappear and six buttons instead of five.

      A pale gray woollen or cotton shirt (Hemden) was worn underneath the tunic but this was replaced by field gray versions in 1941 (see Figure 3). If the weather was warm enough, the shirt could be worn on its own or alternatively, the soldiers sometimes wore the working and campaign uniform (Drillichanzug) which while originally in a pale gray colour, was produced in a dark olive or reed green after February 1940.

      The trousers (Feldhosen) were made of the same material as the tunic but originally dyed a slate gray colour. This changed in 1940 when they started to be dyed in field gray. They had a very high waist, small side pockets with a slit opening, a fly front, an adjusting strap on the rear waistline, but no additional straps, pocket flaps or ankle fasteners. They were designed to be held up with braces (via buttons around the waist) and worn with jackboots

      Uniform: Late War

      As already mentioned, during the warmer months, it was popular for soldiers to wear the dark green campaign tunic as it was lighter and cooler than the normal field tunic, or alternatively, just the shirt. In 1942, a Summer Uniform started to be produced, made up of a tunic (Drillichbluse) and trousers (Drillichhosen). The first pattern was in dark green and close in style to the Field Tunic but came with just two side hooks, similar to the Tropical Jacket. It was made initially of natural linen and then after 1943, used greater amounts of synthetic linen. The second pattern was made mainly from synthetic linen and was usually grayer in colour. The trousers were of similar materials and colours (see Figures 6 to 7).

      As the war progressed, greater economies were introduced due to the ever-growing shortages of materials and labour. The first practical result was the introduction of the M1943 Uniform, made up of a tunic, trousers and shirt. The tunic became a deeper gray, had six buttons, the pleats on the pockets were removed, it was cut less full, the skirts were shortened and the dark green facings were finally fully removed. Artificial linen or cotton liners gave way to artificial silk or viscose and the materials were generally of inferior quality and became shabbier, quicker (see Figure 10). The trousers featured a lower waist, and four large belt loops to hold the main belt when worn without the Field Blouse. A small pocket for keeping a watch was fitted (with a flap) and the suspender belt buttons moved to the inside. Later versions came with ankle cords to coincide with the introduction of ankle boots and gaiters (see Figure 11). The shirt (see Figure 12) was made of aertex fabric with aluminium buttons.

      The final version of the uniform (Felduniform) was the M1944. This was trialled during the summer of 1943 by units such as the Grossdeutschland Panzer Grenadier Division and approved by Hitler on 8 July 1944, entering service on 25 September 1944. It was clearly a result of the need to introduce further economies and was similar in cut and style to British battledress. It could be produced in large quantities but never replaced, only supplanted, its predecessors. It was supposed to showcase a new olive green colour but in practise, was made of whatever materials happened to be available and dyed with whatever colours were available too. In many instances they were delivered in the same mouse gray version of field gray that the M1943 field blouse had come in. It was much shorter than the other tunics, featured non-pleated breast pockets, a buckled waistband and came with self-supporting trousers, which could be worn with a belt or suspenders, had ankle pleating cords and flapped pockets. It was designed to be worn with ankle boots and gaiters.

      Greatcoats (Mäntel)

      The M1936 Greatcoat (Figure 15) was really a relic of the old Prussian military tradition of a smart long coat, unsuited to the demands of modern warfare. While made of heavy wool material, it was of knee-length, with turn-back cuffs, a half-belt at the rear, a turn-down collar and shoulder straps faced with dark green. It hampered mobility, became very heavy when soaked with water and was very stiff if it froze. It did however continue to evolve through the war (Figure 16) with economy measures meaning it lost the dark green facings but gained a deeper collar, two side pockets, a thick hood made of recycled blanket wool and many having additional lining.

      Cold Weather Clothing

      The Wehrmacht also issued reversible and non-reversible winter parkas (starting on the Eastern Front in autumn 1942) to combat the low temperatures in winter after testing throughout the year. They came with a pair of trousers and were made in three different thicknesses. The early versions were plain gray / white but later came camouflage versions, such as the one below, made after 1943.


      The German Army went to war with the M1935 pattern helmet (Stahlhelme), a model developed by Eisenhüttonwerke of Thule (Figure 21) from the M1918 pattern helmet of the First World War, and accepted for service on 25 June 1935. Originally, it was quite a complex and time-consuming item to manufacture and so it did not see widespread distribution until well into 1936. Even so, during the early stages of World War II, some reserve and second-line units still had the deeper M1918 pattern. As World War II progressed, shortages of materials and the search for greater economies led to the M1940 and M1942 patterns being introduced, all being of similar design but with an overall decrease in quality. This included changes in the manufacturing process, rougher / cheaper paint finishes, changes to the lining materials and the rolled edge being eliminated. In the field, helmets were given additional camouflage by their wearers, including being covered in mud, the use of chicken wire or nylon netting, an elastic band or the bread bag strap to hold local foliage, being painted suitable colours (such as sand for desert environments) and having camouflage pattern covers fixed to them. The latter were not standard issue and issued only to certain frontline and elite units.

      Apart for the steel helmet, the German soldier could also been seen wearing a field cap (Feldmütze &ndash see Figure 22) which was made of similar material to the field blouse. The early version was more a side cap (and was redesigned in 1942 to be more practical in cold weather), but from 1943 a new 'Standard' Field Cap (Einheitsfeldmütze &ndash see Figure 23) was issued, which was similar in design to the Mountain Cap (Bergemütze) won by the Mountain troops (Gebirgsjäger). Officers would also be seen wearing field caps (Figure 24) which could have stiffening board put into it for a more 'formal' look.


      The marching boot (Marschstiefel), more popularly known to the soldiers as the 'Dice Shakers' (Knobelbecher) and to the British as the 'jackboot', have been a feature of the German Army uniform since Bismarck's Reich. They were made of high quality, blackened cow leather with the calf portion measuring 35 &ndash 41cm and doubled soles strengthened with 35 &ndash 45 hobnails. The heels were reinforced with an indented iron plate on the outer rim. Officers wore similar items, but quite often bought high-quality tailor-made boots using personal means. Again, through the war, economies were introduced, the first being a reduction in the calf length to 29 &ndash 35cm to save leather.

      Later on, they were restricted in their distribution to the infantry, cyclists, motorcyclists and specialist troops (such as pioneers). Later still, they were replaced by the ankle boot (Schnürschuhe), worn with gaiters. Ankle boots had in fact been around before the war (M1937) and were mainly used for walking out dress and work wear around the barracks. They were however to become increasingly common as the war went on (from 1941 onwards) and a late-war version (M1944) became standard issue as part of the M1944 pattern uniform.

      Field Equipment (Feldausrüstung)

      The basic German Infantryman's webbing (the equipment by which he carries the items necessary to survive and fight), an example webbing set being shown in Figures 30 and 31, 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 (see Figure 32), due its increased practicality.

