Image by Michael peach
3rd Panzergrenadier Division
A Living History Group


Equipment: Required

Equipment: Personal (Optional)


(not mandatory, but helpful!)

Here are some other items you may wish to purchase.

Tropenbekleidung (tropical uniform items): The olive tropical uniform in the Army style is recommended for warm weather events. Any model of tropical Feldbluse (with the exception of the final pattern close-necked type) or Hosen is acceptable as long as it is a quality reproduction. The Ant-Z product sold by Hessen Antique is the only tropical uniform option at present; uniforms by Lost Battalions were better quality and may be available second-hand. Hessen tropical uniforms run small, order AT LEAST size larger than your normal size. Either the tropical M40 or wool M43 cap can be worn with this uniform, as long as they are approved reproductions. Similarly, either shorts or long trousers can be worn, and either the tropical or continental Diensthemd, with or without a tropical necktie. If you choose to wear shorts you must wear them with low boots and reproduction issue socks with size rings. Reed green HBT uniform are not permitted. Feldblusen and field caps must be complete with all insignia. These items can be cleaned with a coarse brush, soap, and hot water. Cost: Field blouse and trousers $65-$75 each Sources: Hessen Antique

Sturmgepaeck (A-frame): A type of pack worn on the Y-straps and used to carry the Kochgeschirr and Zeltbahn. Either the leather and web "continental" style or the all-web "tropical" style are permitted. May be worn with or without the A-frame bag, which was used to carry the rifle cleaning kit, tent pegs, spare rations, etc. Cost: $35-$95 Sources: Kelley's Military, At the Front, Hessen Antique 1944 Militaria

Cold Weather Items:

Kopfschuetzer (Toque): A knit wool tube worn on the neck or head, under the Feldmutze or Stahlhelm. These were often issued in pairs. Reproduction or postwar allowed, should be green or gray. Cost: $9-$10 Sources: Hessen Antique, At the Front Schal (scarf): Should be gray wool, postwar or reproduction, with or without a stripe on the end. Cost: $8-$10 Sources: Kelley's Military, Hessen Antique, At the Front Handschuhe (gloves): Postwar or reproduction gray knit wool gloves, with or without size rings. Cost: $7-$30 Sources: 1944 Militaria, At the Front, Hessen Antique

Tropical Web Gear: Reproduction Y-straps, bayonet frogs, shovel carriers, and belts made from tan canvas are available. This type of gear was made for use in tropical climates. Web gear was also issued late in the war due to leather shortages. Use of tropical gear is allowed at warm-weather events in the summer months. No more than 2 items of web gear can be worn at any one time. We are trying to recreate the look of troops outfitted in the chaotic supply situation of the Italian campaign, not the cookie-cutter look of the DAK. Source: Any of the major vendors

Naehzeug (sewing kit): Every soldier should have a sewing kit. WWII regulations specified that the personal sewing kit should contain 1 pair of scissors; sewing and darning needles; black, white, and gray thread; and various buttons. Postwar East German sewing kits are available and may be used, though reproductions of any of the WWII types are preferred. If you do not want to buy a sewing kit any tin box or cloth pouch with necessary supplies will suffice.

Fettbuchse (butter dish): Postwar butter dishes are nearly identical to the originals and are often sold as original. They may be black, white, orange or tan. This is carried in the Brotbeutel and used to hold food. Cost: $10-$25 Sources: At the Front, Ostfront

RG 34 (rifle cleaning kit): Original and identical postwar rifle cleaning kits are available, however for cleaning your rifle after events we recommend modern cleaning equipment. The long pull-through chain of the original style kit may break or cause wear to the bore of your rifle with repeated use. If you want to bring modern cleaning supplies to the event that is fine, simply get a glass bottle of powder solvent and remove the label, and get a metal cleaning rod and bore brush. Sources: Bill Bureau, Ken Tassie

Schueztzenschnur (marksmanship lanyard): For dress occasions, it is permissible to wear an original or reproduction marksmanship lanyard. The cord of the lanyard is worn on the right shoulder, attached to the second button from the top of the Feldbluse. The unit will have an annual marksmanship contest and the winner will be given a certificate as well as a lanyard to wear for the year. Cost: $40-$150 Sources: Hessen Antique

Taschenlampe (Flashlight): Original and identical postwar types are available. The two largest wartime suppliers were Daimon and Pertrix. Cost: about $25 Sources: 1944 Militaria, Kelley’s Militaria, Bunker Military

Esbit Kocher (Esbit stove): A small collapsible ration heating stove capable of warming a can of soup when a fuel tablet is used. This handy device is still in production to this day. Cost: $3-$5. Esbit fuel tabs can be bought at REI.

Zeltausruestung (Tent poles and pegs): Either originals or postwar military types are acceptable. Camouflage bags for the tent poles and pegs are Swiss made and are not correct. Sources: At the Front, Hessen Antique, 1944 Militaria, Brian Kelley

Personal Items Guidelines: Personal items are key to a great impression. Many such items are available as originals or reproductions including photos and letters from home, pencils/erasers, combs, bandages, ration boxes, etc. For shaving, look for either a 1940s era safety razor ($1 and up at antique stores), or a new German razor in the period style (about $30), as well as a shaving brush and small pocket mirror. Try to get a wooden or bone-handled toothbrush and tooth powder, these items are carried by some vendors, and tooth powder in plastic containers can be found in the all-natural section at the supermarket, you just need to put the powder in a small tin. Try to find small tin or glass containers for toiletries such as shampoo, pomade etc. Altoids mint tins and baby food jars work great for a variety of uses, simply strip the paint/labels off or repaint the tins. If you want to smoke that is fine but NO FILTERS, and don't use a plastic lighter, look for a period lighter (original WWII German lighters are available, as are new lighters made in Austria in a period style, or even Zippos, which could have been captured from a GI). Be creative with this, look for period type handkerchiefs, can openers, clothing brushes, use your imagination! Sources: Ostfront, Dutchies Militaria, At the Front, 1944 Militaria, antique shops