When Germany went to war in 1939 its uniforms and equipment were made to a high standard from good quality materials. As the war progressed and materials became more scarce so the quality suffered as well as production being simplified. This was true not only for uniforms and personal equipment but for weapons as well.
The following pictures are designed to give you an idea of what the early war German infantryman would have looked like. They are not definitive, as any amateur historian will know that regulations were often flouted in the field and items of equipment are worn where they are most comfortable and accessible.
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Leaving Barracks, Summer 1939
into action, Belgium, May 1940
The equipment is the same but this Unterfeldwebel does not wear a tornister. His Zeltbahn is strapped to his belt and messtin is attached to the breadbag. He has detached his breadbag strap and attached it to his steel helmet to hold foliage as camouflage. The weather is warm and he has undone the top button of his tunic revealing the kragenbinden or collar liner. In his belt he has stuffed two M24 stielgranaten. He wears the black wound badge and an Infantry Assault badge which would have only just been issued. You can click on the awards for more information.
On guard duty, autumn 1940
This Schutze wears the M36 greatcoat with dark green collar. The M40 version did away with the dark green collar and on later models the quality of material suffered.
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My Ramblings, Ostmann S.