Select a Divisional Insignia for a Brief History

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The Gebirgsjäger soldiers wore a uniform that was unique to any other arm of the Wehrmacht. It consisted of a field service jacket with the Edelweiss-badge worn on the right sleeve, wide cut trousers, weighty (2.36kg) alpine boots and short puttees. Characteristic of all Mountain soldiers was the Bergmütze (mountain cap) with the Edelweiss badge on the left side. 


The weight of burden a single rifleman had to carry seems incredible.  He had to wear: uniform, shirt, long pants, socks, underjacket, and carry equipment which included a water bottle, musette bag, entrenching tools and weapons. Inside the Grosse rucksack a ground sheet, blanket, wind cheater, another shirt, reserve pants, reserve socks, Balaclava caps, waist belt, gloves, mess tin plus cutlery, 1kg bread, 1 large tin can of meat, and 1 small can of lard. 

That fighting ration had to last for 2 days, afterwards pack animals would bring supplies up to the front line.  In the musette bag was an iron ration with chocolate etc, washing gear, patching gear and candles or flashlight. In the blouse pockets, 2 First Aid field dressings, a clasp knife, cigarettes, matches, pen and ink, service and paybook were kept.

The weights of bayonets, gas respirators and helmets were too heavy for Alpine warfare and were often left behind with the baggage. In place of that assault kit a great rucksack was substituted, for men were left for days, weeks and often months with only the things they wore on their shoulders.


Rifle 98k, 2 cartridge pouches each with 30 rounds, two grenades in the belt, and sometimes an ammunition box with 300 rounds. Platoon and section commanders as well as runners had to carry binoculars, message bags or signal pistols. 

All together about 32 kg total weight. Every soldier had to carry that over a vertical distance of 2000 metres and areas resembling virgin forests. Because you could not fight with such a load the ruck-sacks were laid down and bought up later from behind. Other weapons associated with the Gebirgsjäger troops: the Gewehr 33/40, Maschinenpistole (MP) 40, Maschinengewehr (MG) 42, 5cm Granatwerfer 36,  8.1cm Granatwerfer 34.


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