How much armor did elephant units wear?

How much armor did elephant units wear?

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I often hear stories about enemies defeating elephant riders by axing the legs of the elephants.

Does this mean that the commander of the elephant army did not put enough armor on the elephants' legs?

An elephant is a very large animal. Putting the whole animal in armor would cost more in armor than the whole unit would be worth in warfare. (The same armor could be used to protect a large number of men.)

Therefore armor was used, if at all, to protect only the most vital parts of the animal, e.g., the temples. Most of the animal was unprotected. Of course, having men try to cut off their legs subjected the MEN to great risks.

Elephants proved not to be terribly effective in combat because they weren't as easy to control as horses, and would often "rebound" against the attackers. At the battle of Zama, for instance, Hannibal relied on elephants to break through the Roman lines, without success.

Google search for elephant armor

Google search for war elephants

Elephants were mostly used in war in South Asia. Use of elephants in the Mediterranean and Europe was much rarer and more amateurish.

It was written that when King of Kings of Iran Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanid Empire, fought the Romans he had 700 armored elephants. South Asian war elephant used in battle (instead of for transportation) before cannons became very dangerous were often highly armored. They also often had sword like blades attached to their tusks and swung large swords or chains with their trunks.

Acutally sometimes they were quite armoured. Yes you can pay upto 10-15 men's worth of armour with the same expenses but elephants were extremely costly and required enormous amounts of effort to train and maintain. They were often large targets and were susceptible to spearmen and arches, so it's plausible that they would be given protection from them with armour.

Wikipedia: War Elephant → here you can see a few tapestries and paintings depicting elephants in armour, although some were just barely armoured.

Elephant armour from India. 17th century. Composed of 5,840 plates, weighing 118kg - On Pinterest

^This armour's weight seems abit dubious to me but the principle of the armour's structure is convincing. As you can see the legs aren't protected but the head and the torso is, much like how it is depectied in those pictures and similar to some horse armour.

I really doubt elephants could be defeated by axing their legs, their skin and muscles are pretty thick and they sweep their head and thus their trunk while surrounded, would you really want to be that guy, who'd go up close and try to have a chance at his legs?

Elephants were mostly defeated by javelins and arrows if the elephant was not as armoured or made bewildered by groups of soldiers carrying trumpets. Also keep in mind that it'd took quite a number of javelins/spears/arrows to wear an elephant down. Despite that they did not guarantee victory, they were used as portable archer towers and could lower the opponent's morale if they weren't not experienced troops. They could be very effective if utilized appropriately.

No one knows for certain why, but the soldiers of the all-Black 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments were dubbed 𠇋uffalo soldiers” by the Native Americans they encountered.

One theory claims the nickname arose because the soldiers’ dark, curly hair resembled the fur of a buffalo. Another assumption is the soldiers fought so valiantly and fiercely that the Indians revered them as they did the mighty buffalo.

Whatever the reason, the name stuck, and African American regiments formed in 1866, including the 24th and 25th Infantry (which were consolidated from four regiments) became known as buffalo soldiers.

Items [ edit ]

Removed [ edit ]

Crystallized honey texture [ edit ]

A texture for a crystallized honey item was added to the game files in 19w34a, but it was removed in 19w42a.

Studded armor [ edit ]

Studded armor [ citation needed ] consisted of several sprites that were added in Indev 0.31 20091231-2. They were taken from Notch's unfinished game, Legend of the Chambered, along with other armor sprites. The sprites were added for testing purposes, didn't have armor health, and were eventually removed between Indev 0.31 20100204-1 and Indev 20100206.

Quiver [ edit ]

In Legend of the Chambered (an abandoned RPG that Notch made), there was a quiver item available to be picked up as loot. Notch reused its texture and put it in Minecraft, albeit flipped horizontally. It was added in Indev 0.31 20091231-2.

Although the texture for a quiver had been in the game since Indev, almost nothing was known about it. Jeb stated that he was not going to add them. Η] Later, during 1.9 development, Dinnerbone tweeted a 2×204960 image, ⎖] which can be reformed into a 854×480 Minecraft screenshot, containing the quiver. ⎗] On June 30, 2015, Dinnerbone posted that he removed them again as arrows in the off-hand feel "more natural." ⎘]

In 1.9, the quiver texture was removed.

Ruby [ edit ]

On May 21, 2012, Jeb released a screenshot of himself testing the trading system. At this time, what would become emerald ore in Java Edition 1.3.1 was ruby ore. The previous ruby texture remains in the ruby.png file. It is unknown if the texture will ever be used. Dinnerbone stated in a forum post ⎙] that they went with emeralds instead of rubies at the last minute because he is colorblind and he had a hard time spotting the difference between ruby ore and redstone ore.
The names "Ruby Ore" and "Ruby" were still in the .lang files, but they were removed.

Rubies would later appear as the purchasable currency in Minecraft Earth. However, they use a different texture and are completely unrelated to the original item.

The texture was removed in the snapshot 21w13a. ⎚]

Development history


When the Pak 43 was designed, it was originally meant to be towed into battle, but it soon became clear that the anti-tank gun was very unwieldy to transport in the field. As a result, the Wehrmacht started looking for a self-propelled platform to mount the 88 mm (3.5 in) gun onto. The solution was found on August 3rd, 1942, when the Heereswaffenamt (the agency in charge of R&D for the German army) decided to mount the Pak on a Panther chassis. Krupp was awarded the design contract, but was unable to deliver the design drawings by January 1943, and so the project was handed over to Daimler-Benz. Krupp, however, remained responsible for the production and delivery of the Pak 43, the main armament of the Jagdpanther. In the first designs, the tank was named the “88mm Sturmgeschutz.”
The final design was presented to Hitler on his birthday, and subsequently accepted by the Heereswaffenamt in May 1943. As production started on the first models of the Jagdpanther, it became apparent that there was a shortage of workspace in the Daimler-Benz factory. That, combined with Daimler-Benz not being able to produce the contracted amount of Panthers, lead to production being handed over to MIAG, a Braunschweig based company. A pre-production model was presented to Hitler on the 20th of October, alongside a model of the Tiger 2 and the Jagdtiger. November that year, mass-production of the Jagdpanther was authorized. When it entered German Army service it was given the designation Sd.Kfz.173.


