Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Belgian Franctireurs 1914


fritz
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have received on loan one of the few copies of von Strantz in US libraries, but it is so terribly fragile and already damaged that it will be difficult to read much of it without seriously damaging it. (The war-time paper is seriously brittle.)

The first impression is that it is not a serious work; dramatic drawn illustrations, obvious propaganda, sensational chauvanistic statements.

Looked in my oldest Rangliste, the Prussian 1879; at least 8 Prussian professional officers of that name.

I will look at it again, but this is not the sort of book I would pay a lot of attention to. I doubt that he could have visited a theatre of war, unless in an ambulance.

Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I suspected, not much of a "smoking gun" after all.

Sorry, have not had enough time to address myself to this...

Lets take Bobs statement..

"obvious propaganda, sensational chauvanistic statements."

If the Allied propaganda is not credible... but the Germans make the same claims (see above) ... are both then not credible?

I would be curious to see quotes from the unit histories you have that go into detail here. Unit histories are however postwar and often cleaned up.

What the above book has going for it.

1) It was published in wartime Germany

2) Germany had censorship, unlike France

3) it gleefully talks about "exterminating Belgians" who interfere with German plans, including whole villages and women

4) It is obviously populist/patriotic/Best seller pulp non-fiction.

Now,... do you guys seriously claim that in a country where the Press was censored... some old officer made up tales of murder and massacre and published them?

For me and IMHO..

1) You dont put tales of murder and extermination in a Populist book, if the concept is not popular.

2) If this was approved and published, the ideas were appealing to the population and the army.

3) There are many, many, many wartime books filled with accounts from the front, the editors were seldom if ever there... why discredit this one just because he does not fit the argument?

For me this is a smoking gun as it is aimed at the German people, during the war, and accepted by the Govt and bought by the people. So I doubt there are bold faced lies in it. It is more "period" than a 1920s or 30s unit history.

Best

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure why you're not willing to provide specific page references to the three accounts you're basing your arguments on.

In terms of German unit histories being "cleaned up" I'm not sure whether there are any unit histories from any country that don't whitewash certain dubious incidents that the unit was involved in. As I've stated elsewhere, German "unit histories" do, however, tend to mention their participation in such incidents somewhat more readily than one would expect; so it's a little difficult to argue that there was some sort of post-war cover-up or denial about what happened in Belgium.

Incidentally, in case it's of any interest, here's a reference to the book:

(h) Propagandist Matter issued by the Publishing Houses,

There are, to begin with, the numerous low-priced

pamphlets which carry the gospel to the soldiers in

the trenches, and enlighten the home population.

The most voluminous and the most perfidious of

these books is that of Major Viktor von Strantz :

Die Eroberung Belgiens,

http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924028358913/cu31924028358913_djvu.txt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, have not had enough time to address myself to this...

Lets take Bobs statement..

"obvious propaganda, sensational chauvanistic statements."

If the Allied propaganda is not credible... but the Germans make the same claims (see above) ... are both then not credible?

Yes, exactly. War-time, sensational propaganda, may have certain uses in serious historical study, but are not creditable sources for establishing historical fact. This should be apparent.

I would be curious to see quotes from the unit histories you have that go into detail here. Unit histories are however postwar and often cleaned up. Did I say anything about Unit histories? I only have a few, and I can't think of one that has the subject unit campaigning in Belgium.

What the above book has going for it.

1) It was published in wartime Germany

So? I rarely bother with anything of that sort written during the war. They are both full of propaganda and lies, and also for reasons of not giving away intelligence lots of facts, dates, units, etc are not included. But the propaganda war was vital to the Allies, and they produced vast amounts of fabricated works.

2) Germany had censorship, unlike France Any censor with half a brain would not allow such a book be published.

3) it gleefully talks about "exterminating Belgians" who interfere with German plans, including whole villages and women It only proves that von Strantz was a fool and quite likely in an advanced state of Alzheimer's. If there was some review it also shows that whoever did that was a fool also. Von Strantz seemingly came from a big military family, and had started publishing books something like 44 years before this book came out. He probably had connections, etc. to get a book out.