      Weapons: Small Arms

      Figure 33. The Mauser Kar98k bolt-action rifle (Above), chambered for the 7.92x57mm round, which were held in an integral five-round magazine, entered service in 1935. Derived from the Gewehr M1898 rifle (the German Army's battle rifle in World War I) and post-World War I Karabiner 98b, the Kar98k was the standard German battle rifle of World War II. Kar stand for Karabiner (carbine) and the k stands for kurz (short) so the designation stands for Carbine 98 Short. It can still be found in conflicts all over the world as well as in the civilian gun market.

      Weight:: 3.7 &ndash 4.1kg (8.2 &ndash 9lbs) Length: 1110mm (43.7in) Barrel Length: 600mm (23.6in) Muzzle velocity: 760m/s (2,493fps).

      Figure 34. The MP40 Sub-machinegun (MP standing for Maschinenpistole or Machine Pistol), chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum, operates with an open-bolt, blowback mechanism, the magazine holding 32 rounds. Introduced into service in 1940, it was a simplified version of the MP38, which itself was a development of the MP36, an SMG designed by Berthold Geipel of Erma. Over 1 million would be made during the War, but contrary to the image perceived in war films and computer games, it was generally only issued to paratroopers, tank crews as well as squad and platoon leaders (Above).

      Weight:: 4kg (8.8lbs) Length: 833mm (32.8in) with stock extended / 630mm (24.8in) with stock retracted Barrel Length: 251mm (9.9in) Muzzle velocity: 380m/s (1,247fps) Rate of Fire: 550 rounds per minute.

      Figure 35a. (left) The MG34 (the MG standing for Maschinengewehr or machinegun) was designed by Heinrich Vollmer of Mauser and accepted into service in 1934, firing the 7.92x57mm cartridge. It was the standard German infantry squad support weapon for the first half of World War II, being supplanted by the MG42 (Figure 35b, right) later in the war. Used in this role, it was equipped with a bipod (but could be converted to the heavy machinegun role by putting it on a tripod) and belt-fed, although it could accept 50-round drums.
      Weight:: 12.1kg (26.7lbs) Length: 1,219mm (48in) Barrel Length: 627mm (24.7in) Muzzle velocity: 755m/s (2,477fps) Rate of Fire: 900 rounds per minute (average).

      Figure 36a. (Above, Left) The 9x19mm P-08 Luger semi-automatic pistol, the design of which was patented by Georg J Luger in 1898, was initially chambered for 7.65x22 Parabellum but was eventually chambered for the 9x19mm cartridge, a round that was developed specifically for it (and hence is also called 9x19mm Luger). It operated using an unusual toggle-lock action instead of the standard slide action of almost all other semi-automatic pistols and featured an eight-round magazine. Made to exacting standards, the design worked well for high-power cartridges but low-power ones could cause feeding problems.
      Weight:: 871g (1.92lbs) Length: 222mm (8.75in) Barrel Length: 98 - 203mm (3.9 &ndash 8.02in) Muzzle velocity: 350 &ndash 400m/s (4in barrel, 9mm).

      Figure 36b (Above, Right) The Walther P-38, a gas-operated semi-automatic pistol, chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, came into service in 1940. It became the Wehrmacht's general service pistol, replacing the expensive-to-produce Luger P-08 and used a double-action trigger design, similar to that used on the PPK. It featured an eight-round magazine.

      Weight:: 800g (1lb 12oz) Length: 216mm (8.5in) Barrel Length: 125mm (4.9in) Muzzle velocity: 365m/s (1,200fps).

      Figure 37. The Browning Hi-Power (Above) was a single-action semi-automatic pistol chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, with a magazine that held thirteen rounds. The initial design came from John Browning to satisfy a French military requirement but after Browning's death in 1926, the design was refined by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Herstal, Belgium. It entered Belgian service in 1935. The factory continued to produce weapons under German occupation and so large numbers of this pistol saw service in the Wehrmacht.
      Weight:: 800g (1lb 12oz) Length: 216mm (8.5in) Barrel Length: 125mm (4.9in) Muzzle velocity: 365m/s (1,200fps).

      Figure 38. The Gewehr-41 (Above) was a semi-automatic rifle chambered for the 7.92x57mm cartridge. Both Walther and Mauser developed designs, with the Walther design being somewhat superior. Both suffered from reliability problems, a result of the overly complex gas system which was difficult to clean and maintain under field conditions combined with fouling caused by the corrosive propellants in the ammunition. It entered service in 1941 but was superseded by the Gewhr-43.
      Weight:: 4.9kg (10.87lbs) Length: 1,140mm (44.8in) Barrel Length: 546mm (21.5in) Muzzle velocity: 775m/s (2,328fps) Rate of Fire: Semi-automatic.

      Figure 39. The Gewehr-43 (Above) was a semi-automatic rifle chambered for the 7.92x57mm cartridge with a 10-round detachable box magazine. Following problems with the Gewehr-41, Walther produced a modified design in 1943, building on the experience they had with captured Soviet SVT-40 semi-automatic rifles. With a new gas system and changeable box magazine, the new rifle was smaller, lighter, easier to maintain, more reliable and quicker to reload. It started to be issued in early 1944 and over 400,000 units were produced.
      Weight:: 4.1kg (9.7lbs) Length: 1,130mm (44.8in) Barrel Length: 546mm (21.5in) Muzzle velocity: 775m/s (2,328fps) Rate of Fire: Semi-automatic.

      Figure 40. The StG44 (also known as the MP43 and MP44) is considered by many to be the first modern assault rifle, combining features of a carbine, automatic rifle and sub-machinegun. The StG stands for Sturmgewehr or 'assault rifle' and it was chambered for a new, intermediate calibre cartridge, the 7.92x33mm Kurz (Kurz meaning 'short') in a 30-round detachable magazine. This, along with the weapon's selective fire design, meant that while it didn't have the long range accuracy or hitting power of a normal rifle chambered for a full-power rifle cartridge (such as the 7.92x57mm Mauser) it did have good ballistic performance out to intermediate ranges and was still controllable for close-up fully automatic fire. This was in-line with Wehrmacht studies that indicated that the vast majority of infantry combat took place at less than 400m. Initial variants entered service in October 1943.
      Weight:: 5.22kg (11.5lbs) Length: 940mm (37in) Barrel Length: 419mm (16.5in) Muzzle velocity: 685m/s (2,247fps) Rate of Fire: 500 &ndash 600 rounds per minute.

      Weapons: Hand Grenades

      Figure 41. (Above) Various hand grenades used by the Wehrmacht. The picture on the left shows probably the best known design, known to the Allies as the 'Stick Grenade' or 'Potato Masher', in this case a Mod. 24 Steilhandgranate (top). The grenade is primed via a cord than runs down the hollow base. The picture on the right shows examples of the M39 Eihandgranate (Egg hand grenade), a design first introduced in 1939. The M39 was a continuation of the Mod.1917 Na. egg design, which was a small grenade, making it easier to carry in larger quantities and allowing it to be thrown further.