The first Jagdpanther meant for service was delivered in December 1943, with production increasing to 10 tanks per month in April 1944. Delays in production were mainly due to improvements being implemented. Strengthened gearboxes and intermediate gears were installed. Jagdpanther production was also slowed down due to bombing raids and lack of workmen. By the end of June 1944, only 46 of the tanks had left the factory floors, barely enough to equip one Schwerer Panzerjäger unit. This was far from the original 160 planned vehicles, which would have been enough to equip 3 units and have some left for testing and training.
The MIAG firm complained about the lack of workmen, and as such was sent 320 men from the Panzerjäger replacement unit. This managed to boost production to 20 tanks a month in September 1944. Neither the OKW, nor the Heeresamt were happy with the production numbers and, as a result, two other companies, MHN & MBA, were contracted to produce the Jagdpanther. This increased the total output to 67 tanks for December 1944.


The Jagdpanther was equipped with the fearsome 88 mm (3.5 inch) Pak 43. Based on an anti-air gun, the 88 mm (3.5 inch) soon turned out to be more than adept at taking on an anti-tank roll. Accurate at over 3000 m (3280 yards) and with a muzzle velocity of over 1000 m/s (3280 ft/s), the 88 mm (3.5 inch) gun has more than earned its reputation as one of the best anti-tank guns of the war.
The Pak originally featured a monobloc barrel, but due to the rapid wear of the high-velocity gun, the decision was made to replace it with a dual piece barrel. Although this didn’t reduce wear, it did make replacement easier. The main gun was able to fire different shells, ranging from the armor piercing PzGr. 39/43 and PzGr. 40/43 to the high explosive Gr. 39/3 HL.
The Jagdpanther carried 60 rounds of 88 mm (3.5 inch) ammunition, 1200 rounds for the coax hull-mounted gun and two MP40’s with 384 9吏 mm rounds. With the introduction of the Nahverteidigungswaffe (close range defense weapon), it was possible to launch projectiles near the tank without endangering the crew, and so 16 grenades were added to the inventory. However, this weapon couldn’t be built into most of the Jagdpanthers before June 1944, due to a shortage of the weapon. As a result, earlier models of the tank have the opening in the roof sealed with a circular plate which was held by screws.


As the Germans improved their armor, so did the Allies. As the war progressed, bigger and heavier guns were being developed by the Allies, capable of shooting shells of ever-increasing penetration. To counter this, tanks were designed with thicker and sturdier armor, with the Jagdpanther being no exception. Meant to be able take on other tank destroyers, the Jagdpanther’s frontal upper armor was a single, 80 mm (3.15 inch) thick wall of steel under an angle of 55°, with the lower frontal armor being 60 mm (2.35 inch) at an angle of 60°. This resulted in a formidable effective armor thickness of

140 mm (5.5 inch) for the upper plate and

90 mm (3.5 inch) for the lower plate, guaranteeing protection from all but the heaviest of guns.
The gun mantlet was just as tough as the frontal armor of the Jagdpanther. A 100 mm (3.9 inch) thick ‘saukopf’ (pighead) mantlet was installed on the gun. The sides of the superstructure of the tank had 50 mm (1.97 inch) of armor, while the lower sides had 40 mm (1.57 inch) of armor. The roof and the floor were between 16 (0.63 inch) to 25 mm (1 inch) thick.


The production model of the Jagdpanther weighed in at 46 tonnes, making it one of the heavier tanks fielded by the German army. The drive train was the same as the Panther aside from the engine and the heavier transmission. It was powered by a 12 cylinder Maybach HL 230 P30 23.1 liter V12 gasoline engine, which would give it an effective range of 160 km (100 miles) and a top speed of 46km/h (28.6 mph), making it as fast as contemporary Allied medium tanks such as the M4 Sherman, despite the latter weighing 15.000 kg (33070 lbs) less.

Inside the Jagdpanther there was a 5 man crew consisting of the commander, driver, gunner, loader and radio operator, with the latter doubling as machine gunner. The two hatches at the top of the tank were for the commander and the loader, with the hatch at the back serving as an entrance for the crew and to replenish ammunition.
On early models, the driver used two periscopes to see ahead, and 5 pistol holes which could also be used to observe the surrounding battlefield, but the latter soon turned out to be more detrimental to the strength of the armor. In later models the holes were removed and the left periscope was welded over, being filled with a 15 mm (0.59 in) thick plate. The commander and loader had four periscopes available to survey the surrounding area, two rigid, and two capable of turning.
The Jagdpanther was provided with a 10 Watt Fu 5 transmitter and a 2 Watt Fu 2 receiver radio. Command vehicles received the long range 30 Watt Fu 8 radio set.


As the war went on, several additions and adjustments were made to the Jagdpanther.
January 1944: The pistol ports , which weakened the overall hull strength and had become unnecessary with the installation of the Nahverteidigungswaffe, were removed from the tank.
February 1944: The left driver periscope was removed and welded shut with a 15 mm (0.59 in) piece of steel and a towing coupling was welded to the back servicing plate. To make space for this, the winch was moved up to between the exhaust pipes.
Earlier Jagdpanther still used the Panther Ausf.A engine cover, with the difference being the air intake was made smaller to fit on the tank destroyer. Where the Panther’s radio antenna was attached to the hull of the tank, the Jagdpanther’s antenna was mounted on the back of the superstructure, next to the rear hatch. This left a hole in the engine cover, which was covered with a screwed-on plate.
May 1944: The monobloc gun was replaced with the two-piece gun, facilitating replacement of the worn barrel.
June 1944: A mount for a small 2-ton crane was planned for the roof of the vehicles.
The gun mantlet was changed so that a screw was at the top of the cast piece.

