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"Early war Germans - Question on equipment colours" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

Monkey Hanger Fezian25 Jan 2015 8:54 a.m. PST

Hi all

Well after many years I am finally getting around to painting my 28mm WWI EW Germans

Just wondering what colour should the webbing straps be????

I have seen numerous sources for a brown colour but then I have seen them painted with black straps and pouches

I'm leaning towards a brown colour but any advice/tips/Guides appreciated


Sundance25 Jan 2015 9:10 a.m. PST

I believe in WWI the leather equipment was brown. I could be mistaken, but that's how it looks to me.

Martin Rapier25 Jan 2015 9:12 a.m. PST

Generally, brown. Belts, Y straps, ammo pouches, boots…

Rrobbyrobot25 Jan 2015 9:35 a.m. PST

I've seen both brown leather and black leather belts and straps. This is from most sources I've referred to. Including books and museums.

Martin Rapier25 Jan 2015 11:35 a.m. PST

I'd be a bit cautious about museum displays, some of them are appalling lashups of 'looks like' stuff, modern substitutions, dodgy repro items etc. Even in very reputable museums.

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2015 12:03 p.m. PST

The leather boots, straps and ammo pouches were left natural brown leather until 1915 when they were ordered to be blackened.

Rrobbyrobot25 Jan 2015 12:09 p.m. PST

While I have no argument with what Martin Rapier has to say. Let me use my own military experience to help illustrate my earlier point. When I arrived at Ft. Lewis, WA in 1977 I was issued field gear including ammo pouches for M14 rifle magazines. Others in my unit were issued ammo pouches for M16 20 round magazines. And still others had pouches for 30 round magazines. We also could count no fewer than four types of pistol belts among us. There were also some three different types of entrenching tools.
Just a little food for thought…

Monkey Hanger Fezian25 Jan 2015 12:58 p.m. PST

Thanks everyone – looks like the majority of my figs will be brown with the odd later unit with Black


number423 Jun 2015 6:46 p.m. PST

Y straps? Not on WWI Germans!

AICUSV26 Oct 2016 1:14 p.m. PST

AT the start of the war (1914) first line leather as brown, some of the reserve and Land units were issued older leather sets in the old black. As stated earlier, in 1915 the leather color was changed to black. Although, the brown leather was to be dyed black, some units continued to wear it in brown.

As to "Y" straps, the German army did wear them during WWI (not all that common). I have an original set dated 1917 and marked to Army Corp 7.

AICUSV01 Nov 2016 10:05 a.m. PST

Here is a photo showing the brown of the early war kit. Belt, cartridge box are brown, mess kit is a field grey, canteen these varied from tan to grey to brown and all shades there in. Bayonet scabbards were black. The bread bag was tan or khaki early in the war later they were grey. Belt buckles were brass with a silver centre disk at the start, in 1915 they went over the a stamped steel buckle that was painted grey. Hope this helps.


Note: there were many variations and exceptions during the war. Germany had to uniform and equip millions of men with limited resources.

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