      Weapons: Anti-Tank

      Figure 42. (Above) The Panzerbüchse (literally 'Tank Rifle' &ndash here the word büchse mean rifle, as it refers to a large-calibre rifle used in sport or hunting) or PzB 39 was a single-shot, bolt-action anti-tank rifle designed by the firm Gustloff and chambered for a proprietary 13.2x92mm cartridge. It entered service in early 1939 and saw action right the way through the war with some 39,232 rifles being made. While it had reasonable success against contemporary vehicles (it could penetrate up to 25mm of armour at 300m), the increased armour of later AFVs rendered it useless against all but the most lightly armoured or non-armoured vehicles. It was superseded by the Panzerfaust and Panzerschrek, and many were rebuilt as grenade launchers.
      Weight:: 11.6kg (25.57lbs) Length: 1,620mm (63.8in) Barrel Length: 1,085mm (42.7in) Muzzle velocity: 1,210m/s (3,970fps) Rate of Fire: 10 rounds per minute (approx).

      Figures 43 and 44. (Above) Designed to give infantry a portable anti-tank capability, the Faustpatrone Klein 30 (literally 'Fist Cartridge, Small') was the forerunner to the better known Panzerfaust series, introduced in August 1943. The Panzerfaust (literally 'Tank Fist') series of weapons were essentially a hollow metal tube with a shaped-charge warhead attached to it. On firing, the warhead would accelerate out of the tube, up to a speed of 100m/s (depending on the design) with stabilising fins deploying after it left the tube. They were reasonably accurate up to 100m (again, depending on the design) and could penetrate up to 220mm of armour. The 30 entered service in August 1943, the 60M in September 1944 and the 100M in November 1944.
      Faustpatrone K30: Weight &ndash 3.2kg Effective Range &ndash 30m Penetration &ndash 140mm
      Panzerfaust 30: Weight &ndash 5.1kg Effective Range &ndash 30m Penetration &ndash 200mm
      Panzerfaust 60M: Weight &ndash 6.1kg Effective Range &ndash 60m Penetration &ndash 200mm
      Panzerfaust 100M: Weight &ndash 6.8kg Effective Range &ndash 100m Penetration &ndash 220mm

      Figure 45. (Above) The Panzerschrek (literally 'Tank Terror') was the popular name for the Raketenpanzerbüchse (or 'Rocket Armour Rifle'), a German development of the M1A1 Bazooka. The main variants were the RPzB 43 (issued early in 1943), RPzB 54 (issued in October 1943 and had a blast shield to protect the operator) and RPzB 54/1 (shorter but fired an improved rocked). It fired a rocket-propelled shaped-charge warhead that had, in the case of the RPzB 54/1, a range of about 180mm and could penetrate over 200mm of armour. It was the heaviest of the three versions though, at 11kg (empty).

      Weapons: Indirect Fire

      Figure 46. (Above) The German Leichter Granatwerfer 36 was a light, 5cm mortar used throughout World War II. Development started in 1934 by Rheinmetall-Borsig AG and it was adopted for service in 1936. By 1941, its effectiveness was seen as limited and production eventually ceased. As supplies dwindled, German troops starting using captured French and Soviet 50mm mortars but the 5cm LeGrW was always popular due to it being easily portable by two soldiers and provided a decent striking power at a range not immediately accessible to the squad or section. It weighed 14kg (31lbs), had a barrel length of 465mm (18in) and fired a 3.5kg HE shell up to 520m away.

      Figure 47. (Above) The 8cm Granatwerfer (GrW) 34 was the standard medium German mortar in World War II. It had a reputation of being reliable, accurate and having a decent rate of fire. The weapon broke down into three loads (barrel, bipod and baseplate) and featured a line of the barrel for rough laying, while a panoramic sight was fitted on the traversing mechanism for fine adjustment. It weighed 62kg (136.6lbs) with a steel barrel or 57kg (125.6lbs) with an alloy barrel, had a barrel length of 1,143mm (45in) and could fire a 3.5kg HE or smoke shell, well over a kilometre, a range that could be extended to almost 2.5km (2,723yds) with up to three additional propellant charges. A shortened version, the kz 8cm GrW42 was developed for use by the paratroopers but its use became much more widespread as the limitations of the 5cm LeGrW became apparent.

      Figure 48. (Above) The 12cm Granatwerfer (GrW) 42 was virtually a direct copy of the Soviet PM-38 120mm mortar and an attempt to give German troops an indirect fire weapon that had better range and striking power than the weapons available at the time. Captured Soviet weapons received the designation 12 cm Granatwerfer 378 (r). The GrW had a barrel length of about 1,862 mm (6 ft), weighed 280kg (617.3lbs) and was towed into firing position using a two-wheeled axle, which was removed while setting up the weapon. It could fire a 15.6kg (34.4lbs) shell approximately 6km (6,561yds).


      Any article such as this can only hope to produce something of a 'primer' as to the wide range of clothing, equipment and weapons that became available to the German soldier during World War II. However, as general rule, as the war progressed, the quality of many items diminished as economy measures were introduced in attempts to solve shortages of materials and reduce production times, the exception being the range of weapons available, particularly anti-tank and support weapons. While the majority of clothes were of 'field gray' colour, it can be

      Bibliography and Additional Information

      Bell, Brian. Wehrmacht Combat Helmets 1933 &ndash 45, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2004, Elite Series No. 106.

      U.S. Army basic service uniforms consisted of a winter service uniform of olive drab wool worn in temperate weather, and a summer service uniform of khaki (a shade of tan) cotton fabric worn in tropical weather. In addition to the service uniforms worn for ordinary duty and dress purposes there were a variety of fatigue and combat uniforms. Summer and winter service uniforms were worn during their respective seasons in the continental United States. During the war, the European Theater of Operations (Northwestern Europe) was considered a year-round temperate zone and the Pacific Theater of Operations a year-round tropical uniform zone. In the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, U.S. soldiers wore both seasonal uniforms. [1]

      Enlisted men's service uniforms Edit

      Winter uniforms Edit

      The enlisted men's winter service uniform in 1941 consisted of a wool serge four-button coat with four pockets in olive drab shade no. 33 (OD 33), wool trousers, and a long-sleeved wool shirt, both in olive drab shade 32 (OD 32). A russet brown leather belt with a brass buckle was worn with the coat until 1941, when it was dropped as a leather conservation measure, with the belt hooks on the coat being eliminated as well. Many enlisted men added belt hooks to their coats, and privately purchased their own belts they can often be seen being worn long after the 1941 termination date. Shirts, which featured two patch pockets and no shoulder straps, were either OD 32 wool flannel or khaki cotton chino cloth. Either color of shirt could be worn under the coat, however, the cotton shirt could not be worn as an outer garment with the wool trousers when the coat was not worn. The initial shirt design had a stand-up collar like a typical dress shirt. In 1941, the shirt was redesigned with the collar band removed so the collar would lie flat when worn without a necktie in the field. [2] [3] In 1944, the color of the shirt and trousers was changed to OD 33.