I do agree that just publishing such a book puts a bad light on some sectors of German public opinion, and does show that there was a readership (we think) or market for such stuff. I gave the example of an American book, in the form of a unit history, which constantly preached that all German prisoners must be shot. That does not prove that this went on. I don't think that the writer, a Pittsburg journalist, ever got any closer to the war theatre than his bar stool at the east end of the bar.

As I said, my attempting to read the copy I have, from Princeton University, would be a destructive process. Does von Strantz geve any creditable sources for his stories? Did active duty officers take leave from the front to go to his hospital bed and dictate stories about how they shot women and children. Any combat officer would have been brain-dead to repeat such stories for publication, true or not.

4) It is obviously populist/patriotic/Best seller pulp non-fiction. Agreed, esxept for the non-fiction part. That might be why it was not censored.

Now,... do you guys seriously claim that in a country where the Press was censored... some old officer made up tales of murder and massacre and published them? We just don't know. Tell us if there are any creditable sources cited.

For me and IMHO..

1) You dont put tales of murder and extermination in a Populist book, if the concept is not popular. Agreed, and unfortunate.

2) If this was approved and published, the ideas were appealing to the population and the army.

3) There are many, many, many wartime books filled with accounts from the front, the editors were seldom if ever there... why discredit this one just because he does not fit the argument? It does not seem to have the characteristics of a creditable historical source. Evidence of unpleasant attitudes? Yes.

For me this is a smoking gun as it is aimed at the German people, during the war, and accepted by the Govt and bought by the people. So I doubt there are bold faced lies in it. Why not? The Allies sold hundreds and hundreds of books of absolute rubbish, in an organized campaign. They seem to have been snapped up. It is more "period" than a 1920s or 30s unit history.

Best

Chris

Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob,

you are suggesting the tales are both allied and German lies and propaganda. Both sides lying about the same thing?

You play on Stranz being a fool, having Alzheimers and Laying in a hospital bed,but dont know who is is (not a very credible argment.

There are no sources in the book. That is very comman with wartime german books. Even postwar books.

From years of experiance I know there is no way to change your opinion on such matters, any arguments to the contrary will be waved away, so I am not going to spend the morning typing, but to end it (for now)...

If a German book, by a German ex-officer, is aproved by German censors, published in Germany, for a German public... I doubt tales of mass murder would just be invented "just for fun"... in that case the Censors would have said "No!", the army would have complained "...the reputation of the army!", the civilians would have complained "... our sons would never murder women and children!".... The fact that stuff like this was published signals a certain level of acceptance.

Not sure why you're not willing to provide specific page references to the three accounts you're basing your arguments on.

Simply because, I have not had the time, would have to go through the whole book again, and there are two other people with the book if they have a free moment who can look.

best

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I've stated elsewhere, German "unit histories" do, however, tend to mention their participation in such incidents somewhat more readily than one would expect;

Hi,

I have groups to men involved such things in 3 different incidents, in the Regt histories there is no mention at all.

Could you point me to which regt histories have detailed descriptions?

Thanks

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(h) Propagandist Matter issued by the Publishing Houses,

There are, to begin with, the numerous low-priced

pamphlets which carry the gospel to the soldiers in

the trenches, and enlighten the home population.

The most voluminous and the most perfidious of

these books is that of Major Viktor von Strantz :

Die Eroberung Belgiens,

Indeed, but that simply shows the Allies found his book unappetizing, which is natural.

For those reading v. Strantz book, the pages were in the first 100 pages. if I have time I will dig it out and look.

Best

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which three regiments?

Hi,

I have groups to men involved such things in 3 different incidents, in the Regt histories there is no mention at all.

Could you point me to which regt histories have detailed descriptions?

Thanks

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I suppose this would be one of them:

The volume entitled Die Eroberung Belgiens is

full of stories of the same sort. Thus, of thirty-eight

illustrations, which are neither maps nor portraits,

ten are devoted to the attacks of Belgian civilians.

It is interesting to compare the tales of people who

have not been present in the battles fought in Bel-

gium, and who speak only from hearsay, with the

narrative of Herr Otto von Gottberg, Als Adjutant

durch Frankreich und Belgien. He took part in

September in the battles which accompanied the

siege of Antwerp. Nowhere did he see francs-tireurs.

