Picture FAQ: East German field gear, circa early 1980's
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Thread: Picture FAQ: East German field gear, circa early 1980's

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    Picture FAQ: East German field gear, circa early 1980's

    Howdy all,

    Many, many years ago when I was just learning about guns, I found a neat pouch in a store. It was green with little veritcal brown lines on it, and I paid $3 for it, not knowing what it was. Well, many years later I now have a decent collection of East German field gear. although I claim to be no expert, I thought I would share a little of what I know.

    I hope to continue expanding this thread as time goes on so we can increase our knowledge base on East German gear. Please feel free to ask questions, add comments, and ogle everything here!

    [ETA] I am afraid I do not know the source of the illustraion, so I cannot credit it. If you know what book it came from, please let me know! I would love to get a copy of the book.

    A few pics to start:






    Basic Description of gear:

    Rifle: MPikM-72 - This is the East German designation for their version of the AKM. It is 7.62x39 caliber, has a stamped reciever, a slant brake (from what I know) and uses E.G. stamped steel magazines. This series of rifle has a blued finish in the early versions (before mid seventies from what I know) and dark gray parkerized later. Furniture is a unique brown plastic pistol grip with checkering on the edges of the grip instead of on the centers of the faces, a glossy brown plastic upper handguard, a pebbled fixed brown plastic stock with a metal buttplate with no trapdoor, and a wood handguard pre-1980's and a mottled red and brown phenolic (very hard resin) lower handguard in the early 1980's onward. I have found the plastic stock to be somwhat fragile, and actually broke off part of the receiver tang when installing it. I would recommend against buttstroking with it. The front and rear sling points are 1" wide and the rifle has a 1" wide gray canvas sling that lacks the clip on the more common 1 1/4" AK slings. Being that my donor rifle was a Romanian one and lacked the 1" front sling point I had to use a HK snap hook to attach the sling (Oh well, at least it is German!). Note that in the illustration there is no slant brake and that the rifle might actually be the earlier milled receiver version. To be honest it looks like the illustraor wasn't clear what an AK looked like exactly.

    Trousers and Shirt - These are made of a cotton(?) that is green with small brown vertical stripes. The trousers have elastic around the was a small metal D-rings inside for the use of suspenders (not shown) and also have buttons and tabs to adjust the size down at the ankle. Mine are cinched down as the pants are a bit long and completely cover the boots otherwise. trousers also have a button fly, and all buttons are a dark OD green. The shirt is of similar material (although mine is a bit lighter green than the trousers) and has grey plastic buttons covereed in dimples to prevent reflection of light. Note that my shirt does not have collar epualets while the one in the illustraion does. I have no idea why, but from what others have said there seem to be at least a half dozen or more varations on the shirts with different small loops, button types, pockets, etc. One interesting note is my shirt has a hidden slash pocket in the left breast which looks suspicously like it was designed to fit a Makarov pistol, although it could not be used for such with the suspenders worn.

    Helmet - The helmet is steel with a painted gray finish inside and out. The suspension is a light tan leather assembly with foam pads and a clear plastic sizing ring. Note that in the illustraion the helmet is shown far too small, and in the picture my head is probably a bit too big for the helmet. From what I know there were three minor variations on the helmet over time, and supposedly it was available in two different sizes (maybe mine is a small one). I had a hard time adjusting the sizing ring large enough, and the chinstrap is poorly positioned, at least for me. On the upside, when looking striaght down from above, your head and most of your shoulders would be completely protected, and it is easy to see and hear with the helmet on.

    Boots boots are of black pigskin(?) leather and have a rubber sole. The upper inner shaft is lined. Mine in the photo are "officers boots" although I have no idea how these differ from any other type. There appear to be dozens of variations on the boots, just like the trousers and shirt. I personally have two pairs of "officers boots" both of which different sole patterns, and I have seen several more with other sole patterns. The boots have an ink stamp near the innner top with "NVA" and the european size. They also have a pressed felt insert that is disgusting and I quickly removed. The boots are actually quite comfortable when a little big and worn with good thick socks.

    Suspenders and Belt - Both are made form a gray canvas. The belt is very heavy canvas, but the buckle is just a stamped piece of sheetmetal with the East German Logo on it. the buckle is painted gray, and is a brass color (unpainted) on the reverse. The attachment method is nothing more than a small metal hook and tab which works OK when worn, but is useless when removed (unhooks and dumps bayonet every time). The suspenders are "Y" style with two additonal straps on the front that loop underneath to work as pack straps for the combat pack. The three main straps come together at a circular fake leather circle between the shoulder blades, and the two front/shoulder straps have a pair of D-rings on each on at the top of the shoulders. The end of each strap has a maetal hook and ring that is used to adjust length and hooked through each other to provide the belt loop. Unlike American web gear, there is no positive retention of pouches/straps on the belt, and all the equipment simply uses a loop that the belt is threaded through. Despite this method, the suspenders are actually fairly comfortable.