      In 1941, the necktie for the winter uniform was black wool and the summer necktie was khaki cotton. [4] In February 1942, a universal mohair wool necktie in olive drab shade no. 3 (OD 3) replaced both previous neckties. The OD 3 necktie was shortly superseded by a khaki cotton–wool blend necktie. The khaki necktie was mandated for wear with both summer and winter service uniforms. [5] [6] Whenever a shirt was worn as an outer garment, the necktie was tucked between the first and second exposed buttons of the shirt. [7]

      Summer uniforms Edit

      The enlisted man's summer service uniform consisted of the cotton khaki uniform shirt with matching trousers the coat for this uniform was discontinued for issue to enlisted men in the 1930s. The necktie was tucked between the first and second exposed buttons of the shirt. [8] Although originally used as a summer combat uniform as well as a summer dress uniform, after the invasion of the Philippines in 1942 the khaki uniform was largely replaced as a summer combat uniform by the herringbone twill utility uniform.

      Headgear Edit

      The peaked cap was discontinued for official issue to most enlisted soldiers after the end of 1941, but remained a popular item for private purchase. Thereafter, only the garrison cap in either olive drab for winter or khaki for summer wear with piping in the color of the soldier's branch of service was the designated enlisted service headgear. The soldier's distinctive unit insignia (DUI) was worn on the left front of the curtain if the unit issued one. However, after 1943 the manufacture of new DUIs under government contract were suspended for the duration of the war. [9]

      World War II U.S. Army branch piping colors [10]
      Branch Color(s)
      Adjutant General's Department Dark blue and scarlet
      Air Corps Ultramarine blue and golden orange
      Armored Center and units Green and white
      Cavalry Yellow
      Chaplain Corps Black
      Chemical Warfare Service Cobalt blue and golden yellow
      Coast and Antiaircraft Artillery Scarlet
      Corps of Engineers Scarlet and white
      Detached Enlisted Men's List Green
      Field Artillery Scarlet
      Finance Department Silver gray and golden yellow
      Infantry Light (Saxony) blue
      Inspector General's Department Dark blue and light blue
      Judge Advocate General's Department Dark blue and white
      Medical Department Maroon and white
      Military Intelligence Golden yellow and purple
      Military Police Yellow and green
      National Guard Bureau Dark blue
      Ordnance Department Crimson and yellow
      Permanent professors of the United States Military Academy Scarlet and silver grey
      Quartermaster Corps Buff
      Signal Corps Orange and white
      Specialist Reserve Brown and golden yellow
      Tank Destroyer Center and units Orange and black
      Transportation Corps Brick red and golden yellow
      Women's Army Corps Mosstone green and old gold
      Warrant officers Brown
      Warrant officers and flight officers (after 1940) Silver and black
      Officers (after 1940) Gold and black
      General officers (after 1940) Gold

      Footwear Edit

      Issue footwear consisted of low quarter russet brown leather cap toe boots. For more on Army footwear see combat uniforms below.

      Officer's service uniforms Edit

      Winter uniforms Edit

      The male officer's winter service uniform in 1941 consisted of a four-button, four-pocket coat of finer wool fabric in olive drab shade no. 51 (OD 51), a very dark olive green with brownish hue, nicknamed "greens". The coat was worn with a russet brown leather Sam Browne belt until 1942 when the leather belt was replaced by a cloth belt of matching fabric to the coat. Officers could wear trousers matching the color and fabric of the coat, or optionally they were allowed trousers of a contrasting pale taupe, officially called "drab shade no. 54", of the same material as the coat, nicknamed "pinks", leading to the nickname "pinks and greens" for the combination. [11] Officers were also authorized to use the more durable OD 33 enlisted uniforms, except for the enlisted men's four pocket service coat, as long as they were not mixed with OD 51 or taupe clothing. [12]

      Officers' shirts, unlike the enlisted shirts, included shoulder straps. Officers had additional shirt color and fabric options. In 1941 officers shirts included cotton or tropical worsted wool khaki shirts that could be worn with either the summer or winter service uniforms and wool shirts in OD 33 or OD 51 with the winter uniform. Additionally, in 1944 shade No. 54 taupe shirts matching the trousers were authorized. [3] Officers wore black and khaki neckties with winter and summer uniforms respectively, like enlisted soldiers, until after February 1942 when the universal neckties were changed to khaki for all ranks. [6] As with enlisted men, officers could not wear khaki shirts as an outer garment with the wool trousers. The shirt had to be either the same shade OD as the trousers or OD 51 with the taupe trousers.

      Summer uniforms Edit

      Male officer's summer service uniforms usually consisted of a wash-and-wear cotton khaki uniforms like those of enlisted men, the main difference being that the shirts had shoulder straps added. However, for dress purposes officers also had the option of purchasing a khaki summer service uniform of tropical weight suiting fabric. The coat of the uniform was identical in cut to the winter officers' uniform, except the cloth belt of the winter service coat was omitted. [13]

      Headgear Edit

      Officer's headgear for the winter uniform consisted of either an OD 51 peaked service cap with a russet leather visor or a garrison cap matching the OD fabric shade worn. The garrison cap for officers was piped around the curtain with black and gold cord except for general officers whose piping was all gold. The officer's rank insignia was worn on the left front side of the garrison cap. The service cap was also available in khaki tan with a removable top to be worn with the khaki summer uniform. Optionally khaki garrison caps were worn with the summer khaki uniform with the same piping as the winter OD version.

      Footwear Edit

      Footwear normally consisted of russet-brown leather Type I (leather-soled) service shoes.

      Eisenhower jacket Edit

      During the war in Europe a short jacket was adopted by General Dwight D. Eisenhower as an alternative to the 4 pocket service coat. The "Eisenhower jacket", or "Ike jacket", was popular. It closely resembled the short British Battle Dress jacket that inspired it. However, development and approval by the Army was slow. Except for small runs of jackets made for soldiers in England, the U.S. Army did not provide the jacket as an issue item to enlisted soldiers until the war in Europe was almost over.

      There were several versions. Two Ike jackets were manufactured in England and issued to troops in Europe before the jackets were approved Army wide. Both of these were essentially wool versions of the 1941 pattern poplin field jacket. [14] These jackets were authorized only in the ETO. There were also non-standard conversions made for GIs particularly officers by tailors in the United Kingdom with degrees of variation.

      The standard-issue M44 Wool Field Jacket, made of fine-quality OD 33 wool, was originally designed as a liner to be worn under the M1943 combat jacket. While originally intended as a field or combat jacket, it was nearly always reserved for service or dress wear. The M44 ultimately replaced the four button service dress jacket for enlisted troops. However, the full phase-out of the enlisted service coat was only completed after the war was over. [15]

      Wear of insignia and badges Edit

      With the service uniform, the enlisted arm of service insignia was embossed on circular pins, while the officer's insignia was "free work" (i.e., open design with no backing). Officers' arm of service pins ("U.S." for the Regular Army) were worn on the upper lapels and their branch of service pins were worn on their lower lapels. Enlisted men wore the U.S. disk on the right and the branch disk on the left upper lapel. The rank of officers was worn on the outer edge of the shoulder loops whereas enlisted soldiers wore rank chevrons three inches wide points-up on both upper arms. Organizational patches were worn on the left upper shoulder only.