Yet he by no means loves the Belgian civilians, and

he certainly would have been tremendously pleased

to shoot down a few. Bead, for example, what he

says of the provocative attitude of the people of

Brussels, and above all of the women of Brussels

(p. 55), and of passing through the streets of Lebbeke

(near Termonde), where his soldiers proposed to fall

upon the inhabitants who scowled at them (p. 65).

However, he says, he did not burn a single house

(p. 67). We may remark that Herr Gottberg's

companions showed themselves less amiable, or at

least equitable, than he, for the ''reprisals" against

Lebbeke were particularly atrocious (see 2th Beport),

It is, however, highly improbable that the inhabitants

would have deprived themselves of the pleasure of

firing on the little patrol led by Herr Gottberg,

afterwards to take up arms against troops which

were much more numerous.

http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924028358913/cu31924028358913_djvu.txt

Indeed, but that simply shows the Allies found his book unappetizing, which is natural.

For those reading v. Strantz book, the pages were in the first 100 pages. if I have time I will dig it out and look.

Best

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken;

Very interesting. I can only contribute for a few seconds, and then run out, but you have touched on several important factors. A major one is the tangled relationship between the Walloon and Flemish populations of Belgium, then and now, and the seemingly very different experiences of the two groups with German troops. I will present several examples and sources.

I will present an interesting book by a Belgian professor from Liege, who fled the area after the German investment but before the street fighting there. He managed to reach the UK and published the book (in English) there shortly after reaching there, describing his observations and experiences. He describes what he felt was a major source of the fury of the Walloons (the constant publishing of very war-like articles from the French press in the Belgian French-language press), and a major source of their weapons (the literally thousands of home-based weapons workshops where Belgian families did detailed finishing work on sporting and military arms for the major Belgian arms manufacturers, who were centered in Liege.)

I am sure that once the British/Belgian/French propaganda juggernaught was fully organized, the Brits would not have allowed this book to be published.

Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob, that does sound like an interesting book. Could you send me the author/title perhaps?

I did a little checking on "Otto von Gottberg" and according to the DNB he was born 1867, died 1945, and was somewhat prolific during the war years. Not surprisingly, some of his works appear to be novels. Other than his entry in the database, though, there's basically no information about him on the Net.

http://d-nb.info/gnd/116788593

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob, that does sound like an interesting book. Could you send me the author/title perhaps?

Here is a citation from a specialized bibliography of mine:

" Hamelius, Professor Paul - The Siege of Liège, a Personal Narrative, with a Plan of the Forts, London, 1914, T. Werner Laurie, 79 pages.

Found: HathiTrust.org (three copies at different libraries)

Notes: Not a lot of military specifics, nothing on the 420s, but quite interesting for interesting descriptions of the terrain about Liege, the economy of the city, the nature of the workers, his speculation on the causes of franc titeur fighting, conversations with German officers, the Walloon/Flemish question, the politics of the building of the Meuse forts and the expansion and modernization of the army, the ignorance of the course of events of the people of Liege during the siege, etc. "

Hamlius was living just outside Liege and his house was in the siege lines of the German forces investing Liege. He had a number of interesting conversations with German officers (they used his facilities to wash up), and stated that he never personally had an unpleasant incident with the Germans. He however did recount an incident where a neighbor went out wanting to collect some fresh forage for his rabbit, went up a road, a German soldier guarding the road told him that he could not leave the siege lines, the neighbor insisted, and finally ran about the German soldier up the road to collect his rabbit food; the German sentry shot him dead.

Note the HathiTrust citation; the book can be accessed on-line.

Professor Hamlius decided to leave, and some rail workers that were running trains through the German siege lines for their own convenience (averaging something like six passengers on a train), got out, to the Chanel ports, and to the UK.

He was Flemish; I have a very different book by a Walloon professor at the same university, I have however identified a very important section of that book, which has a wonderful description of a scene that I first read in Tuchman's The Guns of August in English, however, very suspicious of that non-historian, I looked for the original in French for years to double-check on it; when I found it I realized that it was a complete, bald-faced utter fabrication. I am still grieving that I cannot use that marvelous, totally false passage in something that I am writing.

Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just some things,

Paul Hamelius was not Flemish. He was born in the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg (another neutral country invaded by Germany :hypocrite: );. After working in Germany ((Die kritik in der Englische Literatur... Leipzig 1897) he was active as a teacher in Metz. Here he was appaled by the treatment of French speaking children by the educational system. This had a sympathy for the Flemish problem in Belgium as a result.

Chris

I have not read the von Strantz book. If you could provide some details of actual incidents (date location etc. ) it might possible to compare it to other german and Belgian sources. Otherwise I'm afraid it would only serve as an example of a 'mentality' history and as a propaganda work.

Carl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul Hamelius was not Flemish. He was born in the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg (another neutral country invaded by Germany :hypocrite: );. After working in Germany ((Die kritik in der Englische Literatur... Leipzig 1897) he was active as a teacher in Metz. Here he was appaled by the treatment of French speaking children by the educational system. This had a sympathy for the Flemish problem in Belgium as a result.

Carl

Dear Carl!

Once again you ride to the rescue with your superior knowledge of things Belgian. It was apparent that Hamelius was not Walloon, so I made the easy (but false) asumption that he was Flemish, I would never had thought of Luxemburgois. As such, he was more of an outsider, to my mind perhaps conferring greater credability. But of course he only saw a limited set of events. He clearly spoke excellent and educated German, and was comfortable speaking with Germans, so it is not surprising that his discussions with German officers were cordial and interesting. His rabbit-raising neighbor did not have those advantages.

Can anyone report if any of von Strantz's reported incidents have dates (they usually have locations), names, units, or other particulars. (Unfortunately, any attempt to read the copy I obtained will prove difficult to read {extreme browning approximating printer's ink} plus probably destructive to the page attempted. Wartime books, unfortunately, usually lack these useful bits of information, even if there is some inclination to tell something approximating the truth. If there are officers' names, I have reference materials that might pinpoint whether or not the named individuals were real officers. This is possible at the very beginning of the war, in the first few months.

I have just read another diary of a German officer in this campaign. This one, published in at least German and English, reflects experiences closely mirroring those of the German sergeant of the Reserves whose manuscript diary I purchased and translated. (Relax friends, I will be sure that this source shall not dissapear into some collector's closet for another 40 years.) Almost minute to minute, extreme swings in the nature of German - Belgian experiences; one minute very friendly, the next minute murderous. Of course it is awful when such an enviroment and situation is inflicted on a civilian population.

Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just had a look at the the book by Hamelius and what comes across is a disdain for the Walloons and (dare I say it)a sneaking regard for the Germans.Before I get savaged by one and all, this is just my personal opinion regarding this one book.I should be reluctant to comment on this thread but I think everybody enjoys the robust debate produced here and credit is due to the contributors.

Regards,

Murrough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Murrough;

Yes, I agree. He discusses the Walloon press parrotting the theme of "revanche" (revenge, against Germany for 1870) so prevalent in French political discourse, reprinting such articles from the French press, putting the Walloons at a fever pitch for resistance by any means possible against the Germans who were matching thru Belgium. Given his career, as laid out by Carl, he probably did admire the Germans in some ways. But he did not want to live in German-occupied Belgium, and went to considerable lengths to escape to the UK.

He also went on at length about the organization of the large Belgian small-arms industry, and how its organization, with something like 6000 (flying on memory here, but it might have been 8000) home/family workshops that took parts supplied by the arms firms and did the labor-intensive assembly, fitting, and detailing of sporting and military rifles and handguns, I imagine on a piece-work basis, providing many thousands of firearms to the civilian population, whom he stated were inflamed by the French press.

Please note that I did not even mention this book before. I certainly do not consider it a "smoking gun", any more than any one single source. But it is a detailed, specific book, by a highly intelligent, knowledgable, multi-lingual observer, who certainly possessed some love for Belgium, chosing to live there instead of Germany or his own Luxemburg. He certainly had problems with the Walloon extremists who, at that time, and for many years, had oppressed the Flemish people in many ways (This divide is so serious today that these two principal groups are unable to work together and form a functional government - many observers predict a final permament rupture - by the way, I love the Ghent student underwear protesters; can we assume that Carl was out there wielding his cellphone?)

