I will continue the subject of the “identifying finds from the Wehrmacht”. In the previous part we wrote about the mess kits of the Wehrmacht during the Second World War, about what types there was and how to determine them here: Wehrmacht Kochgeschirr. If you have not seen or read that article yet- I recommend it. Now I would like to tell more about the belt buckle of the Wehrmacht, and only the Wehrmacht, because in the Third Reich there was a lot of different organizations, both military and civilian, and almost every organization had its own version of the buckles, but when we dig for WW2, we are most likely to find the standard Buckles of the Wehrmacht infantry. So there you go!
Buckles of all armies of the world are usually indicated by the symbol of nationality. In the Third Reich of Germany, there was often a swastika and an eagle on the buckles- especially the state military organizations and the armed forces; an eagle with a swastika in a wreath of oak leaves. This is called “Hoheitzeichen” (national symbol). It is believed that the eagle’s head position is determined by the organization: In state institutions in Germany, the eagle’s head was turned to the left, while the party organizations – to the right. However, the early Wehrmacht buckle is considered rare, because the eagle’s head is turned to her left, and so it was on the soldier’s belt buckles until 1935.
Early version of the buckle
Another earlier version. Clearly visible twist eagle head in the “left” direction.
The back side of the early buckle.
Also on the early Wehrmacht buckles there are all sorts of alterations to the new version of any buckles of the Reichswehr (armed forces of Germany before Hitler came to power), etc. Example:
Alteration of a Reichswehr buckle. The eagle’s head is turned to the left.
Interesting rare example.
As with all military equipment, the buckles had standard sizes. The standard size for rectangular buckles – 65x45mm, 50×35, and the rare 60×40 mm.
Read on to learn more about Standard version after 1935…