usage being what it was during WW2 it can
pretty much be stated that everyone,
regardless of nationality, used tobacco in
some form or another. It was no
different in the Deutsche Wehrmacht of the
time either. Whether they were issued
the item or purchased it over the counter,
tobacco was a hot commodity for the average
landser. But how was it used?
Well, for some, cigarettes &
occasionally cigars were the preferred
method of smoking and photographic evidence
along with veteran interviews bear this out.
However, for quite a few in the ranks, the
preferred method of smoking tobacco was in a
trusty pipe. When asked what was used
most, veteran Alfred Becker of the 326th
"I smoked a pipe.
This was popular with even young men back
then. It was a small pipe, I don't
remember what I lit it with, I must have had
a lighter. Pipes were better in the
front lines. You can see a cigarette
burning and so they tend to draw bullets to
So what type of
pipe would you say, the average landser use
in the field? Hopefully this article
will give you at least a partial answer.
looking at photographs of Heer soldaten in the field
it seems to show that, for the most part, the average
soldaten preferred a certain style of pipe to smoke
from. That particular style can be summed up in
one word and the word I would use is compact. If
you look at the original photos of the soldiers
smoking pipes you will see a pattern shown. The
pipes you see are all small, with overall lengths
probably being less than 6 inches. The stems of
the pipes are usually straight, but not always as you
can see in the photos. Also, notice the small
pipe bowl, usually round in shape but it can also be
polygonal at times too. Most of the time they
were made out of bakelite or wooden material.
The size of the bowl is small, generally less than an
inch and a half in diameter. This style of pipe
could be easily stuffed in a pocket or even stashed in
a breadbag if so desired.
can one find such pipes? Well, originals are
always good! But smoking from an original period pipe
at an event will eventually damage the pipe beyond
repair and ruin an artifact from the past.
Future generations may frown on this as it takes away
from them the pleasure of seeing a small, but
interesting piece of history. I say that those
style of pipes can still be found. The color
photos of the pipes that are provided below show that
they are still around today. Go to any good pipe
shop and look over what they sell to find that perfect
pipe. E-bay is also a source that can be
utilized (that is where I found these color photos).
But where-ever you go look for the style that is
presented here. It may be small, but it can be a
large part in enhancing one's overall impression.