Did someone - Carl perhaps - mention that there is thought to develop a data-base documenting the civilian victims in Belgium in 1914? I would heartedly support such a move, but of course want it to be an open process in methodology and results. Belgium was so literate, so well organized (public records, etc) that this should be quite doable. I understand that the Boers did a complete "census" of the 21,000 children and 7000 wives of the Boer guerrilla fighters that the Brits rounded up in that nasty war and put in camps with conditions that killed the 28,000 women and children. I understand that every one have been figured out. (Perhaps Chris can chime in on this.) After Israel went into Lebanon in 1982, supposedly to deal with some border issues, in some accidental process they ended up way north at Beirut, which they shelled for six weeks; they killed 23,000+ civilians whose deaths have been itemized and documented, victim by victim, by the Lebanese. I have not worked on the global losses, but I observed a give and take between the Belgian government in exile and Germany in 1915, where the former stated that 6250 civilians were killed, while the Germans protested that it was closer to 6000. So it looks like the global losses are roughly agreed to. An effort of this sort should be quite do-able, financially and technically. Certainly paper and ink has been expended to publish many hundreds of books on this topic already. Certainly passions have cooled enough to make an objective study of this situation possible. I myself will be able to provide a few data-points for evaluation.

Additionally, while most German military records were destroyed in 1945 in a RAF fire-bombing raid on the Prussian State Archives, several different sets of detailed German medical records and casualty compelations still exist, and could be studied for possible losses not in formal military engagements, like the 43 wounded supposedly killed in an aid station, as my grand-father described to my father in a letter from Belgium. I will add that as I read I see more evidence of German organized propaganda being attempted very early in the campaign, surprising me. (I know that some of you think that I am immovable and like granite on this topic, but actually my general position changes from week to week, and generally my opinion has been drifting toward more and more improper acts on the part of the German Army in Belgium in 1914.)

Any interest of finding a suitable corner of this forum for a discussion of the technical side of estimating casualties, especially irregular civilian "shrinkage", especially when the "powers that be" attempt to put every obsticale in the path of such an effort (like Iraq)? I have studied the current methodologies and have studied them and applied them professionally for many years in "real life" in other areas, like demographic and economic forecasting and model-building. We could do so on Skittles, but not everyone could participate there. Any ideas? This technology is applicable to WW I (e.g. Belgium 1914) or in other noteworthy conflicts, several of which rage as we speak.

In my own effort at "truth and reconciliation", I know of a war-crime (hopefully non-fatal) that my grand-father committed in Belgium in 1914, and I (long-delayed) will try to approach a Belgian Forumite for help in nailing down specifics on this interesting abuse in the next 24 hours. Anyone have a grand-father who boasted of shooting a Landser in the back from his bedroom window? (Only joking!)

Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is in fact simply copied from the archive.org site. If you click on the link I provided, it can be accessed by clicking on "Full Text". I could rework the text to make it more readable/printable--if anyone is interested.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As you well know by now, I'm rather interested in the topic of the 'franc-tireurs' in Belgium in early 1914. Recent works on this subject are all by English speaking writers(unfortunately the topic does not seem to interest recent Belgian (Flemish andFrench), French and German authors). Among them are Lipkes, Zimmerman and especially Kramer and Horne. I rather disagree with nearly all of Lipkes conclusions. Kramer and Horne on the other hand are a different matter. They say for instance that there is the possibility of firing by a very small amountof civilians. I think they could have gone deeper with their research here.

The role of the "garde civique sédentaire" could be important. This was a typically Belgian institution and existed in villages where there was no proper garde civique. Although there was no proper mobilization of the entire garde civique (this required the passingof a law through parliament) by the interior minister (the garde civique was not under the control of the army), it is entirely possible that some mayors called out their local gardes sédentaires. They would be armed with whatever was available and would wear a sarrau (a nearly universal available working man smock) and a brassard in the Belgian colors. I can well imagine that they would appear to be civilians firing to nervous German soldiers in the first days of a campaign (although it would be provide sufficient identification according to the Hague convention). There are rapports from Belgian GQG that members of the garde civique sedentaire were being shot and hanged.