      When the coat was worn, no insignia was worn on the shirts except sew-on patches. When the shirt was worn as an outer garment, officers wore pin on insignia on the shirt. Until 1942, the officers' U.S. pin was worn on the right collar point and the officers' branch insignia was worn on the left. The officers' rank was worn on the outer ends of the shoulder loops as on the coat. After September 1942, the U.S. pin was deleted, and the rank of the wearer was displayed on the right collar point.

      Distinctive Unit Insignia pins (featuring the unit's coat-of-arms) were worn in the center of the epaulet for officers and on the lower lapels for enlisted men. These devices were relatively uncommon during the war as a metal-conservation measure.

      Wound Chevrons (awarded from 1918 to 1932 for wounds in combat) were worn on the lower right sleeve between the cuff and the elbow. Service stripes, or "hash marks", (awarded for every 3 years of service) were worn on the lower left sleeve. World War I Overseas Chevrons (created 1918) and/or World War II Overseas Bars (created 1944) (awarded for each six months combat service overseas) were worn on the lower left sleeve between the elbow and lower sleeve, but above the Service Stripes. The World War II Bars were worn over the World War I Chevrons. After 1953 the Service Stripes were kept on the lower left sleeve and the Overseas Service Stripes were moved to the lower right sleeve.

      Parachutist's Wings, Pilot's Wings, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Combat Infantryman Badge, or the Combat Medical Badge were worn above the left pocket. Discharged soldiers returning home wore the embroidered Honorable Discharge Emblem (or "Ruptured duck") on the uniform over the right pocket on a diamond-shaped olive drab cloth backing. American and foreign medals or medal ribbons were worn above the left pocket. American and foreign Unit citation ribbons are worn over the right top tunic pocket. The Meritorious Unit Commendation patch (created 1944), awarded to a unit for at least six months of exemplary combat service or combat support, is worn on the lower right sleeve above the cuff and below the Wound Chevrons.

      Female members of the U.S. Army during WWII were assigned to either the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) or the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC/WAC). The ANC preceded the WAAC/WAC so the two branches had separate uniform distinctions.

      Army Nurse Corps uniforms Edit

      Prior to 1943, the ANC winter service uniform consisted of the ANC pattern dark blue cap or garrison cap with maroon piping, suit jacket with maroon cuff braid and gold army buttons, light blue or white shirt, black tie and light blue skirt shoes were black or white. The ANC summer service uniform consisted of a similar suit in beige with maroon shoulder strap piping and cuff braid, beige ANC cap or beige garrison cap with maroon piping, white shirt, and black four-in-hand tie. During World War II the first flight nurses uniform consisted of a blue wool battle dress jacket, blue wool trousers and a blue wool men's style maroon piped garrison cap. The uniform was worn with either the ANC light blue or white shirt and black tie. After 1943 the ANC adopted olive drab service uniforms similar to the newly formed WAC. Nurses wore Army hospital whites on ward duty. [16]

      WAAC and WAC Uniforms Edit

      In May 1942 Congress approved the creation of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps. [17] Although the ANC were actual service members of the U.S. Army, the members of the WAAC were not, so they wore Army style uniforms with distinctly different insignia than U.S. Army service members. In the summer of 1943 the WAAC was converted to the Women's Army Corps (WAC). From that point the WAC were U.S. Army service members and their insignia was changed to that of the regular army. [18]

      Female service dress went through an evolution of patterns over the course of the war years, however throughout the period the service uniforms both summer and winter generally consisted of the WAC pattern "Hobby" hat or women's garrison cap, a women's suit coat, shirtwaist, four-in-hand tie, skirt, russet leather women's service shoes and hand bag. The women's olive drab wool "Ike jacket" was also worn as were women's service trousers. The colors essentially mirrored those of their male counterparts of corresponding rank in the equivalent service uniform although fabrics differed. There were also special off-duty dresses of summer beige and winter tan.

      After the WAC were established the ANC adopted the WAC officer's uniforms, except for the ANC pattern hat and the ANC pattern handbag. However, those items were changed to olive drab and russet leather respectively. The ANC off duty dress was a separate ANC pattern in olive drab shade 51 or beige. The previous ANC beige summer service uniform with maroon trim was retained except that the tie was changed to maroon. [19]

      The U.S. Army during the inter-war period followed the previous model of having a standard uniform that combined elements of both the service uniform and field uniform. By combining the uniforms, it was thought that time and money could be saved. The temperate climate field configuration consisted of the olive drab wool trousers, shirt, and russet brown shoes from the service uniform worn with canvas leggings, helmet and web gear. An outer jacket or coat, either the Model 1938 "Overcoat, Mackinaw, Roll Collar" or the M1941 Field Jacket, nicknamed the "Parson jacket" after its designer, in OD 3 was issued. At the outset of the war, the khaki cotton summer uniform was intended to serve as a tropical climate field uniform.

      In the European Theater of Operations, the basic wool uniform saw the most use and had the greatest functionality, being able to keep the soldier warm in the winter with its insulation and relatively cool and breathable in Northern European summer weather. However, the M-1941 field jacket received considerable criticism it was poorly insulated and the light cotton shell provided little protection from wind or rain. In addition, the light OD 3 coloring was deemed inappropriate for use in northern Europe, as it stood out against most backdrops, making soldiers more visible targets.

      Herringbone twill uniform Edit

      Additionally, a fatigue-duty uniform made of 8.2-ounce heavy cotton herringbone twill (HBT) cloth was issued. The uniform consisted of a shirt, trousers, and a hat. Initially, this was a circular-brimmed "clamdigger"-style hat which was later replaced by a billed cap that was based on a design used by railroad workers. It was intended to be worn over the basic wool or cotton uniforms to provide protection during fatigue duties, but it proved to be much better material than the primary wool uniform for hot weather, as so it saw use as a combat uniform in nearly all of the major theaters of combat in which the US was involved. [20]

      The original 1941 version came in a light sage green color that faded with repeated washing. The later 1943 version had small changes in tailoring and came in a darker olive drab shade No. 7, matching the new M-1943 version of the field jacket.

      The M-1943 field uniform Edit

      The M-1943 uniform came into service in the later half of World War II. The uniform was designed as a layered system, meant to be worn over the wool shirt and trousers, and in conjunction with a wool sweater and liners in colder weather.

      The most recognizable part of the uniform is the standardized M-1943 field jacket. It was longer than the earlier 1941 field jacket, coming down to the upper thighs. It was made of windproof cotton sateen and was issued in a new darker olive drab color, OD 7. The jacket also had a detachable hood, drawstring waist, two large breast pockets, and two lower skirt pockets.