Note the ‘mushroom’ crane mount towards the back of the casemate, and the Nahverteidigungswaffe to the front and left of it.
September 1944: The OKH ordered manufacturers to stop using the Zimmerit protective coating on the tanks.
October 1944: Sheet metal pipes were installed over the exhaust, on the account of them glowing at night, possibly giving the tank’s position away.
The leading wheels of the Jagdpanther didn’t clean themselves, and as mud and snow gathered, tracks got thrown. New leading wheels of a bigger diameter were developed, reducing the amount of tracks thrown.
December 1944: The Jagdpanther started using the new type of engine cover provided for the Panther and “flame-destroyer” exhaust mufflers are installed, preventing mixtures of fuel and air in the exhaust from igniting.


In late 1944, plans had been made to mount the 128 mm (5.04 in) Pak 80 onto the Jagdpanther chassis. The new vehicle, known as the Jagdpanther mit 12.8 cm PaK 80, would have had a rear-mounted casemate and weighed in excess of 50 tonnes. The project never got past the blueprint phase and got shelved before the war ended.

3. Battle Axe

The Egyptian battle axe was a secondary weapon tucked into a warrior’s waistband or hung from his shoulder. In close combat, it could hack at an enemy’s shield or dispatch an injured foe with a crushing blow. In earlier periods of Egyptian history, when the enemy didn’t wear armor, the blades of battle axes were semi-circular or crescent-shaped, designed to deliver deep, slashing cuts to unprotected flesh.

During the New Kingdom, however, in which Egypt faced Hittite and Syrian armies wearing protective leather jerkins across their chests, the axe blades grew increasingly narrow and straight-edged, “ideally suited to punch through armor,” says Elliot.

The battle axe also doubled as a multi-faceted tool suitable for all manner of wartime demands. During a siege of a Canaanite city, half the army of Ramses III used their axes to dig beneath the city’s mud walls while the rest leveled the trees in the surrounding countryside.

Painted relief from the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Light infantry on parade carrying standards, battle axes and palm fronds.

Werner Forman/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Guyver Gigantic

After Sho and Agito's defeat at Relic's Point, Sho, who was linked to the Relic ship through his control medal, summoned the ship to help him and the others. In doing so the control orbs of the ship (used as the interface between the Guyver and the organic ship) fused together, then pulled Agito and the remains of Sho into it, sealing itself off and relocating itself. Not long after the incident, Agito found a pupa with him and residing inside was the remains of Guyver I, tissues of the ship and the fused control orbs. Sho, desiring more power to fight against Archanfel, had subconsciously used the newly-fused control orbs to build an upgrade module for the Guyver unit. One year passed and Sho was finally resurrected as the Guyver Gigantic.

Agito Makishima as Guyver Gigantic Dark.

The power of the Gigantic is estimated to be at least twenty times superior to the original Guyver. There was originally one Gigantic suit which could be worn by either Agito or Sho, but only one could wear it at a time and it could be snatched from someone already wearing it if the person summoning it had more willpower over the current host. This proved to be a problem as Agito had his own plans for the Gigantic Armor and maybe even more as he obtained two more control orbs from a dead ship in Arizona. Recently, Sho's willpower (born of his innate desire to protect) has grown to the extent that he has fully capitalized ownership over the first Gigantic armor, leaving Agito unable to equip it again. Despite this setback, Agito succeeded in creating his own Gigantic thanks to one of the control modules he excavated from one of the Creators' ships. So far the Gigantic is known to improve virtually all the weapons of the Guyver and even adds some new ones.

Power & Devices

  • Energy Amps ( エネルギー・アンプ , Energy Amps ) : They give the Gigantic the ability to produce an omni-directional

Agito Makishima in his Gigantic Dark armor.

  • Enhanced High Frequency Wave-Vibration Swords: They are now able to become flexible and can grow and curve to amazing distances.
  • Tri Head Beam Orbs: The large center orb has fifteen times the intensity of a normal Guyver's Head Beam, and the two smaller orbs have the same output of a normal Guyver Head Beam.
  • Vibration Globes: There are two more Vibration Globes at its mouth and they are concealed by plates that open out.
  • Giga-Smasher ( ギガスマッシャー , Giga-Smasher ) : It is one hundred times more devastating than the Mega-Smasher because of the two extra Gravity Control Orbs, one embedded in each chest plate, which grants it extra power.
  • Gravity Knuckle: A high-powered jab, mostly used in conjunction with the back thrusters, channeling energy into its fist for a powerful discharge upon target impact.
  • Gravity Ram ( 重力衝角 ( グラビティ・ラム ) , Gravity Ram ) : By extending the chest spike and channeling energy into it, activating the Barrier shield and powering up all three gravity orbs, the Gigantic accelerates using the thrusters on his back. This has the same effect as seen caused by evil Aptom's high-frequency spear, which means the surrounding area is totally obliterated without any visible trace as though atomized.
  • Plasma Jets (プラズマジェット): On the back of the Gigantic are two large packs that sit right under the shoulder blades. These packs can be used to propel the Gigantic forward at incredible speed and an alarming rate, allowing it to fly much faster than before.

2. They served as emergency firefighters.

Fire was a constant threat in ancient Rome, and though the Empire had had a dedicated firefighting corps called the “Vigiles,” it wasn’t unusual for the emperor’s Praetorians to lend a hand in the event of a particularly unruly blaze. Guardsmen are known to have chipped in at a fire at the Temple of Vesta, and they were likely involved in setting up firebreaks during an infamous conflagration that leveled much of Rome during Nero’s reign. While the Praetorians significant numbers would have helped combat fires, their presence also had a public relations component. By dispatching his personal guard to assist in disaster relief, the emperor could show the citizenry that he was concerned for their welfare.

