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    Questions regarding East German webbing?

    CRjackson37
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    Post by CRjackson37 Wed Jun 07, 2023 5:33 pm

    I'm looking to put together a few basic sets of East German webbing. I'm not a purist, so I'm happy to use mixed styles if they are historically accurate. I'm pretty familiar with the blue-gray webbing-Strichtarn sets and the later UTV. The only items I currently have are a UTV canteen and 4-magazine pouch and a blue-gray webbing -Strichtarn 4-magazine pouch with the small side pocket. I figure I'll ask you DDR experts before I buy anything.

    I have seen photos in the early 1960's showing troops wearing black leather belts with the field gear, were the black leather belts seen much in the field after the 1960's?

    I seen from photos that some mixing of the blue-gray webbing-Strichtarn items with UTV items did occur, however was that normal in the late 1980's or were UTV items generally issued in complete sets?

    How late were blumentarn pouches and uniforms seen in the field?

    CollectinSteve
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    Post by CollectinSteve Wed Jun 07, 2023 7:23 pm

    Mixing of field gear is common for all nations, all time period. Even richer nations. Especially if the older pieces are fundamentally compatible with the newer gear. Equipment is durable and expensive, so it's no wonder that universally nations seem to be reluctant to throw the stuff out!

    The Warsaw Pact and Soviet militaries were not exceptions, but they also did try to conform to standards. Units with more status generally received the newer stuff sooner. Over time soldiers in secondary/reserve units gradually started looking more like primary/favored units.

    DDR went through roughly 3 different equipment standards. This is off the top of my head, so the dates are somewhat rough:

    1. Leather belt and Y straps with some equipment in Blumentarn. This was VERY early post WW2 into the late 1950s.

    2. Gray webbing belt and Y straps with some Blumentarn equipment. 1960s into the early 1970s.

    3. Gray webbing belt and Y straps with some Strichtarn equipment. 1965 through the end of the DDR.

    4. Graygreen webbing belt and H straps with most Strichtarn equipment (aka UTV). Mid 1980s through end of DDR.

    #2 and #3 were very similar more than dissimilar, but there were changes made such as the construction of AK pouches, features on the Y straps, belt buckle clasp, etc. This means that the later the period of use, the more mixing there was between older and newer kit. The earlier, the less and eventually more pure the kit needs to be.

    Here are some links to check out:

    https://www.tierfreunde-luebben.de/44101.html

    https://iacmc.forumotion.com/t9943-documenting-flachentarn-blumentarn-equipment

    Steve
    CRjackson37
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    Post by CRjackson37 Wed Jun 14, 2023 11:12 pm

    Thank you for your response. I think I can now work toward what I need.

    Concerning gas masks, I know Czech M10's are appropriate and I have one. Were there any other types in general use in the late 80's? I often see various types of Warsaw Pact gas mask and they are usually inexpensive.
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    Kl1989
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    Post by Kl1989 Mon Nov 06, 2023 9:26 pm

    the black leather belts for field use were phased out in the early 60s. The grey webbing and Flächentarn was gradually introduced 1959/60 after earlier field trials, although leather belts were still often used during the late 50s trials. Black leather belts were even eliminated for all purposes including parade for short time (1965-70). Not all Flächentarn items adopted at same time - gasmask bags and canteens came later in 60s (gasmask bags ca. 1963, the canteens appear rarely issued).

    Leather y-straps were only MdI/MfS item, not issued in NVA, which used only the belt hooks and/or breadbag strap across shoulder to support the belt. GT was an exception and continued to use some black leather belts and MdI y-straps (from DGP stocks) into mid or late 60s, often modified with removed side straps. VP also used leather for awhile in 60s. GT was also latest user of Flächentarn uniforms (until late 60s-early 70s). The late 60s production was for GT.

    Some UTV items were tested with the grey webbing in a few units in late 80s, but never seen full sets in use. Mostly UTV canteen and spade. Czech M10M was planned to gradually replace SchM41M after 1983, but SchM41M was still common at time of Wende, SchMS and MM1 for specialised roles. M10M bags look externally same, but have no internal dividers.

    Questions regarding East German webbing? 46592367jm

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    CollectinSteve
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    Post by CollectinSteve Tue Nov 07, 2023 3:42 am

    Kl1989 wrote:Leather y-straps were only MdI/MfS item, not issued in NVA, which used only the belt hooks and/or breadbag strap across shoulder to support the belt. GT was an exception and continued to use some black leather belts and MdI y-straps (from DGP stocks) into mid or late 60s, often modified with removed side straps.

    Very interesting! Of course I should have known this as every picture of Blumentarn I have with leather belts have no Y-straps. In fact, some of the later pictures I have show the gray web belt without shoulder straps, but with the separate D-ring loops. Looks to be something officers did.

    I didn't know about the lack of a leather belt for the dress uniform for a period of time. So the field belt was worn instead?

    Steve
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    Post by Kl1989 Wed Nov 08, 2023 1:13 am

    early NVA copied more the old Soviet setup (also normally wore only 1 Mosin pouch except for some parades). For some many collectors assumed for a long time, that leather y-straps were worn by NVA in early years, which is not the case (except 60s GT) if look at period photos and examine markings on the straps.

    CollectinSteve wrote:I didn't know about the lack of a leather belt for the dress uniform for a period of time.  So the field belt was worn instead?

    Yes field belt was worn with all uniforms by noncareer soldiers during this time.
    CRjackson37
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    Post by CRjackson37 Thu Nov 16, 2023 11:12 am

    Thank you @KI1989, I had never seen that photo showing those soldiers with UTV canteens and e-tool carriers. The only photo I had seen was of a soldier in grey webbing and just the UTV magazine pouch. Do you know if the grey suspenders with the heart shaped leather piece predates the round one or are they just concurrent variations?
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    Post by Kl1989 Fri Nov 24, 2023 12:03 am

    heart shaped is older, round is last grey variant from 80s. But the later variants with heart shaped leather still issued beside round type in 80s. There are several variants of heart shaped, a few details changed several times in 60s-70s (position of hooks/d-rings, construction, material, etc.).
    CollectinSteve
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    Post by CollectinSteve Fri Nov 24, 2023 3:04 am

    Kl1989 wrote:heart shaped is older, round is last grey variant from 80s. But the later variants with heart shaped leather still issued beside round type in 80s. There are several variants of heart shaped, a few details changed several times in 60s-70s (position of hooks/d-rings, construction, material, etc.).

    Good info.

    The big difference is the 1st Model has clips on the rear shoulders and the 2nd Model has D-Rings. This is because of a change in the hardware on the backpack. 1st and 2nd Models shown below with the third picture showing a 1st Model modified to accept the later model backpack.

    Questions regarding East German webbing? Eg_1st10
    Questions regarding East German webbing? Eg_2nd10
    Questions regarding East German webbing? S-l16020

    There is also a small difference with very early field belts. Just a simple difference in how the belt and buckle hooked together. The very early ones had the hook on the end of the belt, the rest had the hook on the buckle with a slot at the end of the belt.

    Steve

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