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German Uniforms and Equipment

Breadbag M31 (Brotbeutel Modell 1931)


The Breadbag M31 is a piece of equipment that can be found on almost every soldier in WW II.
It's a simple one compartment haversack which contained the ration of a soldier. Ofcourse next to the bread,
it contained a lot of personnel stuff which will be dealt with in the breadbag contents section.

Below a collection of breadbags which gives a good view on colour variations
The breadbags are in a range dated from 1932 until a very late war Model 44 example

Early examples have aluminium hardware but when the war started, production changed.
Steel and zinc was used to save the costly and precious aluminium.

Also noticable is the use of the leather tabs which was abolished later.





Above, from left to right:

 - early war breadbag with leather reinforcements
- mid war breadbag with straps
- mid war tropical breadbag with straps
- late war simplified breadbag (also known as model 44)

As can be seen on the picture above, early war types were field grey, 
while sometimes in 1941 the colour was changed to olive green.



Below an example of an early war breadbag (dated 1940)

The belt loops (which could be unbuttoned) and the hook to secure the breadbag to the belt are visible.
This early example still has the leather reinforcements present.

Also noticable on early war examples is the greenish paint on the leather.

Under the belt loops the D-rings can be seen which are used to hold the Field bottle (and Mess tin).
Normally the Field bottle was attached on the right, while the Mess tin was attached to the left.

Underneath the D-rings, the leather tabs are visible which were used to secure the Field bottle and Mess tin's strap
to prevent these items to bounce when a soldier was running.

On the back side of the bread bag, two smaller D-rings are fitted for the bread bag shoulder strap.





Below an example of a mid war breadbag (dated 1941)

Notice the hardware has changed from aluminium to steel and zinc.
Also the leather reinforcements on the belt loops are no longer present

The picture on the right shows the opened breadbag. 
The bag itself was "closed"  with a single strap with 3 buttonholes.
The flap is closed with 2 leather straps which have 2 buttonholes.

Also visible are the leather reinforcements for the smaller D-rings on the back. 
The 2 leather closing straps simulaneously are the reinforcement for the leather tabs on the front







The picture below shows the breadbag strap attached to the breadbag ,but this item was rarely used for this purpose.
Most of the time the breadbag strap was discarded, or used for other purposes (like in carrying belts for ammo boxes, 
helmet folliage strap or replacement for the Y-belt).

On the picture below that, the strap is shown. This example is stamped 1941.
Also notice that one end is brown, while the other is black.







The breadbag strap is made of 2 pieces. 1 long adjustable end, which is thicker in the middle, and 1 short piece.

Below a few detail shots are shown.

















Finally, below some detail pictures of the belt straps, 3-hole zinc button, belt hook and leather tab













In other sections, the tropical breadbag and the Model 44 breadbag will be examined




Created, maintained and Copyright 2004 / 2009, Tom (remove SPAM from email adress)

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