Usage [ edit | edit source ]

Beskar was a common material used by the various groups, Δ] clans Ε] and houses Ζ] of Mandalore's people, Ώ] such as the clans Wren, Vizsla, Ώ] Saxon, Η] and Kryze and the Nite Owls, Ώ] as well as the Children of the Watch. ⎖] Due to its unique properties, beskar was used to forge armor capable of repelling Jedi lightsabers during the Mandalorian-Jedi War. Β] According to Mandalorians, all beskar belonged to them. ⎗]

8 Things You May Not Know About the Battle of the Bulge

1. Hitler’s generals advised against the attack.
Many historians have argued that the Nazi attack on the Ardennes was doomed before it started, and it appears that several of Adolf Hitler’s most trusted lieutenants would have agreed. Hitler’s proposed plan (dubbed “Operation Watch on the Rhine”) hinged on an ambitious schedule that required his commanders to thrust through the Allies lines and cross the Meuse River in the span of only a few days before seizing the vital deep water port at Antwerp. German Field Marshals Gerd von Rundstedt and Walther Model both cautioned against such an unreasonable timetable, and the pair later offered several written protests and alternative strategies, to no avail. Shortly before the attack began, Model confided to subordinates that Hitler’s plan “hasn’t got a damned leg to stand on” and “has no more than a ten percent chance of success.”

2. The Allies missed several early warning signs of an offensive.
Early German gains in the Battle of the Bulge were largely due to the attack catching the Allies completely by surprise. Allied commanders often moved on intelligence gleaned by “Ultra,” a British unit that decrypted Nazi radio transmissions, but the Germans operated under a veil of secrecy and typically communicated by phone when within their own borders. Some American commanders also dismissed reports of increased German activity near the Ardennes, while others brushed off enemy prisoners who claimed that a major attack was in the offing. Many have since claimed the Allies were blinded by their recent battlefield successes—they𠆝 had the Germans on the defensive since D-Day𠅋ut the American high command also considered the inhospitable terrain of the Ardennes an unlikely site for a counterattack. As a result, when the German offensive finally began, the region was thinly defended by only a few exhausted and green U.S. divisions.

3. A bad phone connection helped lead to catastrophe for one U.S. division.
Few American units at the Battle of the Bulge felt the force of the German advance more severely than the 106th Golden Lions Division. The largely inexperienced outfit arrived in the Ardennes on December 11 and was ordered to cover a large section of the U.S. line in a rugged area known as Schnee Eifel. Shortly after the German attack began, the 106th’s commander, Major General Alan W. Jones, grew worried that the flanks of his 422nd and 423rd regiments were too exposed. He phoned Lieutenant General Troy Middleton to request that they be withdrawn, but the line was bad and Jones came away from the call incorrectly believing that Middleton had ordered him to keep his troops in position. German attackers soon encircled the 422nd and 423rd and cut them off from any support. Low on ammunition and under heavy artillery fire, some 6,500 G.I.s were forced to capitulate in one of largest mass surrenders of U.S. troops during World War II. In the aftermath of the defeat, a distraught General Jones exclaimed, “I’ve lost a division faster than any other commander in the U.S. Army.”

4. German troops used stolen U.S. Army uniforms to wreak havoc behind Allied lines.
During the early stages of the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler ordered Austrian SS commando Otto Skorzeny to assemble an army of impostors for a top-secret mission known as Operation Greif. In a now-famous ruse, Skorzeny outfitted English speaking German soldiers with captured American weapons, jeeps and uniforms and had the men slip behind the U.S. lines and pose as G.I.s. The German pretenders cut communication lines, switched road signs and committed other small acts of sabotage, but they were most successful at spreading confusion and terror. When word got out that German commandos were masquerading as Americans, G.I.s set up checkpoints and began grilling passersby on baseball and American pop culture to confirm their identities. While they succeeded in capturing a few of the Germans, the roadblocks often produced farcical results. Overzealous American soldiers shot out the tires on British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s jeep, and one G.I. even briefly detained General Omar Bradley after he answered that the capital of Illinois was Springfield (the soldier incorrectly believed it was Chicago).

5. U.S. troops mounted a famous defense of the town of Bastogne.
The German push toward the Meuse River partially hinged on the capture of Bastogne, a small Belgian town that served as a vital road junction. The area was the scene of frantic fighting during the first few days of the battle, and by December 21, German forces had encircled town and pinned the U.S. 101st Airborne Division and others inside. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the town’s defenders responded to the siege with cheery defiance. “They’ve got us surrounded—the poor bastards!” became a refrain among the town’s G.I.s, and when the Germans later demanded commanding General Anthony McAuliffe surrender, he offered a one-word response: “Nuts!” The 101st Airborne would continue to hold Bastogne through Christmas, suffering heavy losses. The siege finally ended on December 26, when General George S. Patton’s 3rd Army punched through the German lines and relieved the city.

6. It marked the first time the U.S. Army desegregated during WWII.
The U.S. military didn’t officially desegregate its ranks until 1948, but the Allies’ desperate situation during the Battle of the Bulge inspired them to turn to African American G.I.s on more than one occasion. Some 2,500 black troops participated in the engagement, with many fighting side by side with their white counterparts. The all black 333rd and 969th Field Artillery Battalions both sustained heavy casualties assisting the 101st Airborne in the defense of Bastogne, and the 969th was later awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation—the first ever presented to a black outfit. Elsewhere on the battlefield, troops from the segregated 578th Field Artillery picked up rifles to support the 106th Golden Lions Division, and an outfit called the 761st 𠇋lack Panthers” became the first black tank unit to roll into combat under the command of General George S. Patton. As the battle wore on, Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and John C.H. Lee called on black troops to cover the Allied losses at the front. Several thousand had volunteered by the time the engagement ended.