    Combat Pack - In the illustration the soldier has a sleeping bag/bedrool, but I am wearing a combat pack. The pack is the same green raindrop pattern material, but has a dark green rubberized interior with a fold out flaps with buckles to completely encase the contents in the rubberized material. Several fabric loops and metal hooks are on the exterior, and allow the use of gray canvas straps to secure various items. If you look at the lower left side of the illustraion you can see a shelter half attached to the pack in this method. The pack has a nametag window on the flap (white spot on pack in picture) that fits a business card sized piece of paper.

    Ammunition Pouch -It is made of the raindrop pattern material, and has a rubberized interior. The pouch is curved to fit AKM magazines, the latern versions of the pouch (there were at least two other version I have seen) are rectangular without the curve, and although AKM mags will fit, they need to be "convinced" they will work. The pouch has a cross type divider and holds four magazines, and uses raindrop material straps with metal end points to thread through metal loops to secure the top. It has two belt loops on the back. Note that I have NEVER seen a "left hand" curved pouch, only the "righ hand" curved pouch shown.

    Bayonet My particular bayonet has a black phenolic handle and black plastic sheath with a rubber boot. It is hung to the belt by a gray leather loop with a clip on the end, and this part also has a strap with a stud to secure the bayonet handle. The bayonet itself is the "typical" AK bayonet design with sawback, wire cutter, leather hand strap, etc. Mine came original in the packaging which was a clear plastic bag within which was a thin brown paper (possibly anti-corrision paper) wrapped around the bayonet and scabbard, and a small brown piece of paper with some German writing identifying the item. (This seems to be standard for all E. German items I have purchased new-in-wrap). The bayonet and scabbard were covered in a yellowish dusty powder and there was a clear crystallized substance on the leather parts. I assume this was an anti mildew or anti moisture powder of some sort.

    Entrenching Tool The "proper" entrenching tool has a gray leather/fake leather carrier that is kind of "U" shaped with an angled bottom that only wraps around the perimeter edge of the shovel, has two loops to connect to the belt and two straps with studs to secure the shovel. I have also seen raindrop carriers that completely cover the shovel, but I assume those are mid eighties or so when they started going raindrop-everything in lieu of the gray fake leather. The shovel itself is very similar to your typical U.S. folding shovel with a screw mechanism and hinge to allow the shovel head to fold over. The shaft of the shovel is wooden, with the far end terminating in a swell and the other end being jammed into a split tube with a rivet to secure it. A very early postwar version is a fixed handle with a brown or gray carrier, with the main difference being the shovel has a fixed shaft and no hinge/screwlock mechanism. Note that in the photos I am wearing an incorrect (from what I know) shovel that is similar but has a green leather carrier with buckles to secure the shovel and a spring loaded cross-button that allows the shovel and pick head to be folded into various positions- I believe it might actually be a West German shovel, but did not know it when I purchased it.

    Canteen The canteen is a squishable plastic lozenge shaped thing with a raindrop pattern cover with snaps to secure it over the bottle. a gray metal cup with folding handles is secured over the top with a black fake leather strap that is comparativly very thin in both width and thickness. The canteen is secured to the belt by a loop made of the same black strapping.
    Ol'Sarge2K and GeneStoner like this.
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    Yep, looks like the guys at Check Point Charlie, and Alpha, and Bravo.
    I was stationed in Berling 1989-90 and 1992-94.

    The entrenching tool is West German, 50-70s issue before they went with a copy of our tri-fold shovel.

    Differences in the boots: Officer boots are better quality and higher like a riding boot. Enlisted boots are shorter, about mid-to-top of calf, and lesseer quality, unlined.

    You need a green nylon helmet net, by the way.
    fxo
    dba: Adler Armory

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    Thanks for the headsup. I know I need the helmet net, just haven't gotten aroudn to it yet. I did recently pick up an E German entrenching tool with the light gray pleather carrier for $10 at the gunshow(!)

    LOL, ironically the E German AK is "long gone" as the stock was rapidly replaced with the original Romy one, and it is at the gunsmith due to ejection probelms.
    "I pledge allegiance to the ideal left us by men wiser than I, having the forethought to gift their children with the power of being free."

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    NVA Scale of Issue

    For your NVA needs check out....
    Removed for reasons of state Security.


    Enjoy!......
    Last edited by People's Army; 05-01-2015 at 06:48 AM. Reason: Inyernal matter. Why are you asking Comrade?

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    Re: NVA Scale of Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by People's Army
    For your NVA needs check out....
    http://wpfg.org.uk/


    Enjoy!......
    Man,Thats a great looking site! Do you care to post this link in our East German Forum?
    "Scars are Tattoos with a better story"

    The AK Forum Site Staff ~ Retired

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    Adler
    Who were you with in Belin Bde?
    I served in the city from 89' to 92'. First with Hq CSB, then Commo section for 6/40th armor then 6 months a Helmstedt det.

    There are several online regestrys for Berlin Bde vets to touch base.

    Good to meet another BBDE vet.
    Looking for:
    Russian glossy plum pistol grips x 2
    1PN58 canvas scope case
    Pretty Serb or Croation girl with sense of humor and a body count

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    To Freshen up this Thread..

