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.