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How to identify a good breadbag (Brotbeutel)
By Pat Oehler, edited by Jonathan Bocek

The army model bread bag M1931 was utilized by all German military & non-military organizations. The focus of this article is to point out the basic characteristics of the standard wartime Heer model with the addition of the late war M44 example. 

Please note this article, in no way covers all variations or aspects of the German bread bag.  It does however point out major details that one should focus on when looking for a good bread bag. There are many bad repros & post war bread bags available out there, hopefully the following information will help those to find a good one to finish off their kit.

Several Key Features:

1. The tabs that button on your belt must be pointed. I have only heard of one war time produced bread bag with squared off tabs. This probably accounts for 2% of wartime production (blatant estimate based on my 5 years of collecting).

2. Canvas should range from grey-green to brown or almost tan in color.
3. D rings should simply be that, They may be of either aluminum or steel, pre-early or mid-late war respectively. Typically the D rings match the belt hook in material.

4. Belt hooks should have a distinct round impression on the clip. The tab to which they are secured (riveted) should also have a clean finish, and not be frayed.
5. Rear D rings should be present on the back for use with a bread bag strap.

6. War time bread bags didn't have an internal divider. This feature was reintroduced for post war bread bags. Note: The bread bag on the far right is a Late war M44 bread bag with a rifle cleaning kit pouch.

7. For pre war or early war bread bags there were leather reinforcements on the belt tabs. They did not use a leather reinforcement around the button hole. This was done on post war bread bags.

8. There were "tropical" variants that used webbing instead of leather.
9. I have also included a picture of a WWI/pre war political bread bag. These were made from a variety of colors, but their big difference from the war time M 31 breadbag is a single d ring and leather tab to accommodate only the canteen.

Identification of Bread Bags in Photo:

Top Row
1. Pre/Early war brown canvas, brown leather with Aluminum hardware. Note the reinforcing leather on the belt tabs. This may have been used for political groups or another organization such as RAD.
2. Mid war production olive canvas with black leather and steel hardware, and many repairs. Note the method in which they repaired holes with a lot of stitching and a reinforcing patch.
3. Mid to late war production Olive linen canvas with steel hardware. This bag also has a pressed paper button on the inside, and a belt secured to the D rings for some post war application.
Bottom Row
4. Early war production grey green canvas with aluminum hardware, black leather tabs and leather reinforcements on belt tabs.
5. Early war production olive canvas with steel hardware, black leather reinforcements on the belt tabs and fittings.
6. Late war M44 bread bag.  This variant came about by order (HM 44, No. 688) dated 20 November 1944.  It was made of mismatched olive green linen cotton fabric with steel d rings and sewn belt support loops. It also has a pouch under the flap for holding the rifle cleaning kit. (If you have one of these they are worth a lot of money, so don't use it!).




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