    Some Images of gear worn...



    A Period Image from a DDR Produced Historical Document...



    IMG K gunner, with News paper snow camo under his Camo net



    Unteroffizierschueler( Learning to be Corporals) in training hence the Black Work Wear uniform.



    In NBC Suits.. :razz: with a " Friend " Soviet Soldat



    THe wearing of the Temporary Plastic Sheet (kept in Front pocket of the Respirator bag), in case of a droplet Weapon of Mass Destruction... it makes you look "a bit of a Tool"





    Playing in the Snow..with the News Paper Gag.. see it works!



    And a little left field, an image of NVA Weapons Drill with MPi K/S and one for the IMG D which could be used for the IMG K Weapon Systems... these are done at the "Ease" before you march out all smart like...

    As an update Heres an image of how the NBC Suit back pack attaches to the Y Straps yokes ..


    Ol'Sarge2K likes this.

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    East German Bayonet Practice with the Practice Rifle/Bayonet? I can't remember where I found this, but have had it on file for a while.


  10. #9
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    so THAT's what the black uniforms were for...... Work uniform, hmm.
    I always wondered. In the mid 90s there was this surplus store near Bay City MI that had a buttload of EG uniforms, boots, hats, gloves, etc. And i always wondered what the black ones were for. I also rememberd that the gloves sucked, they were this polyester material that had NO grip and were cold as shit.
    I also remember that the raindrop camo was going for 2.50 per piece, new unissued and officer caps for 10.00..... :razz: Wish i bought them ALL.

    Keep the pics comin............................

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    Remember back in 92 or 93 you could get all of this stuff through US Cav for a song?
    It's not that my firearm purchases are out of control, I just keep finding spots in the gun safes that need filling.

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    This stuff can still be had for a song, the uniforms still are at my local surplus stores for $5 a a piece. Ebay has a lot of good deals too.

    I used to collect a lot of this stuff but most of it is in storage because there seems to be very little interest in it. Once in a while I'll dig it out and look at the gear but that is about it. Maybe I'll get it together and post some pics.
    "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth."
    George Washington

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    Here's some Images of The Great Powder Mills Front, a Gig we did a few months backback..I rained, but was a good Gig....we achieved the Norm and forfilled our Internationalist Duties of Building Schools, Bridges, Hospitals and erm...... poisoning Wells :roll:....



    Fraternal Brothers....



    Watching Imperialism trapped in the Belly of the Capitalist Beast which is choking on its own Blood.



    NVA Feldwebel Scale of Issue... dismounted from SPW Complex.
    R126 Radio, Map case, Signal Flags.




    VDV, Urrah!!, Urrah!!, Urrah!!.... trainee yet to earn his Beret in combat... .
    Dismounted from a BMP deployed as Motor Rifles, equipped as Motor Rifles to fool the " Dust Men"of Enfield ..UK




    Advance Technic!!



    Sputnik Technic..."Hear our Rockets and tremble!.".... :shock: ......

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    UPDATED...

    Motor Rifles Gruppenfuehrer Personal Equipment complex.



    R126 Radio, Binoculars, ABC Suit in Carrier, Yoke, Map Case, Two Signal Flags, Belt, Magazine Pouch, Bayonet, Respirator in Haversack, E Tool in Carrier, Water bottle.

    Soldat, only Two men would carry only just this.



    Belt, Yoke, Magazine Pouch, Bayonet, Respirator in Haversack, E Tool in Carrier, Water bottle, ABC Suit in Carrier.


    The Nr 1 Panzerbueche Gunner would have Optical Sight Bag and a Pistole M Holster rather than the Bayonet and MPi Pouch as well as the Nr1 Ammunition Bag for his Weapon System .







    Note, the position of the Pistole M there is no cross draw in the NVA..



    This image is a "Soldiers fix" as the ABC Suit on the Yoke is a bit of a pain, an Ex NVA Artillery Soldat D-30 Weapon Complex showed me this one.




    The Nr2 Gunner is equipped as the Soldat but with the addition Scale of the Nr2 Ammunition Bag.




    The Two IMG K Gunners would also lack the MPi Magazine Pouch and Bayonet but have a 40 Round IMG K Magazine Pouch instead.

    The Grundwissen shows the 75 Round Drum is carried here on the back of the belt when issued.

    Here's the NVA Regulation in regard to wearing and Scales of Issued from a "Grundwissen" namely ..
    Handbuch Militaerisches Grundwissen.
    Which is basically the best source of hands on NVA Data a Soldier needs to know...







    This is from an early one as the use of RPG 2 and the IMG D prove...




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    I had two sets of the E.German "officers boots" The first set I wore everywhere woods,town Etc. they are tough buggers but the sole split where your foot flexs at the front.

    The second pair I wore just to town,I walk so much that I wore out the inner sole (which is,what?,wood?) and the nails started sticking in my foot! Also I "walked" the tread pattern off of both of them! :shock:

  16. #15
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    This wanton destruction of State Property will have to be Noted.... :lol:

 

 
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