following was taken from the Die Neue Feldpost newsletter
& was done so with permission of the publisher.
We would like to thank him for his generosity as well
as thank all those who have contributed to this
article. It is with their efforts, we are able
to share this valuable research with the rest of you.
much a piece of insignia as a piece of equipment, the
waist belt was an integral part of a German soldier's
kit. Worn with almost every order of uniform,
the Landser was rarely without it.
beginning of the war, the basic belt was made of 4mm
thick leather, 45mm wide, rough side out and dyed
black. The end which would be held in the left
hand when buckling was turned inward for 75mm and sewn
down to hold the belt hook which was made of steel or
aluminum. A 21cm long tongue was sewn into the
right-hand end, and this piece was punched with seven
pairs of holes to hold the prongs in the buckle.
This style of belt is illustrated in Figure B.
The belt's size in centimeters is stamped into the
buckle end of the belt, and some belts can be seen
which bear two size stamps because they were made
construction details are also worth noting. As
with most German leather equipment, the belts were
assembled from pre-dyed leather. All stitching
was done in heavy white thread, so that there is a
marked contrast between the white stitching and the
black leather in a new belt. Stitching was left
white because the Germans felt that dying the thread
would weaken it. After a few polishings, the
stitching turned dark anyhow.
in 1942 or 1943, the buckle-mounting tongue was
eliminated, perhaps to simplify construction, save
material, or both. The buckle-prong holes were
reduced in number from seven pair to five pair and
were punched directly through the body of the belt.
The earliest belt of this construction examined for
this study is marked "1/1200/0169
1943". The first nine digits are called an
"RB" number and is the manufacturer's coded
ID. This style of belt is illustrated in figure
two different styles of belt hook on these waist
belts. The earlier of the two is stamped from
steel or aluminum and is shown in illustration D.
Note the re-enforcing ridges. The later type is
stamped of steel in the manner shown in Figure E.
There was a period overlap for the use of the two
types of hooks in the middle of the war, so that both
styles of hooks can be found on either type of belt.
that leather gear is not ideal for use in arid
climates, the Germans produced a cotton webbing
version of the waist belt, initially for use with
their Afrika Korps, but which was eventually used to
some extent in almost every theater. This belt
followed the general construction of the Figure A
style belt, except that the belt and tongue were made
of green (for the Army) cotton webbing, and with
stitched eyelets in the tongue.
later-war hybrid was made with a webbing body and
leather tongue. The webbing used in these belts
was dyed a slightly different color than the earlier
all-web "tropical" belt: these continental
belts are usually a tan or mustard color. We
examined one of these belts which was marked "Uscha.
Dittmann" under the leather tongue.
interesting note on these web belts: web belts were
prescribed as standard issue for snipers because the
webbing would not shine in the bright sun as the
leather ones did.
final half-year of the war, the Germans produced a
variety of "last-ditch" belts. Ersatz
belts were made from pressed-paper composites
primarily for use with non-military organizations, but
which also found their way into the Armed Forces.
Another type of late belt is shown in Figure C.
This belt is made from folded layers of canvas,
stitched together around the circumference of the
belt. The ends are re-enforced in thin black
leather and the eyelets are small metal grommets.
There is a small cloth size tag (marked
"100") sewn under the leather re-enforcement
at the end of the tongue. The color of this belt
is a pale greenish-tan. There is no other
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