7. Weather patterns played a major role in the battle’s outcome.
Along with facing down enemy gunfire and shelling, troops at the Battle of the Bulge also had to contend with the punishing climate of the Ardennes. The Nazis held off on their offensive until dense fog and snow arrived and grounded the Allies’ superior air support, leaving both sides to grapple with near-Arctic conditions. “Weather was a weapon the German army used with success,” Field Marshal Von Rundstedt later noted. As the battle raged, blizzards and freezing rain often reduced visibility to almost zero. Frost covered much of the soldiers’ equipment, and tanks had to be chiseled out of ice after they froze to the ground overnight. Many wounded soldiers froze to death before they were rescued, and thousands of American G.I.s were eventually treated for cases of frostbite and trench foot. The skies finally shifted in the Allies’ favor on December 23, when clearing conditions allowed aircraft to take flight. The subsequent aerial barrage wreaked havoc on the German advance.

8. Fuel shortages helped doom the German offensive.
The Third Reich’s much-feared Panzer and Tiger tanks drank gas, and by late-1944, the flagging German war machine was having difficulties scrounging enough fuel to keep them running. The Nazis set aside nearly 5 million gallons for the Battle of the Bulge, yet once combat operations began, poor road conditions and logistical missteps ensured that much of the fuel never reached those who needed it. German infantry divisions resorted to using some 50,000 horses for transport in the Ardennes, and the Nazi high command built their battle plans around capturing American fuel depots during their advance. Allied forces evacuated or burned millions of gallons of gas to prevent it falling into enemy hands, however, and by Christmas many German tank units were running on fumes. With no way to continue the advance across the Meuse River, the counterattack soon crumbled. By mid-January 1945, their Allies had successfully erased the 𠇋ulge” in their lines and pushed the Germans back to their original positions.

German Army Equipment of the Second World War

The German Army uniform for temperate wear was a smart, practical and well-tailored piece of clothing. Once war had broken out however, soldiers in the field wasted no time in making the uniform even more comfortable to wear and as time went on, standards of dress became evermore casual. Typical variations to be seen included rolled up sleeves, open-neck collars, trousers worn outside the jackboots and equipment worn in a non-standard manner or configuration, which applied to the infantry and many of the field arms such as artillery and engineers. In addition to this, the effects of resource and materials shortages, caused modifications to the standard uniform and helmet (see below), generally aimed at making them simpler, cheaper and faster to produce. Also as the war went on, new weapons and equipment caused modifications to combat equipment when they entered service.

Uniform: Early War

The uniform variant in use at the start of the war was the M1936 pattern (see Figure 1). This had replaced the old World War I-style and Weimar Republic-style uniforms (M1920 and M1928) in the mid-1930s, when the German Army expanded massively after Hitler effectively tore up the remaining provisions of the Versailles Treaty. The Field Tunic (Feldbluse) featured four large, pleated, patch pockets (Aufgesetztetaschen - a major recognition feature), five field gray (feldgrau) painted buttons and four hooks (attached to inside straps) to help support the main belt. The garment had a turn-down collar with dark bottle green facings, a feature also seen on the shoulder straps (Schulterklappen) and behind the national emblem (Hoheitsabzeichen) over the right breast pocket. Up until very early in the war, these were pointed and featured the regimental number on them but soon after war broke out, they became rounded and the regimental number was taken off. Officers' shoulder straps were braided. In many cases, the shoulder straps and the collar patches (Kragenpatten) featured coloured piping which denoted the wearer's arm of service (for example, white for infantry, red for artillery and black for engineers). The tunic was made of field gray wool with 5% rayon and was partially lined. Officers' tunics were broadly similar but specified to be of the turn-back variety and many officers had theirs privately made in finer quality material. One of the first changes was the introduction of the M1940 Field Tunic which, while broadly similar to the M1936, had a higher percentage of artificial fibres (20%) with the dark green facings starting to disappear and six buttons instead of five.

A pale gray woollen or cotton shirt (Hemden) was worn underneath the tunic but this was replaced by field gray versions in 1941 (see Figure 3). If the weather was warm enough, the shirt could be worn on its own or alternatively, the soldiers sometimes wore the working and campaign uniform (Drillichanzug) which while originally in a pale gray colour, was produced in a dark olive or reed green after February 1940.

The trousers (Feldhosen) were made of the same material as the tunic but originally dyed a slate gray colour. This changed in 1940 when they started to be dyed in field gray. They had a very high waist, small side pockets with a slit opening, a fly front, an adjusting strap on the rear waistline, but no additional straps, pocket flaps or ankle fasteners. They were designed to be held up with braces (via buttons around the waist) and worn with jackboots

Uniform: Late War

As already mentioned, during the warmer months, it was popular for soldiers to wear the dark green campaign tunic as it was lighter and cooler than the normal field tunic, or alternatively, just the shirt. In 1942, a Summer Uniform started to be produced, made up of a tunic (Drillichbluse) and trousers (Drillichhosen). The first pattern was in dark green and close in style to the Field Tunic but came with just two side hooks, similar to the Tropical Jacket. It was made initially of natural linen and then after 1943, used greater amounts of synthetic linen. The second pattern was made mainly from synthetic linen and was usually grayer in colour. The trousers were of similar materials and colours (see Figures 6 to 7).

As the war progressed, greater economies were introduced due to the ever-growing shortages of materials and labour. The first practical result was the introduction of the M1943 Uniform, made up of a tunic, trousers and shirt. The tunic became a deeper gray, had six buttons, the pleats on the pockets were removed, it was cut less full, the skirts were shortened and the dark green facings were finally fully removed. Artificial linen or cotton liners gave way to artificial silk or viscose and the materials were generally of inferior quality and became shabbier, quicker (see Figure 10). The trousers featured a lower waist, and four large belt loops to hold the main belt when worn without the Field Blouse. A small pocket for keeping a watch was fitted (with a flap) and the suspender belt buttons moved to the inside. Later versions came with ankle cords to coincide with the introduction of ankle boots and gaiters (see Figure 11). The shirt (see Figure 12) was made of aertex fabric with aluminium buttons.