      The trousers were made out of the same OD 7 cotton sateen material and white cotton twill inner lining, and were equipped with both front and rear pockets. They also had buttoned tabs at the waist in order to cinch the waist. For airborne troops, treated canvas cargo pockets were added to the trousers.

      In the ETO, initial issuance of the M-1943 was slowed as a consequence of opposition by some U.S. commanders. However, as U.S. and Allied troops pushed into Germany, more M-1943 uniforms or components of the uniform were issued as the supply situation (including replacements directly from stateside arrived) and the weather became harsher as winter arrived.

      In use, the M-1943 was very popular with the men in the field, being relatively comfortable and having large amounts of pocket space.

      Experimental tropical uniform Edit

      In 1943, after extensive testing in the swamplands and jungles of Florida and Panama, the U.S. Army determined that an experimental tropical uniform made of Byrd Cloth (known in Britain as Grenfell Cloth), would best protect soldiers from insects and disease while cooling the body and minimizing losses from perspiration. [21] Byrd Cloth, as used in the Experimental Tropical Uniform, was a single-layer uniform of untreated OD long-staple Egyptian cotton, made in a tightly woven herringbone twill to prevent mosquito bites. In use, the uniform was intended to cool the wearer even when continuously wetted, as might be expected in a humid, rainy jungle environment. [21] The uniform featured a short-tailed shirt, trousers with cuffs fitted with half-inch boottop fastening tapes, and a flap-protected fly to keep out crawling insects such as leeches, ticks, and chiggers. [21] [22] Pockets were shallow and kept to a minimum to increase cooling users carried all their gear in load-bearing belts, suspenders, or in low-mounted field packs designed to minimize body contact (jungle packs). The uniform, always in short supply because of a shortage of Byrd Cloth, was used in combat by members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) [23] and the Mars Task Force (Army 5332nd Brigade-Provisional) in Burma. [24] [25] [26]

      Because of the shortage of suitable weaving machines and resultant cost of weaving Byrd Cloth, a less expensive 5-ounce OD cotton poplin shirt and trouser were issued on an experimental basis in 1944 for use in jungle and tropical regions while reports were favorable, existing HBT stockpiles were deemed adequate, and the uniform was not adopted. [22]

      Women's fatigue uniforms Edit

      Nurses wore Army hospital whites on ward duty although a seersucker version with brown and white stripes was created because the whites were hard to maintain in some overseas areas. This dress was inspired by a WAC seersucker version the same color. Sage green fatigue uniforms of herringbone cotton twill for women, along with women's combat boots, field jackets and flight clothing, were manufactured by the U.S. Army during World War II. However, when women's versions of these items were not available, as was often the case in overseas areas, men's issue work/fatigue clothing was used instead. [27] The M1942 HBT "clamdigger" utility hat was used extensively by the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. They wore it with the back of the brim flipped up and the front of the brim pulled down and nicknamed it the "Daisy Mae Cap". It replaced the WAACs' distinctive "Hobby Hat" kepi for field use and fatigue duties.

      Army combat footwear in World War II originally consisted of a basic tanned leather shoe, used with heavy canvas leggings, the "Shoes, Service, Composition Sole", or "Type I Service Shoe". This was an ankle-high field shoe made of tanned leather in a dark reddish-brown or russet color, originally with leather soles. The sole was changed to a rubber composition after 1940 and designated as the "Type II Service Shoe". Soon after the US entry into the war these shoes, which were also used as part of the dress uniform, were replaced with a "roughout" field shoe designated the "Type III Service Shoe," essentially identical to the Type II shoe but made from leather uppers that were flesh-side out. The Marine Corps used a version of these shoes similar in appearance, that were commonly referred to as "boondockers". In November 1943, the Type II and III service shoes were in turn replaced by a boot, the "Composition Sole Combat Service Boot," or "two-buckle boot". This boot had a permanently-attached two-buckled leather cuff which was designed to replace the unpopular canvas leggings. The sole was made of synthetic or reclaimed rubber. Due to supply issues, soldiers can be seen wearing both the service shoes with the leggings and the newer combat boot.

      Specialized combat footwear Edit

      A rubber-soled, canvas-top Jungle boot was issued during the war for use by soldiers in the tropical and jungle environments typically encountered in the China-Burma-India (CBI) and the Pacific theaters. The 10th Mountain Division's troopers occasionally wore the Mountain Boot, a low-quarter brown leather boot with a square toe and rocker-type sole, though this boot was phased out in favor of the Type III Combat Boot in the last year of the war. In 1944, the M-44 Combat Boot, a high-top leather boot with full laces was adopted for service, but for the duration it was primarily worn by soldiers on stateside duty.

      Parachute troops beginning in 1942 were issued Jump boots – high-lacing rubber-soled leather boots which were intended to provide additional ankle support when landing by parachute. Although these boots were to be replaced by the new M43 combat boots, jump boots continued to be worn throughout the war. Nicknamed "Corcorans", from the name of the first contractor to manufacture them, they have become a status symbol as the footwear of paratroopers and Rangers.

      Overshoes were normally issued to Army units during winter operations. In January 1945, some Army units operating in the ETO received shoepacs for wet winter wear. The shoepac was a leather boot with rubberized lower top and sole, worn in conjunction with the wool ski sock. While it was effective in keeping feet protected from soaking and freezing ground, the shoepac lacked foot support and tended to wear quickly it also resulted in incidents of foot injuries when a soldier wearing shoepacs on a march in freezing weather stopped to rest, allowing perspiration-soaked socks inside the boot to freeze. [28]

      Belt, Cartridge, Cal .30, Dismounted, M-1923

      M-1923 Cartridge Belt w/M1 Garand clip.

      The Model 1923 cartridge belt was adopted when stocks of the M-1910 belt were exhausted after World War I, designed as part of the infantryman's load carrying system, anchoring the M-1910 haversack and later the M-1928 infantry pack. It provided ten pockets for clips of .30-caliber ammunition for the M-1903 Springfield, M-1917 Enfield, and later M1 Gerand rifle. The M-1903 and M-1917 rifles using 5 round stripper clips (two per pocket, total of 100 rounds) while the M1 Garand used a single eight shot clip per pocket (total 80 rounds).

      What Are Those World War II Collectibles Really Worth?

      Kenneth W. Rendell, founder and director of the Museum of World War II in Natick, Massachusetts. He has been a dealer in historical letters and documents for more than a half century and gained fame in 1983 for proving that the so-called “Hitler diaries” were a fraud. He is author of World War II: Saving the Reality (Whitman).