There is even a protest note on thistopic from the Belgian government. It was discussed and dismissed in Berlin on 09/08/1914 (so it must have been sent very shortly after the German invasion)(Politisches Archiv des Auswärtiges Amt, Bonn, R 20880, f; 8-9) There is even a hand written note by 'der Kaiser' who was by then already convinced that Belgians were absolutely horrible 'die Bevölkerung Belgiens hat sich geradzu teuflisch um nicht zu sagen viehisch benommen, nicht ein Haar besser als die Kosaken'

What I would like to know if people with better access than me to German source material, have ever come across references to these units.

Carl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carl;

Thank you for that very interesting and promising post. I have been hammered time-wise for a while, I just got a phone call that requires that I run out in a few minutes, but I want to return to that.

My current opinions in this area change frequently, as I read, and also participate here. I recently have been seeing evidence of an organized German propaganda campaign on the threat of franc titeur activity very early in the war, in the opening days, that unfortunately certainly made the German troops much more jumpy. Also more evidence that the Germans mistook irregular activity on the part of small numbers of Belgian soldiers (not necessarily in uniform) for firing from civilians.

Let me ask a question again. Again I have read a sensible and seemingly relatively fair-minded German source (a reservist company commander who was an intellectual and a frequent visitor to Belgium, who spoke good French and English and some Flemish that amused Flemish he spoke to in Belgium) that stated that the Belgian troops regularily carried a suit of civilian clothes in their pack. My grand-father, who as a leader in the Generalkommando von III. Reservekorps was well-informed, said the same. The company commander frequently reported finding Belgian packs and kit, discarded Belgian uniforms besides them, but never any rifles, on the road as they pursued the retreating Belgian Army.

Is this true? Would this merely be tolerated, or was it standard practice? Or is that German propaganda?

A UK propaganda book of the period made a strong arguement that it is legal under the rules of war and international conventions for civilians or troops to fire on the enemy while wearing civilian clothes (I think I still have the book and I can try to cite it if anyone wants); is this true? I can hardly think of any army that tolerates this, certainly not in Afghanistan or Iraq in recent memory. Why would they make this argument?

Got to run out. Carl, I still owe you an e-mail.

Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Article 1. The laws, rights, and duties of war apply not only to armies, but also to militia and volunteer

corps fulfilling the following conditions:

1. To be commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

2. To have a fixed distinctive emblem recognizable at a distance;

3. To carry arms openly; and

4. To conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

They would be armed with whateverwas available and would wear a sarrau (a nearly universal available workingsman smock) and a brassard in the Belgian colors. I can well imagine that theywould appear to be civilians firing to nervous German soldiers in the firstdays of a campaign (although it would be provide sufficient identificationaccording to the Hague convention). [/size]

Why should he not feel that way if he was being fed certain information about an enemy?

There is even a protest note on thistopic from the Belgian government. It was discussed and dismissed in Berlin on09/08/1914 (so it must have been sent very shortly after the German invasion)(Politisches Archiv des Auswärtiges Amt, Bonn, R 20880, f; 8-9) There is even ahand written note by ‘der Kaiser’ who was by then already convinced thatBelgians were absolutely horrible ‘die Bevölkerung Belgiens hat sich geradzuteuflisch um nicht zu sagen viehisch benommen, nicht ein Haar besser als dieKosaken’ [/size]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken,

The best work in my opinion (i'm not a lawyer !) on the thinking behind the german military justice is by Andreas Toppe, 2008

Militär undKriegsvölkerrecht:

Rechtsnorm, Fachdiskurs und Kriegspraxis in Deutschland1899-1940

Bob,

The story of Belgian soldiers with civilian clothes in their backpacks is widespread. I think it is even mentioned by Ludendorff. I had a look in the Belgian Journal Militaire Officiel on this topic.

Cehavresac a les dimensions strictement réduites pour contenir les effets quel'homme doit emporter en campagne plus une ration complète de vivres de réserve(biscuit viande) et 60 cartouches. La veste quand l'homme ne l'a pas au corpssous la capote est pliée et placée dans la casette du sac.

Lorsque l'homme porte le pantalon de toile en campagne, le pantalon de drap est également placé dans le sac

So the pack was rather small and could , next to food and cartridges, contain the uniform jacket (mostly dark blue) and the fatigue trousers (off white). Could they have identified as civilian by German soldiers who, in my opinion, were no experts in the Belgian military :closedeyes: ?

Carl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...