The final version of the uniform (Felduniform) was the M1944. This was trialled during the summer of 1943 by units such as the Grossdeutschland Panzer Grenadier Division and approved by Hitler on 8 July 1944, entering service on 25 September 1944. It was clearly a result of the need to introduce further economies and was similar in cut and style to British battledress. It could be produced in large quantities but never replaced, only supplanted, its predecessors. It was supposed to showcase a new olive green colour but in practise, was made of whatever materials happened to be available and dyed with whatever colours were available too. In many instances they were delivered in the same mouse gray version of field gray that the M1943 field blouse had come in. It was much shorter than the other tunics, featured non-pleated breast pockets, a buckled waistband and came with self-supporting trousers, which could be worn with a belt or suspenders, had ankle pleating cords and flapped pockets. It was designed to be worn with ankle boots and gaiters.

Greatcoats (Mäntel)

The M1936 Greatcoat (Figure 15) was really a relic of the old Prussian military tradition of a smart long coat, unsuited to the demands of modern warfare. While made of heavy wool material, it was of knee-length, with turn-back cuffs, a half-belt at the rear, a turn-down collar and shoulder straps faced with dark green. It hampered mobility, became very heavy when soaked with water and was very stiff if it froze. It did however continue to evolve through the war (Figure 16) with economy measures meaning it lost the dark green facings but gained a deeper collar, two side pockets, a thick hood made of recycled blanket wool and many having additional lining.

Cold Weather Clothing

The Wehrmacht also issued reversible and non-reversible winter parkas (starting on the Eastern Front in autumn 1942) to combat the low temperatures in winter after testing throughout the year. They came with a pair of trousers and were made in three different thicknesses. The early versions were plain gray / white but later came camouflage versions, such as the one below, made after 1943.


The German Army went to war with the M1935 pattern helmet (Stahlhelme), a model developed by Eisenhüttonwerke of Thule (Figure 21) from the M1918 pattern helmet of the First World War, and accepted for service on 25 June 1935. Originally, it was quite a complex and time-consuming item to manufacture and so it did not see widespread distribution until well into 1936. Even so, during the early stages of World War II, some reserve and second-line units still had the deeper M1918 pattern. As World War II progressed, shortages of materials and the search for greater economies led to the M1940 and M1942 patterns being introduced, all being of similar design but with an overall decrease in quality. This included changes in the manufacturing process, rougher / cheaper paint finishes, changes to the lining materials and the rolled edge being eliminated. In the field, helmets were given additional camouflage by their wearers, including being covered in mud, the use of chicken wire or nylon netting, an elastic band or the bread bag strap to hold local foliage, being painted suitable colours (such as sand for desert environments) and having camouflage pattern covers fixed to them. The latter were not standard issue and issued only to certain frontline and elite units.

Apart for the steel helmet, the German soldier could also been seen wearing a field cap (Feldmütze &ndash see Figure 22) which was made of similar material to the field blouse. The early version was more a side cap (and was redesigned in 1942 to be more practical in cold weather), but from 1943 a new 'Standard' Field Cap (Einheitsfeldmütze &ndash see Figure 23) was issued, which was similar in design to the Mountain Cap (Bergemütze) won by the Mountain troops (Gebirgsjäger). Officers would also be seen wearing field caps (Figure 24) which could have stiffening board put into it for a more 'formal' look.


The marching boot (Marschstiefel), more popularly known to the soldiers as the 'Dice Shakers' (Knobelbecher) and to the British as the 'jackboot', have been a feature of the German Army uniform since Bismarck's Reich. They were made of high quality, blackened cow leather with the calf portion measuring 35 &ndash 41cm and doubled soles strengthened with 35 &ndash 45 hobnails. The heels were reinforced with an indented iron plate on the outer rim. Officers wore similar items, but quite often bought high-quality tailor-made boots using personal means. Again, through the war, economies were introduced, the first being a reduction in the calf length to 29 &ndash 35cm to save leather.

Later on, they were restricted in their distribution to the infantry, cyclists, motorcyclists and specialist troops (such as pioneers). Later still, they were replaced by the ankle boot (Schnürschuhe), worn with gaiters. Ankle boots had in fact been around before the war (M1937) and were mainly used for walking out dress and work wear around the barracks. They were however to become increasingly common as the war went on (from 1941 onwards) and a late-war version (M1944) became standard issue as part of the M1944 pattern uniform.

Field Equipment (Feldausrüstung)

The basic German Infantryman's webbing (the equipment by which he carries the items necessary to survive and fight), an example webbing set being shown in Figures 30 and 31, consisted of a leather waist belt with leather Y-straps that went over the shoulders. Later in the war these were supplemented by canvas webbing ones, initially supplied to troops in tropical zones, due to their cheapness and practicality. Attached to this were items such as ammunition pouches (which varied according to the weapon carried), a bayonet (Seitengewehr), an entrenching tool (Schanzzeug), a bread bag (Brotbeutel), a water bottle (Feldflasche), a gas mask container (Tragebusche) and possibly even a pistol and holster. Quite often, the gas mask was 'disposed' of, and the container used to carry personal items, extra rations and ammunition. In addition, an assault pack (Sturmgepäck) could be attached at the back using an 'A-Frame' and consisted of the Model 31 Cooking Pot (Kockgeschirr), a small bag for carrying additional equipment over which was placed a rolled up poncho with tent pole sections and pegs (Zeltbahnrolle), a blanket and (if necessary) the greatcoat rolled up and placed around the other items in a horseshoe shape and attached by straps. On the march however, the Marching Pack (Marschgepäck) could be attached to the 'A-Frame' with the greatcoat, blanket and poncho wrapped around that instead. The Marching Pack was gradually replaced from 1943 onwards with the Model 1944 Rucksack (see Figure 32), due its increased practicality.

Weapons: Small Arms

Figure 33. The Mauser Kar98k bolt-action rifle (Above), chambered for the 7.92x57mm round, which were held in an integral five-round magazine, entered service in 1935. Derived from the Gewehr M1898 rifle (the German Army's battle rifle in World War I) and post-World War I Karabiner 98b, the Kar98k was the standard German battle rifle of World War II. Kar stand for Karabiner (carbine) and the k stands for kurz (short) so the designation stands for Carbine 98 Short. It can still be found in conflicts all over the world as well as in the civilian gun market.

