Anatomy Part III
6 - 16
subject of the German Solbuch has been considerably
under-researched in recent years.
This article is intended to pick up where Eric
Tobey left off in Die
Neue Feldpost, Numbers 13 and 14 with the page by
page breakdown of the quintessential document of the
the style of the previous installments, this article is
not meant to be a definitive work on the subject.
There is simply far too much variation from
example to example to make mention of each (especially
since many of the entries are inter-related and depended
on the individual’s specific circumstances), but
certain patterns do exist and the more common are noted
here. When a
pattern is so common it could be considered the
“norm”, the description will be written in bold
pages were used to record the Soldier’s equipment
issue and is the first point in the Soldbuch where there
is a distinction between a “first pattern” and
“second pattern” Soldbuch.
First pattern Soldbuchs seem to be pre-1940
production (though the earliest books were only issued
in the summer of 1939 upon mobilization) by the notation
on p.8a-d of “second pattern” Soldbuchs which reads,
“H.M.1940 Nr.205” indicating a 1940 addition.
However, as with so many other items in the
German Army, old stocks were almost assuredly used up
rather than simply thrown away and these first pattern
books have been known to be issued later on.
In fact, one example was found that was issued as
late as 17.April 1945!
distinction that can be made from pages 6-7 between
first and second pattern is primarily that the earlier
had only a single row of pre-formatted text whereas the
latter has a second.
Reading a first pattern book will show that many
items necessary to a soldier’s field life are missing
which is why the
majority of first pattern Soldbuchs have a pre-printed
addition that was pasted in later, usually obscuring
the last column of page 7.
Some of these are fold out and double sided, some
narrower strips, and a few even hand-written and
There was apparently great variation on how the
addition of this could be handled (if at all).
No wonder they eventually switched to the
both first and second pattern books, the first column (Grund
in the earlier, Truppenteil in the latter) seems to have
been used in a number of ways depending on who was
filling the entry out that day.
In many cases a unit designation is simply
About as common is to see a unit designation
block stamped in.
This seems to be especially true when hospitals
took responsibility for inspecting the equipment where
the name of the corresponding hospital is block stamped
Other entries include “Geprüft”, “Vorgetragen”,
“Versetzung”, and “Abstellung”.
first pattern books the next column is labeled
“Zeit” and lists the date where second pattern books
have this as the last column in the second row combined
with the signature line.
equipment lists were fairly self-explanatory.
A number was written in the corresponding column
to show how many of each item was issued or what the
soldier was found with at the time of inspection.
When an item an individual had was not listed, it
would be hand written in one of the empty boxes in the
“Gemaschen” (gaiters), “Eis.Portion”
(iron ration), and “Zweibackbeutel.” (zweiback bag)
are common entries.
Older entries were supposed to be cancelled out
in red ink as newer ones were made but this did not
always happen. Variations
include blue or black ink or no cancellation at all.
last column was meant for the inspector’s signature
(date and signature in second pattern books) which was
almost always adhered to.
was to record any special items of equipment issued to
the soldier and was only filled out when applicable. In
first pattern books (without pages 8a-d) this would
sometimes be used to record weapon issue.
Other entries include special camouflage or
uniform components not commonly found on the previous
pages or, less frequently, unusual circumstances
surrounding issued clothing (if lost, traded in for an
alternate, purchased privately, etc.).
pages are only found in second pattern books with the
However, there are documented examples of first
pattern books where these pages were inserted,
apparently printed separately for just this purpose
rather than torn from a later second pattern book.
8a-d records the issuance of weapons and
“implements” (as opposed to specifically personal
items as in 6-7).
The first column of 8a-B lists in preformatted
text the more common entries where 8c-d leaves blank
boxes for hand written of stamped additions.
The second column, “Zeichen” is for the
“type” (such as “K.98” for Gewehr) where
The third column, “nummer” is for the
corresponding serial number, again where applicable.
The fourth, “Tag des Empfangs” is the date of
issuance, and the final column, “Namenszeichen des Gerätverwalters”
is for the signature of the individual who filled it
entries were supposed to be cancelled in red ink and
quite often are, with the usual sprinkling of odd colors
or none at all.
page was used to record inoculations given to the
most entries, the top box was used to record the date,
with “day.month.” above “year”, and the bottom
to record the doseage.
Huge amounts of variations exist on this page and
the author is far from fluent in medical terminology,
but certain patterns can be noted from studying the
frequency of entries in various books:
*All Soldbücher studied have this entry.
It appears this inoculation was made
within the first 3 months of enlistment.
In the top box, the date was entered.
In the bottom box, the lower-case letters
“ja” [for “yes” or previously
innoculated?] were written or a “+”.
Follow-up inoculations were made roughly
every 4 years.
*All Soldbücher studied have this entry.
This was given on or very near the date
of enlistment in a series of 3.
After the first inoculation, where
“0,5” was written in the bottom box, two
more follow-ups were given of “1,0” in
strict 7 day intervals from the first.
One example has “ccm” written in
after the dosages.
In all books, the first 3-week series is
written in the same handwriting and sometimes
even the same ink.
Follow-ups after the first series of 3
were given roughly
yearly at a dosage of “1,0”.
The yearly follow-ups were NOT a series,
but a single shot.
Sometime in early 1944 (the earliest I
have is April, although I suspect even a month
or two earlier may be true), this inoculation
was halted in exchange for “T.A.B.”, which
was hand-written above the date in many
appears to have been often coupled with a shot
for “Chol.”, which was written underneath
“T.A.B.”, so that the top box would read:
“T.A.B.” then “Chol.” underneath, then
the date squeezed in under that.
