following was taken from the Der Meldeweg 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.
landser was both issued and offered for purchase a
wide variety of flatware, and these appear to fall
into four general categories:
flatware - Although this type was certainly
rarely if ever seen in the field, it was
probably the first utensil that the new
recruits would have been acquainted with
during their service in the Wehrmacht.
These items looked much like any ordinary
silverware except that they bore the Nazi
eagle (or Hoheitsabzeichen in German) on the
handles. A spoon from one of these
sets is illustrated in Diagram A. It
was commonly made of stainless steel.
Custom and Private-Purchase types: Like
armies everywhere, the Heer was a vast pool
of customers for dealers in military
trinkets, some of these wares good, others
bad. Camp gadgets were a favorite
product of these vendors, and among the camp
gadgets bought and used by the Feldgrau were
mess utensils. One type examined
consisted of an aluminum fork and spoon held
together by a revolving clip. This
particular specimen is marked D.R.G.M. and
"GERMANY", and has documented
soldier usage as it was taken from a
surrendering German during the Siegfried
line battles in late 1944.
example resembles the famous Swiss Army style in that
it has a spoon, fork, knife and can opener all
attached to one handle and all of which fold into it.
The grips of this device are of simulated horn and the
knife blade is marked "ROSTFREI" and "SOLINGEN".
I believe this utensil actually predates WWII by quite
a few years, but was nevertheless captured from a
German soldier as in the previous example.
Fork - Spoon Combinations: This style was a
carry-over from WWI and some of the WWI types
undoubtedly saw field usage in the Second World War.
This type is also the most appropriate model for usage
by reenactors as it was the most commonly used type in
the field by the original Landser.
version resembles the style shown in Diagram B except
for the one major difference which was common to the
earlier version; this was the small hook bent into the
end of the bottom of the handle to facilitate the
carrying of the utensil in the top of the WWI
mess-kit. The WWII versions were meant to be
carried in the breadbag or pockets and did not have
variation shown in the Diagram is made of Aluminum and
has a flared handle and the Hoheitsabzeichen cast in.
It is marked "ESM" on the bottom of the
spoon handle. Another commonly seen variation of
the folder has a narrower handle and lacks the eagle.
Whereas the previous type is always aluminum, this
variation can be aluminum, stainless, tinned steel, or
Combos: This is probably the most interesting
type and it is unfortunate for the reenactor that more
of them were not used in the field.
Diagram C, the set consisted of a stainless holder/can
opener into which slid and locked a stainless knife,
and aluminum or stainless fork and an aluminum or
stainless spoon. One specimen examined which was
obviously used in the field was carried in a custom
made zippered leather case.