Weight:: 3.7 &ndash 4.1kg (8.2 &ndash 9lbs) Length: 1110mm (43.7in) Barrel Length: 600mm (23.6in) Muzzle velocity: 760m/s (2,493fps).

Figure 34. The MP40 Sub-machinegun (MP standing for Maschinenpistole or Machine Pistol), chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum, operates with an open-bolt, blowback mechanism, the magazine holding 32 rounds. Introduced into service in 1940, it was a simplified version of the MP38, which itself was a development of the MP36, an SMG designed by Berthold Geipel of Erma. Over 1 million would be made during the War, but contrary to the image perceived in war films and computer games, it was generally only issued to paratroopers, tank crews as well as squad and platoon leaders (Above).

Weight:: 4kg (8.8lbs) Length: 833mm (32.8in) with stock extended / 630mm (24.8in) with stock retracted Barrel Length: 251mm (9.9in) Muzzle velocity: 380m/s (1,247fps) Rate of Fire: 550 rounds per minute.

Figure 35a. (left) The MG34 (the MG standing for Maschinengewehr or machinegun) was designed by Heinrich Vollmer of Mauser and accepted into service in 1934, firing the 7.92x57mm cartridge. It was the standard German infantry squad support weapon for the first half of World War II, being supplanted by the MG42 (Figure 35b, right) later in the war. Used in this role, it was equipped with a bipod (but could be converted to the heavy machinegun role by putting it on a tripod) and belt-fed, although it could accept 50-round drums.
Weight:: 12.1kg (26.7lbs) Length: 1,219mm (48in) Barrel Length: 627mm (24.7in) Muzzle velocity: 755m/s (2,477fps) Rate of Fire: 900 rounds per minute (average).

Figure 36a. (Above, Left) The 9x19mm P-08 Luger semi-automatic pistol, the design of which was patented by Georg J Luger in 1898, was initially chambered for 7.65x22 Parabellum but was eventually chambered for the 9x19mm cartridge, a round that was developed specifically for it (and hence is also called 9x19mm Luger). It operated using an unusual toggle-lock action instead of the standard slide action of almost all other semi-automatic pistols and featured an eight-round magazine. Made to exacting standards, the design worked well for high-power cartridges but low-power ones could cause feeding problems.
Weight:: 871g (1.92lbs) Length: 222mm (8.75in) Barrel Length: 98 - 203mm (3.9 &ndash 8.02in) Muzzle velocity: 350 &ndash 400m/s (4in barrel, 9mm).

Figure 36b (Above, Right) The Walther P-38, a gas-operated semi-automatic pistol, chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, came into service in 1940. It became the Wehrmacht's general service pistol, replacing the expensive-to-produce Luger P-08 and used a double-action trigger design, similar to that used on the PPK. It featured an eight-round magazine.

Weight:: 800g (1lb 12oz) Length: 216mm (8.5in) Barrel Length: 125mm (4.9in) Muzzle velocity: 365m/s (1,200fps).

Figure 37. The Browning Hi-Power (Above) was a single-action semi-automatic pistol chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, with a magazine that held thirteen rounds. The initial design came from John Browning to satisfy a French military requirement but after Browning's death in 1926, the design was refined by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Herstal, Belgium. It entered Belgian service in 1935. The factory continued to produce weapons under German occupation and so large numbers of this pistol saw service in the Wehrmacht.
Weight:: 800g (1lb 12oz) Length: 216mm (8.5in) Barrel Length: 125mm (4.9in) Muzzle velocity: 365m/s (1,200fps).

Figure 38. The Gewehr-41 (Above) was a semi-automatic rifle chambered for the 7.92x57mm cartridge. Both Walther and Mauser developed designs, with the Walther design being somewhat superior. Both suffered from reliability problems, a result of the overly complex gas system which was difficult to clean and maintain under field conditions combined with fouling caused by the corrosive propellants in the ammunition. It entered service in 1941 but was superseded by the Gewhr-43.
Weight:: 4.9kg (10.87lbs) Length: 1,140mm (44.8in) Barrel Length: 546mm (21.5in) Muzzle velocity: 775m/s (2,328fps) Rate of Fire: Semi-automatic.

Figure 39. The Gewehr-43 (Above) was a semi-automatic rifle chambered for the 7.92x57mm cartridge with a 10-round detachable box magazine. Following problems with the Gewehr-41, Walther produced a modified design in 1943, building on the experience they had with captured Soviet SVT-40 semi-automatic rifles. With a new gas system and changeable box magazine, the new rifle was smaller, lighter, easier to maintain, more reliable and quicker to reload. It started to be issued in early 1944 and over 400,000 units were produced.
Weight:: 4.1kg (9.7lbs) Length: 1,130mm (44.8in) Barrel Length: 546mm (21.5in) Muzzle velocity: 775m/s (2,328fps) Rate of Fire: Semi-automatic.

Figure 40. The StG44 (also known as the MP43 and MP44) is considered by many to be the first modern assault rifle, combining features of a carbine, automatic rifle and sub-machinegun. The StG stands for Sturmgewehr or 'assault rifle' and it was chambered for a new, intermediate calibre cartridge, the 7.92x33mm Kurz (Kurz meaning 'short') in a 30-round detachable magazine. This, along with the weapon's selective fire design, meant that while it didn't have the long range accuracy or hitting power of a normal rifle chambered for a full-power rifle cartridge (such as the 7.92x57mm Mauser) it did have good ballistic performance out to intermediate ranges and was still controllable for close-up fully automatic fire. This was in-line with Wehrmacht studies that indicated that the vast majority of infantry combat took place at less than 400m. Initial variants entered service in October 1943.
Weight:: 5.22kg (11.5lbs) Length: 940mm (37in) Barrel Length: 419mm (16.5in) Muzzle velocity: 685m/s (2,247fps) Rate of Fire: 500 &ndash 600 rounds per minute.