      Published Date: May 15, 2010

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      World War II

      • Captured WW2 German Photos - photos from the Eastern Front
      &bull Louisiana Maneuvers Photoset - Photos taken in camp and in the field during the Louisiana Maneuvers (HSF Blog Post)
      • Tourist GIs - photos taken by a GI during spring 1945
      Paratroopers at Fort Benning 1941 - Photos of Airborne solders juming from a C-47 (HSF Blog Post)
      Dorothy Wain Thompson - Waceteer, Letters Home, and More - Writings from the ETO by my aunt who was a WAC with the 8th Air Force

      &bull WACs in Manila - A WAC's photos from her off duty hours in Manila (HSF Blog Post)
      &bull With the WACs from Manila to New Jersey - Photos from the WACs trip home (HSF Blog Post)

      Getting Started in WW2 Reenacting:

      • To Wear Khaki, or Not To Wear Khaki - Green Web Equipment in WWII. by Sean Foster
      • How to Pick a Unit - My checklist of questions and ideas for picking the perfect unit to join.
      • First Person Worksheet - Fill in the blank worksheet to develop your first person impression.
      • 1940's Living History - Background on American Culture in the 1940's
      • 1940's Camera Basics - How to use a 1940's camera
      • Camera PH-324 - Military manual for Kodak 35 camera (same as civilian camera, just different finish/color)
      • Fall In - Booklet given to new recruits by The America Legion. Covers basic info, terms, pay, etc for the new soldier, sailor, aviator.
      • Reenactor Humor - Photo Modifications & other such mischief!

      Reenactment Photos:

      Southern Wing - Photos of some of the members of the Southern Wing of the Airmens Preservation Society.

      Liri Valley 2001 - Tactical in Ocala Florida, Jan 2001
      Battle of the Bulge 2001- Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, Jan 2001
      Battle of the Bulge 2002 - Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, Jan 2002
      Battle of the Bulge 2004 - Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, Jan 2004
      Jackson, Ms. - Western Front Tactical in Jackson Mississippi, March 2002
      Toccoa, Ga. - NMHA tactical in Toccoa Georgia, March 23, 2002
      Reading, Pa. 2001 - Airshow & WW2 Weekend in Reading, Pennsylvania, June 2001
      Reading, Pa. 2002 - Airshow & WW2 Weekend in Reading, Pennsylvania, June 2002
      Frederick, Md. - Airshow in Frederick, Maryland, August 2001
      Celebrate Freedom - Airshow in Columbia, South Carolina, November 2001
      Doolittle Raiders Reunion - Photos & more - AMI field hospital at the Doolittle Raider Reunion, April, 2002
      Military Timelines - Roswell Georgia, Memorial Day, May 2001& Birthday of the Army, June 14th, 2001
      Athens, Ga - Military timeline, May 27th, 2002
      Liri Valley - Tactical in Ocala Florida, Jan 2003
      • Liri Valley - Tactical in Ocala Florida, Jan 2004
      • Athens, Ga - Military timeline, May 25-26, 2003
      Augusta, Ga 2003 - Airshow in Augusta Georgia October 4-5 2003
      • Spring Hill, Tn 2004 - Tactical in Spring Hill, Tn April 2-3 2004
      • Battle of the Ruhr Pocket - NMHA tactical in Carrollton, Ga. 2005
      Celebrate Freedom 2003 - Airshow in Camden, South Carolina, November 2003
      Celebrate Freedom 2004 - Airshow in Camden, South Carolina, November 2004
      • Iwo Jima +60 - 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima, Fredericksburg, Texas, 2005
      8th AF Living History - Mighty 8th AF Museum, Savannah, Ga., 2005
      • Army Birthday 2005 - Celebration of the Birthday of the Army at Ft. McPherson, Ga, 2005
      Reading, Pa. 2005 - Airshow & WW2 Weekend in Reading, Pennsylvania, June 2005
      Celebrate Freedom 2005 - Airshow in Camden, South Carolina, November 2005
      &bull Command Post Museum Opening - Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 2005
      &bull Tullahoma, Tn 2005 - Reduction of Kampfgruppe Peiper Tactical, December 2005
      &bull Liri Valley - Tactical in Ocala Florida, Jan 2006
      &bull Island Excursion - Living History Event Georgia, Sept 2006
      &bull Military Channel - Photos from the video shoot for an upcoming Military Channel series.
      &bull Spring Hill, Tn 2007 - Feb 1945 tactical hosted by the 30th Div in Tennessee
      &bull Kennesaw, GA 2007 - All Ages Military Timeline
      &bull Camden Military Timeline 2008 - Camden, S.C.
      Liberty Belle 2008 - The B17, Liberty Belle, returns to England
      &bull Sons of Valor VI - Western Front tactical in Camden, SC. March 2010


      • Paperwork - Original Examples to help you fill out your repro paperwork FREE WEB PRINTABLE PAPERWORK.

      • Dogtags & Serial Numbers - Army Regulations for the information on dogtags (early & late war) and How to pick a correct Army Serial Number for your impression. On the "Strictly GI" website, written by Alain S. Batens. External LINK
      &bull Serial Number Generator - Automatically generate your ASN thanks to this tool created by E/506th.

      • Pay Scale - Pay, Allotments, Deductions, and Allowances of the Enlisted Man
      Post Regulations - Army Air Corps Uniform Regulations- 1942
      Medical Detachment Orders - Letterman General Hospital - 1937
      • Requisites of a Good Clerk - 18 rules to being a good clerk
      • Field Desk - suggested contents (forms & office supplies) of a field desk

      • Britain - Pamphlet - For all Members of American Expeditionary Forces in Great Britain


      • Classes of Uniform - Illustration of Class "A" thru Class "D" uniforms
      • GI Uniform - Placement of Insignia on 4 pocket blouse
      • WAC Uniform - Placement of Insignia on the WAC blouse
      • Officer Field Uniform - Placement of Insignia on the Officer's field uniform
      • How to Tie A . - Illustrated instructions on how to tie a Regular, Windsor, and Bow Tie

      29th DI's - 29th Infantry Division Distinctive Insignias
      • Ribbon Bars-Decorations & Awards for the 4 pocket blouse
      • Rank Insignia - Insignia of Grade, U.S. Army
      • Branch Identification - identifying colors of the various arms, services, bureaus, etc.
      • The Expert Infantry Badge - Background history about the EIB

      • Inductee Clothing Issue - Ft. Lee QM Site External LINK
      • WAC Clothing Issue - Inventory of issued clothing items required for each WAC
      • WAC Personal Items - Approved items which can be brought to WAAC training center

      Basic Training:

      &bull Know Your Enemy: Basic Unform & Tactics info about the Japanese & German Soldiers. From the Ordinance Soldier's Guide.
      &bull Infantry Drill Regulations: General Information, Soldier Without Arms, Soldier With Arms, Squad Drill
      • Extended Order Introduction - Basic info on squad formations.
      • Combat Formation - Composition of the Rifle Squad & when to use specific formations
      • Cover & Movement - Dropping to the Prone Position from a Run
      • Hand Signals - Basic Combat Signaling.
      • Foxholes - Various foxholes types for infantry & machine guns

      • Crossing Barbed Wire - how to silently cut barded wire

      • German Phrases - Excerpts from the German Phrase Book, Nov 30, 1943
      • Cadence Calls - History of Cadence calls and Period WW2 calls
      Carlisle Bandage - How to apply the Carlisle Bandage.
      10 Laws of Self Aid - Ten steps to self aid for wounds in combat.
      • Knots & Lashing - Basic knot tying and some illustrated uses.