This was given as a one-shot series with
a dosage of
“1,0” at the time of the next
scheduled “Typhus” follow-up.
Subsequent “T.A.B.” entries are roughly
yearly after the first.
all books studied had this entry (only 2/3), and
of those that did, major differences existed.
In both books, inoculation began in June
of 1942, nearly 2 years after their enlistment.
One had a “0,5/1,0/1,0” with shots
given one day apart and a follow up roughly a
year later of another “0,5/1,0/1,0” series
given in 7 day intervals.
The other had a single inoculation with a
dosage of “0,5” given in June of 42.
books had some sort of writing below the dosage,
but unfortunately the script was either obscured
Not all books studied had this entry (only 2/3),
and of those that did, considerable differences
entries, these inoculations begin in April of
1942, nearly 2 years after their enlistment.
One book has a series of
“0,5/1,0/1,0” given in roughly one week intervals. The
other book has the same series, but given
randomly over a period of 2 years [24.4.42,
17.6.42 and 1.12(?).43(?), but the “2” in
the “12” and the “3” in the “43”
are, as indicated, extremely difficult to
No follow-ups are recorded but, in the
book with the 7 day intervals, additions for
“T.A.B. Chol.” are written in this section
as opposed to section “b) Typhus”.
It is apparent that the Cholera
immunizations were discontinued for some kind of
combination inoculation beginning in 1944 (as
In this example, the “T.A.B. Chol.”
entries are “1,0” dosages and follow-ups
were roughly every 6 months.
Schutz- und Heilimpfungen:
This entry was for previous or extra
None of the studied books had this filled
out, and the researcher has seen no other
examples with this entry marked.
In many cases when the boxes in one row were
filled up, a separate piece of hand-ruled paper was
pasted in on top of previous entries for more room.
In fewer cases lines were ruled to block out and
connect pieces of the upper or lower rows to continue
pages were used to record optometry information for the
The researcher has not seen any books with these
pages filled out (including books where the soldier is
listed as having worn glasses) so an accurate account of
the most common entries cannot be given - other than the
fact that it was rarely filled out!
However in some cases it was used as an overflow
for page 9 when the boxes there were completely filled.
In this case entries were hastily scribbled in
without regard to formatting.
pages recorded any hospital stays the owner was unlucky
enough to have suffered.
This page is often heavily filled out, even for
individuals who were never wounded but saw a lot of
service time (guess they liked the pretty nurses…).
first column, labeled simply “Lazarett” recorded the
name of the hospital.
More often than not this entry was block line stamped in with inks of various colors.
The second and third columns were for the date,
separated by day and month in the first then year in the
third column, which spills onto the next page, was used
to describe the problem the soldier was having.
The way this was listed was the preference of the
individual filling it out and is split about 50/50. Half
the time the condition is written in with a word or very
In more than one book and more than one entry in
each “Angina” was written (guess I buy a lot of
Soldbuchs of guys with heart trouble!).
Another has multiple entries of “Magen”
(stomach) and compound medical terms involving “Magen”.
option was sort of numerical shorthand to describe the
is especially true of entries involving actual wounds.
Below is a list of the numbers and the
breathing organ complaints excluding TB
transmitted Genital Problems
Bone and joint
and sickness due to enemy action:
b) Handgrenade, mortar, artillery
d) Bombing or other air attack
Sepsis or gangrene
or self mutilation:
Suicide (including attempt or self
fourth and fifth columns were to record the date the
patient was released, formatted in the same
“day.month” then “year” pattern.
The sixth column was for special notations
regarding the patient’s condition or where he was sent
majority have hand written abbreviations including “dfz.E.Truppe”,
Laz.Zug”, and simply “kv” which meant
“kriegsverwendungsfähig” (fit for use in war).
The final column was for the signature of the
doctor or administrator responsible for the patient.
original intention of these pages was to record the
personal effects of a soldier entering the hospital.
Occasionally this was done on page 14 in a
similar fashion to page 8.
Page 15 however was in every book studied used
for quite a different purpose.
branch of service in the Wehrmacht had a way of
conducting periodic inspections of the soldier’s
so-called security checks were noted in different ways.
Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, and SS books had a
rectangular stamp separated into quadrants placed on
page 1 where roman numerals would be stamped in each
quadrant corresponding to a quarter-year interval.
The Heer did not adopt that method and instead
used page 15 for security checks.
all books the text at the top of the page was crossed
out in ink using a ruler.
The format of each security entry seems to be
circular unit seal is places at left with the words “Kr.St.R.Nr.”
or “Tr.St.R.Nr.” which meant either “Kriegs- or
Truppen-Stamm Rolle Nummer” either written or stamped
on the line beneath it.
This correlates to the information on page 4 in
the right hand column and represented the soldier’s
roll number within his current unit.
To the right or the circular seal towards the top
the date was either hand written or stamped.
Beneath that (usually taking up multiple lines)
was an officer’s signature with his rank and position
either stamped or hand written directly below.
If the soldier was on duty in a training or
Ersatz unit, the location of said unit would be stamped
in to the left of the date (often overlapping the seal)
with a stamp similar to the one found on page 4 item D
or page 2 above the circular seal at the bottom. Multiple
security checks were usually separated by hand ruled
to pages 10-11 this page was rarely if ever filled out.
No books within the author’s collection have a
notation here so an accurate account of how it was
filled out cannot be given.
One possible explanation as to why this page is
often blank despite the common need for dental work is
that it only records major dental work performed at a