Additional required equipment
The uniform will not completely transform a person into a combat soldier of the Waffen-SS. The next important grouping of items which will enhance your impression is the field equipment. A study of period photographs reveals the average SS-Mann carried a variety of functional items. By studying original photographs and observing the equipment worn by veteran re-enactors, a good impression can be developed and improved upon with experience. These items are required after the soldat has attended a certian number of events to allow for bugetary and availability issues, which would normally be after thier third but no later than the tenth event.
Kar98k Ammo Pouches (Patronentasche)
Original or quality reproduction pouches are required. The pouches are constructed of a black pebble finished leather and may be of sewn or riveted construction. Each pouch has three separate compartments each holding 10 rounds of 7.92mm ammunition apiece (total 30 rounds in each pouch). The lids are secured by an integral leather strap which is hooked closed by a metal post mounted to the bottom of each compartment. The rear has two loops for securing to the belt and a top D-ring for attaching to the Y-straps. One pair is required for all Anwärters and all men carrying the Kar98k rifle in the field. Only one pouch is utilized with the G-43 rifle (the second is a special G-43 canvas or leather pouch). WWI style or brown pouches are not authorized.
Bread Bag (Brotbeutel)
Original bread bags, postwar or reproduction bags are authorized. Colors may vary from olive green, tan, reed green and field gray. Blue or black bread bags are not authorized. The bread bag is constructed of heavy canvas with leather or canvas attachments for securing it to the rear of the belt. The flap has two leather attachments for securing the water bottle and mess tin. Bread bags will be worn from the belt, bread bag straps will not be utilized.
Water Bottle (Feldflasche)
Original or postwar water bottles are authorized. Postwar or reproduction water bottles must appear as WWII production. Mountain or Afrika Korps water bottles are not authorized. Large medical water bottles may be utilized by personnel performing Sanitäter impressions. The cups may be of the large oval aluminum style or the small Bakelite style. Aluminum cups must be painted field gray or black. Bakelite cups must be dark brown or black. The water bottle is constructed of aluminum, holds one liter of liquid and has a brown felt covering secured by snaps. Straps may be leather or web. The water bottle will be carried on the right side of the bread bag and worn in the field by all ranks.
Bayonet, Scabbard and Frog (Seitengewehr, Scheide)
Original or reproduction bayonets, scabbards and frogs may be utilized. Bayonet handles may be wooden or Bakelite. The scabbard may be blued or painted black if desired. The bayonet is suspended from the belt on the left hip or secured to the entrenching tool. Polished (dress) bayonets are not authorized for field use.
Leather Y-Straps (Koppeltraggestell)
Original or quality reproductions are authorized. Y-straps are used to help support the waist belt and field equipment. It connects to the front with two individual hooks on the back of the ammunition pouches and the single rear hook is placed under the waist belt in the center of the wearer’s back. It has two additional smaller front straps which run underneath each wearer’s arm to secure the A-frame and battle pack worn on the soldier’s back. Officers may wear Y-straps of the Kavallerie or Fallschirmjäger styles without the additional front straps. Both versions will be worn on the outside of all camouflaged smocks, tunics, winter clothing and zeltbahns. They will be constructed of black leather with metal fittings, usually painted gray. Web Y-straps are not authorized.
Gas Mask Canister (Tragebüchse)
Original or postwar German gas mask canisters are authorized. The mask itself is not required. The canister is slung across the right shoulder with the canister lid facing the wearer’s left elbow. The closed end has a retaining strap and hook which are attached to the waist belt to prevent the canister from swinging. The straps are olive web. The German gas cape bag may be strapped to the canister if desired. The canister will be painted field gray and may have the owner’s identity number painted in a prominent location in white.
Camouflage Smocks (Tarnjacken)
There are currently two basic types of smocks authorized in the LAH: the M-38 and M-42 (Type 1 & II). Both types are constructed of lightweight canvas or cotton duck material. Both smocks will be of the reversible type with an approved Spring camouflage pattern on one side and an approved Fall camouflage pattern on the other. Both types will have an elastic waistband, elastic cuffs and drawstring front closure. Brown or black cloth or leather drawstrings are acceptable. Modern nylon or polypropylene laces are not permitted. The M-38 may or may not have foliage loops or an elasticized neck. The M-38 smock has a shorter skirt than the M-42 and also has two vertical slash type openings on the left and right sides of the chest covered with a straight cut pocket flap. The pocket flap is sometimes secured with a dishpan or pebble finished button. The M-42 smock is similar but has a slightly longer skirt with two reversible internal pockets and a higher waistband. These pockets are also covered by either a straight cut or scalloped pocket flap and secured by a dishpan or pebble finished button. The M-42 smock should have foliage loops and will not have the side chest openings.
Camouflage Helmet Cover (Stahlhelmbezuge)
Like the smocks, there are two types of helmet covers authorized in the LAH. They are made from the same material as the smock and are also reversible. The Type I cover does not have foliage loops while the Type II cover does. Both helmet covers are secured to the sides and rear of the helmet by means of metal rocker style clips. A reinforced lip of material which overhangs the bill of the helmet secures the front edge of the cover. Drawstring style helmet covers are not authorized. Helmet covers are required to be worn in the field at all times except when directed otherwise for inspections, formations and ceremonies or when wear of M-44 Dot pattern camouflage uniform items are authorized. Plain white covers may be worn in snow environments.
Mess Tin (Kochgeschirr)
The mess tin is a kidney-shaped aluminum can which is used to cook, carry food and eat from in the field. It has a short lid with a flat metal handle which also secures it to the body of the mess tin. The body of the mess tin has a wire bale for carrying purposes and to insulate heat away from the user’s hand. The mess tin can be mounted on the “Y” straps, the “A” frame or suspended from the left side of the bread bag by a leather mess tin strap. The mess tin should be painted field gray. Original or early postwar type mess tins with the short lids are authorized.
Entrenching Tool (Schanzzeug)
Original WWI, WWII German, Dutch, Swiss or quality postwar entrenching tools are authorized. The entrenching tool may be of the early flat spade type, the late war folding type or have an integral pick attached. The entrenching tool has a leather or pressboard carrier which attaches to the wearer’s left hip. If the bayonet is also worn, it is attached to the entrenching tool retention strap to keep the bayonet from swinging and the entrenching tool from falling from the carrier.
Camouflage Shelter Quarter (Zeltbahn)
The Germans used this large triangular shaped camouflage material for tent sections (one is equal to ¼ of a tent). It also was utilized as a poncho by means of an overlapping slit cut into the material through which the wearer’s head could be inserted. The Zeltbahns were cut from a heavy waterproof cotton duck or canvas material and printed with the Waffen-SS Fall camouflage pattern on one side with the Spring camouflage pattern on the other. Buttons, buttonholes and grommets were sewn to the Zeltbahn around the outer edges. Zeltbahns are authorized for wear in lieu of the Type I or Type II Smock. Heer (splinter pattern camouflage) Zeltbahns are authorized for use as tentage but not for field gear or poncho use. Tan or gray French, Swedish or Russian Zeltbahns are authorized as a last resort for tentage only.
Eating Utensils (Spoon and Fork Combination)
Original or quality reproduction aluminum or steel spoon and fork eating utensils (“Sporks”) are authorized. They are normally carried in the bread bag. Officers may use the 4-piece dining set consisting of a knife, fork and spoon secured in a metal scabbard with integral can opener.
Method of wear
Above is an illustration detailing the name and usual position of the field equipment. The placement shown in the illustration will be the standard for the LAH, but minor deviations will be permitted contingent upon the amount of mandatory and optional gear worn, weather conditions or other extenuating circumstances.