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Uniforms & Equipment


Uniforms: Panzergrenadiers (Mechanized Infantry) in the Panzer Lehr Division wore standard gray or gray-green Army (Heer) uniforms.  These were generally wool, although cotton Herring Bone Twill (HBT) drill uniforms were authorized for field use towards the end of the war. 
Enlisted men wore short boots with gamachen (leggings). The boots were issued as raw tan or brown leather, and soldiers would usually apply black wax to make them waterproof.  In tactical environments, Panzergrenadiers wore Splintertarn smocks and helmet covers.  Splintertarn was the only camouflage pattern worn in Panzer Lehr.

 

Waffenfarbe: Soldiers wore unique collar devices and shoulder boards that signified the branch of service they were affiliated with. Litzen (braids) were stylized Roman columns worn on the collar.  In the early war years these had colored stripes called Waffenfarbe (Weapons Color).  Each service specialty had its own color.  Infantry was white, Armor was pink, Panzergrenadier (Mechanized Infantry) was grass green, Reconnaissance was yellow, etc.  A chevron-shaped piece of Litzen was also frequently worn on the front of cloth headgear.  In later war years, generic Litzen were used which replaced the Waffenfarbe with gray or dark green stripes.  Shoulderboards (epaulettes) retained Waffenfarbe throughout the war.  As a Reconnaissance unit, PALA 130 wears yellow Waffenfarbe.  Click on the image to the right to see more examples of Panzer-Lehr Waffenfarbe.

 

Uniform Items:

Feldbluse (M36, 37, 40, 43 Feldgrau wool or HBT Tunic)
Langhosen or Keilhosen (M37, 43 Feldgrau wool or HBT Trousers)
Hemd (Mouse gray service shirt)
Einheitsfeldmtze or Feldmtze (Feldgrau wool service cap)
Schirmmtze (Officers and NCO's only)
Koppel (Black leather equipment belt)
Koppleschloss (Belt buckle)
Mantel (Feldgrau wool overcoat or Splintertarn parka)
Marschstiefel (Jackboots) for officers
Schnrschule w/ Gemaschen (Low Boots w/ Leggings) for enlisted

 

Equipment:

Stahlhelm (M35, 42 Steel helmet with Splintertarn cover)
Koppeltraggestell (Leather "Y" straps*)
Patronentaschen (x2) (Ammo pouches)
Brotbeutel (Bread bag)
Feldflasche (Canteen)
Kochgeschirr (Mess Kit)
Spaten (Shovel)
Seitengewehr  (Bayonet w/ leather frog)
Gas Mask & Tragbruchse
                      (Gas mask & storage can)
Gas Plane (Gas Cape with storage bag)
Zeltbahn (Shelter quarter/poncho)
Zeltbahn poles (x3) & rope (x2)
A-Ramen mit Gefechtsgepck
                   (A-Frame with Assault Pack)

 

Load-bearing equipment was assembled as show in the picture to the above, except the gas cape bag which was usually wrapped around the gas mask can and secured with a leather strap.  The A-frame (pictured below) attached to D-rings on the shoulders of the Y-Straps.  The A-frame, as its name implies, was shaped like an 'A'.  It was made of a khaki-colored canvas and allowed a soldier to wear his Kochgeschirr, Gefechtsgepck and Zeltbahn on his back.


 

Weapons:
Although a variety of weapons were available, the basic infantry weapon was the bolt-action K98 Mauser.   It fired a 7.92mm bullet that is more commonly referred to as 8mm.

 

The Zeltbahn:  This clever design functions as both a poncho and tent.  It is made of a tightly woven water-repellent cotton fabric.  Each soldat was also issued 3 tent poles and 2 lengths of rope.  One or two zelts can be buttoned together to make a lean-to.  With 4, 8 or 16 zelts, tents of various shapes and sizes can be made.  A tent made of zelts can only accommodate half as soldiers as it took to make it.  This is because half of the soldiers were expected to be on duty any given time.



 

So, how much does it cost to put together an impression?  For the basics (uniform, boots, helmet, belt, Y-strap, gamachen, ammo pouches and rifle), you're looking at $1000.  New members typically start with the boots and uniform, then add to their impression as finances allow.  For all of the bells and whistles (smock, A-Frame, gas mask, canten, zelbahn, etc.), you're probably looking at another $1000.  Of course, there's no limit to what you can spend.  Those with deeper pockets may eventually
want a machine gun or vehicle (or both!)