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The German Issue & Private-Purchase Combs
By Vincent Milano


The following was taken from the Die Neue Feldpost newsletter & was done so with permission of the publisher.  We would like to thank him for his generosity as well as thank all those who have contributed to this article.  It is with their efforts, we are able to share this valuable research with the rest of you.

Part of the soldier's initial issue, charged back to him as was many of his toiletry items if he did not already possess them, was a small comb.  This comb was necessary since the regulations allowed hair to be worn long on the top while shorn at the sides, known in the U.S. as "Whitewalls".

The comb that was available from unit stores and the canteen came in two versions: one in aluminum and the other in plastic/bakelite.  The last comb was of standard design and was divided into one half each, standard and fine teeth.  These combs are almost identical to the inexpensive small black combs available in several stores today.

The plastic/bakelite version seems to have been by far the most common and came in several colors.  The most widely used color was orange, the same shade as the lard containers of that color.  And like the lard boxes, the other colors used were white, brown (like the field telephone cases), and black.  Tan was also said to have been used but this author has not yet come across one in this color.

These items were made by several small firms and as a result some are molded with company names and logos while others are plain.  None have Waffenamt stampings or R.B. numbers.  Inquiries to the Mil.Ges.Forsch.Amt / Freiburg resulted in the following letter dated 21.June, 1983:

1.  Price per comb was set at 3 Pfennig

2.  If the enlistee/draftee did not possess a personal comb, then one would be issued and charged to his first month's pay among other toiletries.

3.  Production of this item was halted in 1943 since vast stockpiles existed which included confiscated ones from other nations and civilian sources.

4.  It was not an accountable item, therefore no entry was required in the Soldbuch.

Another type of comb issued and used, but not very popular with the soldiers was the "horse comb".  This comb was longer than the style illustrated here and appears to be a very crude casting.  The edges are rough and there is a lot of "flash" left on the parting line.  Like the one pictured, the "horse comb" we examined has a triangular maker's logo, but it is illegible.  There were also bakelite versions the same size as the "horse comb".


   
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