Weapons: Hand Grenades

Figure 41. (Above) Various hand grenades used by the Wehrmacht. The picture on the left shows probably the best known design, known to the Allies as the 'Stick Grenade' or 'Potato Masher', in this case a Mod. 24 Steilhandgranate (top). The grenade is primed via a cord than runs down the hollow base. The picture on the right shows examples of the M39 Eihandgranate (Egg hand grenade), a design first introduced in 1939. The M39 was a continuation of the Mod.1917 Na. egg design, which was a small grenade, making it easier to carry in larger quantities and allowing it to be thrown further.

Weapons: Anti-Tank

Figure 42. (Above) The Panzerbüchse (literally 'Tank Rifle' &ndash here the word büchse mean rifle, as it refers to a large-calibre rifle used in sport or hunting) or PzB 39 was a single-shot, bolt-action anti-tank rifle designed by the firm Gustloff and chambered for a proprietary 13.2x92mm cartridge. It entered service in early 1939 and saw action right the way through the war with some 39,232 rifles being made. While it had reasonable success against contemporary vehicles (it could penetrate up to 25mm of armour at 300m), the increased armour of later AFVs rendered it useless against all but the most lightly armoured or non-armoured vehicles. It was superseded by the Panzerfaust and Panzerschrek, and many were rebuilt as grenade launchers.
Weight:: 11.6kg (25.57lbs) Length: 1,620mm (63.8in) Barrel Length: 1,085mm (42.7in) Muzzle velocity: 1,210m/s (3,970fps) Rate of Fire: 10 rounds per minute (approx).

Figures 43 and 44. (Above) Designed to give infantry a portable anti-tank capability, the Faustpatrone Klein 30 (literally 'Fist Cartridge, Small') was the forerunner to the better known Panzerfaust series, introduced in August 1943. The Panzerfaust (literally 'Tank Fist') series of weapons were essentially a hollow metal tube with a shaped-charge warhead attached to it. On firing, the warhead would accelerate out of the tube, up to a speed of 100m/s (depending on the design) with stabilising fins deploying after it left the tube. They were reasonably accurate up to 100m (again, depending on the design) and could penetrate up to 220mm of armour. The 30 entered service in August 1943, the 60M in September 1944 and the 100M in November 1944.
Faustpatrone K30: Weight &ndash 3.2kg Effective Range &ndash 30m Penetration &ndash 140mm
Panzerfaust 30: Weight &ndash 5.1kg Effective Range &ndash 30m Penetration &ndash 200mm
Panzerfaust 60M: Weight &ndash 6.1kg Effective Range &ndash 60m Penetration &ndash 200mm
Panzerfaust 100M: Weight &ndash 6.8kg Effective Range &ndash 100m Penetration &ndash 220mm

Figure 45. (Above) The Panzerschrek (literally 'Tank Terror') was the popular name for the Raketenpanzerbüchse (or 'Rocket Armour Rifle'), a German development of the M1A1 Bazooka. The main variants were the RPzB 43 (issued early in 1943), RPzB 54 (issued in October 1943 and had a blast shield to protect the operator) and RPzB 54/1 (shorter but fired an improved rocked). It fired a rocket-propelled shaped-charge warhead that had, in the case of the RPzB 54/1, a range of about 180mm and could penetrate over 200mm of armour. It was the heaviest of the three versions though, at 11kg (empty).

Weapons: Indirect Fire

Figure 46. (Above) The German Leichter Granatwerfer 36 was a light, 5cm mortar used throughout World War II. Development started in 1934 by Rheinmetall-Borsig AG and it was adopted for service in 1936. By 1941, its effectiveness was seen as limited and production eventually ceased. As supplies dwindled, German troops starting using captured French and Soviet 50mm mortars but the 5cm LeGrW was always popular due to it being easily portable by two soldiers and provided a decent striking power at a range not immediately accessible to the squad or section. It weighed 14kg (31lbs), had a barrel length of 465mm (18in) and fired a 3.5kg HE shell up to 520m away.

Figure 47. (Above) The 8cm Granatwerfer (GrW) 34 was the standard medium German mortar in World War II. It had a reputation of being reliable, accurate and having a decent rate of fire. The weapon broke down into three loads (barrel, bipod and baseplate) and featured a line of the barrel for rough laying, while a panoramic sight was fitted on the traversing mechanism for fine adjustment. It weighed 62kg (136.6lbs) with a steel barrel or 57kg (125.6lbs) with an alloy barrel, had a barrel length of 1,143mm (45in) and could fire a 3.5kg HE or smoke shell, well over a kilometre, a range that could be extended to almost 2.5km (2,723yds) with up to three additional propellant charges. A shortened version, the kz 8cm GrW42 was developed for use by the paratroopers but its use became much more widespread as the limitations of the 5cm LeGrW became apparent.

Figure 48. (Above) The 12cm Granatwerfer (GrW) 42 was virtually a direct copy of the Soviet PM-38 120mm mortar and an attempt to give German troops an indirect fire weapon that had better range and striking power than the weapons available at the time. Captured Soviet weapons received the designation 12 cm Granatwerfer 378 (r). The GrW had a barrel length of about 1,862 mm (6 ft), weighed 280kg (617.3lbs) and was towed into firing position using a two-wheeled axle, which was removed while setting up the weapon. It could fire a 15.6kg (34.4lbs) shell approximately 6km (6,561yds).


Any article such as this can only hope to produce something of a 'primer' as to the wide range of clothing, equipment and weapons that became available to the German soldier during World War II. However, as general rule, as the war progressed, the quality of many items diminished as economy measures were introduced in attempts to solve shortages of materials and reduce production times, the exception being the range of weapons available, particularly anti-tank and support weapons. While the majority of clothes were of 'field gray' colour, it can be

Bibliography and Additional Information

Bell, Brian. Wehrmacht Combat Helmets 1933 &ndash 45, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2004, Elite Series No. 106.

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