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"1914-15 Jager - did they wear the feldmutze?" Topic

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Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2014 6:19 a.m. PST

Did German Jager wear the feldmutze as well, or was the shako a sort of "badge of honour" that was always worn in action? Off hand, I can't recall seeing any photos of them in caps and no manufacturer seems to make them.

If they were issued the feldmutze, are there any visible uniform/kit differences between line infantry and jager that would make mixing the two figure types inappropriate?

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Aug 2014 6:29 a.m. PST

The feldmutze was not supposed to be worn in action, it was more of a fatigue/camp/walking out hat. I have seen photos of infantry marching in it but they are fairly rare I think.

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2014 8:49 a.m. PST

The Feldmutze was of a standard pattern so all branches of the army had the same type, until the advent of the mountain battalions that were issued Alpine caps as soft covers. So Jagers would have had them for camp and fatigue duty as normal issue.

In the case of wearing them in action, during the opening months of the war I suspect they would normally not be seen on the battlefield, but once the static war had settled in some Germans might be encountered wearing them in a quiet sector that's ripe for a raid.

Speaking of raids, I recall reading an account where Germans were told to wear their fatigue caps when conducting a nighttime raid on enemy trenches. The notion was that if a helmet was dropped, knocked off, or scraped against wire in No Man's Land it might make a clatter, while soft caps would merely land softly.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2014 2:49 p.m. PST

Thank you, gentlemen.

Personal logo DWilliams Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member01 Sep 2014 7:42 p.m. PST

At least some German troops wore the feldmutze on the front, if this period drawing is to be believed:


This image appears on the Land Ships website.

cplcampisi02 Sep 2014 8:38 p.m. PST

I think, perhaps, troops carried their caps with them, and when captured were often relieved of their helmets (maybe to make it more obvious they were prisoners?). At least that's my guess. A lot of photos show prisoners near the front lines not wearing helmets.

ridgeback123 Inactive Member04 Sep 2014 12:34 p.m. PST

For what it's worth I have spent hours & hours studying period photo's for research on my 20mm WW! German range.
I have seen many photo's of "Standard infantry wearing the field cap in action as they soon realised the leather helmet offered little or no protection . This particularly noticeable with M.G crews. I have however never seen any photo's of jaegers in or out of action wearing anything but the Shako. I think as already mentioned it would have been a unit pride thing?
Ian ( Shellhole & 20mmZone )

Spicheren1870 Inactive Member28 Sep 2014 7:32 p.m. PST

There is a series of colour charts on for Imperial German caps. The full chart (for field grey) is here:

AICUSV26 Oct 2014 6:19 p.m. PST

In 1915 the German Army issued an new pattern uniform – this included new style helmets and shakos. The M'15 spike helmet had a removable spike – regulations call for the helmet to be worn in the trenches with the spike removed. There are, however, a number of photos showing the troops at the front wearing the mutze during this period. According to veterans that I had interviewed (along ago) it was up to the battalion commander as to what they wore. I believe this woul;d hold true for the Jager battalions as well as the line units.
As to the mutze with the steel helmet, Many of the soldiers wore the mutze under their steel helmets. It was common practice to shave the head before going into the trenches and the mutze kept their head warm and prevented the helmet from sliding around on the head. It was not uncommon for the Germans upon surrendering to remove their steel helmets as a sign of surrender.

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