      • Welcome - Welcome to the WAC
      • When to Salute - When you should & shouldn't salute
      • Salute - Proper way to salute

      • Marches & Bivouacs - Hints & Tips for a safe & healthy march

      • Use of the Compass - Basics on using a compass and orienting your map
      • Scouting and Patrolling - Training for all Infantrymen
      • Scouts' Observations - Scout's observations and the 3 ways to report his findings
      • Messages & Reports - How a Scout can prepare concise and accurate messages and reports.
      • Lettering - Proper handwriting for messages and reports

      &bull FM 24-9 - Combined United States - British Radiotelephone (R/T) Procedure, 1942
      • Radio Card -Radio Procedure Card & Phonetic Alphabet
      • Field Wire Splice - How to splice field phone wire
      • Field Wire Ties - How to secure field phone wire to trees, etc
      • Field Telephones - Basic field phone diagnostic tests
      • Batteries - Specs & Info on common Signal Corps Batteries
      &bull Combat Lessons - Excerpts from "Combat Lessons" pamphlets printed during 1944
      &bull Tips from an Old Top Kick - Practical Hints & Tips from the Ordinance Soldier's Guide

      Garrison Life:

      &bull Footlocker Layout Detailed Description - Detailed view & item description of Footlocker Tray contents. Written by Jeff Reed

      • Footlocker Styles & Patterns - Photos of various WW2 dated & era footlockers
      • GI Footlocker - Photos of Footlockers laid out for inspection at 2002 Fort Indiantown Gap event
      • WAC Footlocker Display - Photo of Footlocker ready for inspection.

      • Garrison Gear - Recommended Equipment List for Garrison Impression Events
      • The Correct Way to Make Your Bunk - illustrated instructions on proper bunk making.

      Inf Equipment - Footlocker, Wall Locker, Bed, and Personal Gear Inspection Layout
      • Mechanized Personal Equipment - Personal Gear Inspection Layout for mechanized troops (came from Signal Corp Training Workbook)
      AB Equipment - Inspection Display of AB Equipment
      Medic Equipment - Medic Footlocker, Wall Locker, Bed, and Personal Gear Inspection Layout
      • WAC Equipment - WAC bunk, shelf, and footlocker display

      • Interior Guard Duty - General Orders
      • KP Duties - Schedule for KP Duty for 6 men

      • Hygiene - Personal Care of the Individual Soldier

      Select the items in the image to find out more.


      • Marking - Army Regulations for marking clothing & equipment
      • Marking of Clothing - Illustrated how to & where to guide on marking clothing.
      • WAC Marking - Location for individual markings on WAC clothing
      • M1928 Pack - How to pack the M1928 pack
      • M1936 Pack - How to make & attach the bedroll for the M1936 Musette Bag
      • Grenades - Proper Color Scheme for MKII Frag Grenades
      • How to Wear Your Gear - Individual soldiers' preference of carrying equipment. Using photos from the Center for Military History's website.

      • M1 Helmets - Dating the M1 Steel Helmet
      • Cargo Packboard Attachment - how to use the shelf attachment with the cargo packboard
      • Uniforms & Equipment - Dating WW2 Uniforms and Equipment

      • How & Why to Use Your Gas Mask - How to ID the types of Gas, how to put on a gasmask, and other necessary procedures.


      • LMG Section Jeep - Load list for jeep in Weapon's Platoon of an Infantry Company
      • MVO Test - Graded & Practical test for Motor Vehicle Operator's Permit
      • Hand Signals - Hand Signals for operating vehicles in convoy
      • Jeep Restoration - Ongoing updates from the restoration of my 1944 Willys MB
      • WC-52 - Initial page for the upcoming restoration of my 1942 Dodge Weapons Carrier
      • Battalion Headquarters Company and Company Headquarters Company, Infantry Regiment - Vehicle Loading Table
      • Medical Detachment, Infantry Regiment - Vehicle Loading Table


      • Rifle Sling & Firing Positions - how to use the leather sling & proper firing positions
      • Blanks in the M1 Belt - Make it easier to get your blank rounds out of your M1 Belt. This shows you how to raise the blank clips to the height of live clips
      &bull 60mm Mortar Demonstration - script used to introduce troops to the 60mm Mortar at Ft. McClellan during WW2
      • Rifle Grenade - Basics on loading & firing the M1903 Rifle Grenade
      • Rocket Launcher (Bazooka) - Basics on loading & firing the 2.36" Bazooka
      &bull Commando Combat - Basic Hand to Hand Combat from the Ordinance Soldier's Guide.


      Slanguage - USAAF slang terms - From "I've Got Wings" training pamphlet

      Officer Info:

      • T/O - Organization of Infantry Rifle Company, Sept 1, 1942
      • Frontages - Frontages in the defense for various unit sizes
      • Command & Leadership - list of rules to being a good leader
      • Time Allowances - Time to carry out orders & prepare Field Works
      • Supporting Weapons in Defense - Ranges & how to lay out support weapons
      • Check List for Oral Field Order - checklist for giving clear orders
      • Ammo Supply - Supply chain for an infantry regiment
      • Diagram of Class 1 Supplies (food)
      • Officers' Musette Bag - recommended contents - from "The Officer's Guide" - 1942

      &bull Combat Lessons - Pacific Warfare - Pacific theatre related info from the "Combat Lessons" pamphlets. 1944-1945


      &bull Army Heritage Collection OnLine - Digital copies of US Military Manuals, articles, and more. External Link
      • FM 31-50 - Attack on a Fortified Position and Combat in Towns, 31 Jan 1944 - Part 2
      • FM 105-5 - Umpire Manual. 10 March 1944. Rules, etc for Military Training Exercises.
      • Battalion Procedure - Battalion Command Post Procedure - Staff and Functioning in the Attack
      • Rifle and Weapons Platoons Hasty Defense - Infantry School - Ft. Benning - Quick Entrenching, Obstacles, and more. 1942
      • The Rifle Platoon and Squad in Offensive Combat - Infantry School - Ft. Benning - principles and methods of employment of the rifle platoon and squad in offensive combat.
      &bull Thanksgiving Dinner 1944 - Holiday recipes from TM 10-412 - Army Recipes - 15 August 1944 (HSF Blog Post)


      • Dentist - Regimental Dentist Field Equipment Photos
      • Operating Room Technic - How to set up an OR, and the duties of the various nurses.
      • Central Supply Room - OR supplies, instruments, linens, and trays.

      Watch the video: Στα χαρακώματα του 1ου Παγκόσμιου Πόλεμου στο Σκρα 2020