fu▀lappen or "foot rag" was usually a cloth
square measuring 40cm or so. Made of woolen or
cotton flannel it had no seams or any special
design. Fu▀lappen were a common issued item amongst the
men of the Wehrmacht. So much so, a popular slang term
for an infantryman was "Fu▀lappenindianer"
fu▀lappen takes special care. If done improperly, it
could pinch the foot & cause general discomfort.
If done correctly, it is like
wearing socks. Many say
fu▀lappen were more commonly found amongst the older
men, but the younger soldiers used them just the
same.. It does seem however, many of the younger landsers
had little patience for the foot wraps. When asked to
describe the wear of fu▀lappen vs. socks, Karl Wegner
(a former member of the 352nd Division) stated,
of the older men had these but I never could
bother with the time it took to put on a pair
of boots when wearing them."
every German soldier had Wegner's views. Some
even preferred to wear fu▀lappen over socks.
Hans Melker, a grenadier in the 68th Infanterie
(Laughs) Oh yes, I forgot about those.
You wrapped them on your feet like this.
First you stand on them so your foot and heel
point towards the corners. (motions on
the floor). Then you fold the toe up,
then wrap up this side, then the other side
(wraps up an invisible Fu▀lappen). I
wore out my socks and never had the patience
to fix them. I gave the little sewing
kit that my mother sent me to my best friend.
I always traded off the nice homemade socks
that my mother sent me. I traded them
off for tobacco, food, magazines, things like
that. I still feel bad about that.
My mother used to sew my name into the things
that she would send me. The other
soldiers would say, I wished my mother would
do that for me. One pair of socks she
sent me wound up on a soldier from another
company. He got his chest and head blown
off. On his feet were my mother's socks
with my name on them. The commander came
to our sergeant to ask them if I was missing.
Of course I wasn't. I usually got along
with just the Fu▀lappen except in the winter.
They were harder to wear out, all you had to
do was turn them so your heel was in a
different spot every time. We also
called cooked cabbage Fu▀lappen because it
was flat and smelled so bad!"
described above, the following are the steps
to properly fold fu▀lappen:
Now in the
winter, one can actually wear fu▀lappen over socks for
extra warmth. As veteran Alfred Becker of the
326th Infantrie Division (was 21 when the war ended)
stated when asked he wore Fu▀lappen or socks,
the winter, I wore both. In the summer,
socks until they wore out, then the Fu▀lappen."
So no matter
if your young or old, it would be correct for you to
wear fu▀lappen. Be it winter or summer they are
practical & inexpensive.
For those looking to purchase fu▀lappen, 1944 Militaria
here) has Post War German Foot Wraps at $1 a
piece! Other vendors have them as well at a
similar prices. Between availability of quality sock
reproductions & these inexpensive alternatives,
there should be no excuse for lack of authentic foot
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