Gebirgsjäger Xaver und seine Freunde ruhen in den Bergen



The photograph here shows a group of Gebirgsjäger Soldaten taking a break around a 16 man Zeltbahn tent. The Gebirgsjäger seen here are encamped in a position with a low bank that can be seen behind them, a strategical position to set up camp.


The photograph shows Gebirgsjäger here seen in a mixture of M36 and M40 tunics. The M36's being seen with the distinctive bottle green collar. Notably seen by the Soldat to the left of the Soldat marked with the X sporting a toothbrush moustache. Others can be seen wearing the M40 tunic. All are seen wearing the M1938 Bergmütze , this was unique to Gebirgsjäger troops, seen with its shorter peak in comparison the later M43 ski cap. The M1938 Bergmütze also known as the M38 is seen with the trapezoid style insignia, an Reichsadler with a cockade beneath. Finally the M36 is complete with the metal Edelweiss seen on the left side of the cap. This was seen in addition to a patch seen on the right sleeve of all Gebirgsjäger Soldaten.This being seen in wear by the Soldaten to the left in the photograph. The Gebirgsjäger Soldaten are also seen wearing puttees and low-boots, these were the footwear issued to Gebirgsjäger Soldaten as their were more effecient when climbing the dense landscape.


In the centre there can be seen a smiling Soldat looking at the camera holding a pipe in his hand. He is seen wearing a M36 Tunic and is the only Soldat seen with an award. This Soldat is seen wearing a Bronze grade, SA-Sportabzeichen ( SA Sports badge). This was a political version of the standard German sports badge (DRL). Showing that he was a member of the Sturmabteilung or another paramilitary organisation. To the right of him looking down and holding his hat to the side of the central smiling Soldat is a Gefreiter. This being seen by the single chevron on his arm. He is notably seen with a Small chain hanging across his breast pocket, this being a pocket watch. Personal items holding sentimental value and providing happiness as well as morale to Soldaten when in the field. This is seen also by the seated Gebirgsjäger Soldaten below him, seen reading letters, likely feldposts sent from home. This is seen as the two to the left share reading, enjoying the messages of the letter, one seen with a filter and a cigarette. They are seen leaning on what appears to be the webbing used to carry a radio. To the right of him, seen reading his letter with two hands is a Gebirgsjäger of the rank of Feldwebel. Seen standing above him, pouring himself a drink from his Wasserflasche (Water Bottle) to his cup is of the rank of Oberschütze. This is seen by the circular patch with a single pip. Seen furthest right of him is a soldat with a long handled shovel. It seems he is digging something behind the X marked Soldat.


The X marked Soldat is named as Xaver, the reverse tells us this. The marking of people in photographs was common as is in present day with arrows, crosses or other indicators. This photograph likely belonging to Xaver's family back home. Xaver is seen wearing a belt with his bayonet being worn. Xaver is also seen sitting on his gasmask case. This must be uncomfortable but would be better than sitting on the cold ground. Xaver is also notably seen wearing the Gebirgsjäger pattern trousers, known as M1936 Berghose. These were special fitting trousers with a more tapered leg, allowing for easier combination with Puttees and long socks. The M36 Berghose also having unique stile pockets. Xaver is seen among his fellow Soldaten around their Zeltbahn tent, seen in Splinter A camo.


The 'Leontopodium nivale' more commonly known as the Edelweiss, was a mountain flower of the daisy and sunflower family. The Edelweiss has a preference of growing in rocky limestone with an altitude of 5,900–9,800 ft. The dense hair that surrounds it protects it from the cold and frost. This being a hardy but beautiful plant, this becoming a symbol of the alpine regions. Thus holding significance to Mountain troops, not just for the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS but was also used for Austro-Hungarian troops of the First World War. The Edelweiss had folk tradition of giving the flower to a loved one was a promise of dedication.


This being a crisp photograph taken in the field showing Gebirgsjäger Soldaten encamped posing for a photograph around a Zeltbahn set up with mountains in the distance. This showing Gebirgsjäger Soldaten on a break from their expeditions across the dense alpine landscape. The lack of many awards suggests this is early war, possibly early 1941. The exact location is unknown but the breath-taking mountains that make up the mountain landscape in which they are situated.

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© 2016 (Reviewed and Represented 2021) by The Kriegsberichter 41