GWA AUTHENTICITY STANDARDS FOR GERMAN REENACTORS, 1917-18



I. PURPOSE.

This document sets forth the required minimum items for use by individuals portraying members of the Imperial German and Austro-Hungarian armies (the Central Powers) at GWA-sanctioned events. It addresses only external characteristics, those that are visible during use, including the personal effects of the reenactor. Additionally, it establishes standards for those items by describing aspects or features that must be present for the item to be considered acceptable for use. These standards are meant to establish the minimum required for event participation. In establishing a believable living history environment—an important goal of the GWA — unit commanders are expected and encouraged to monitor authenticity within their units and prescribe more stringent criteria which extend or supplement those established in this document. Unit commanders will not adopt criteria less stringent than those prescribed.

II. APPLICABILITY

These standards apply to all individuals participating in any GWA - sanctioned or sponsored event.

III. ENFORCEMENT

It is the responsibility of the Central Powers Representative and Combat Commander to enforce these standards. These, in turn, may consider the advice of other qualified individuals in assessing the suitability of any item for use, but the final decision rests with them. Gross or habitual failure to comply with these standards by individuals or units may result in being barred from event participation.

IV. MINIMUM UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS

  1. Imperial German Forces

  2. The following items are required for this impression:

    Uniform:

    • Field cap (Feldmütze)
    • Tunic (Waffenrock or Feldbluse)
    • Trousers (Hose)
    • Boots; or ankle boots and wrap leggings (Marschstiefel/Schnürschuhe und Gamaschen)
    • Neck stock (Halsbinde)
    • Shirt (Hemd)

    Equipment:

    • Steel helmet (Stahlhelm)
    • Weapon
    • Bayonet and bayonet frog (Seitengewehr (or Bajonett) und Seitengewehrtasche (Koppelshuhe)
    • Belt with belt plate (Koppel mit Koppelschloß)
    • Cartridge pouches (Patronentaschen)
    • Spade with carrier (Schanzzeug mit Futteral Schanzzeugtasche)
    • Gas mask and carrying can (Gasmaske und Tragebüchse)
    • Bread bag (Brotbeutel)
    • Canteen (Feldflasche)

STANDARDS FOR REQUIRED UNIFORM ITEMS

ENLISTED UNIFORM.

This section applies to all individuals portraying German soldiers with ranks from private (Gemeiner, Musketier, Füsilier, etc.) through sergeant (Sergeant), including Fähnrich (i.e., Junior NCOs).

  1. Field Cap (Feldmütze).
  2. The enlisted man's field cap will display the following characteristics:

    1. Manufactured of field grey or grey green (Jäger, Jäger zu Pferde, Stabsordonnanzen, and MG Battalions only) wool or wool blend material.
    2. Machine sewn throughout (except for attachment of the lining to the cap body).
    3. Piping(s) and cap band of wool or wool blend in color/combination appropriate to the unit portrayed. The cap band seam shall be at the cap rear.
    4. Lining of white, grey, field grey or drab cotton or similar material.
    5. Piping(s) not to exceed 4mm in diameter.
    6. Enlisted pattern cockades (ca. 1 inch in diameter, attached to the cap via sewing through holes in the center field):
      • Reich Cockade (black/white/red) centered on the front crown seam between the upper piping and cap band.
      • State Cockade (colors appropriate to the state origin of the unit portrayed) centered on the front of the cap band.
    7. If permitted by unit standards, field caps for enlisted men may be fitted with a narrow black or field grey visor of flexible leather, not to exceed 3 inches in width at the widest point.
    8. Visored field caps may optionally display chinstraps. These will match the visor color, and be held to the cap with 2 small, smooth buttons in a color matching the shade of straps. Chinstraps must be of two-piece construction and may be joined via a buckle or "press snap" arrangement.
    9. Unteroffiziere and Sergeanten wear smaller (ca.75 in.) lacquered state and Reich cockades on the visored field cap. These are positioned as in "F" above and are affixed via non-visible pins or wire on the reverse.
  3. Tunic (Waffenrock or Bluse):
    1. Wear of the following "specialty insignia" on any tunic is unauthorized:
      1. Flag/standard bearers' insignia
      2. Insignia for gun layers (artillery)
      3. Insignia for signal troops
      4. Fencing proficiency insignia
      5. Kaiser's shooting prize
      6. Shooting awards
      7. Schützenabzeichnung (lanyard)
      8. Kaiserabzeichen
      9. Special distinctions for:
        • Infantry Instruction Battalion
        • NCO schools and preparatory schools
        • Military Riding Institute
    2. Tunics with "rise and fall" or standing collar (Waffenrock mit stehumfall Kragen oder Stehkragen und Bluse):
      1. Constructed of field grey or grey-green (Jäger, Jäger zu Pferde, Stabsordonnanzen, and MG Battalions only) wool or wool blend fabric only.
      2. Number of buttons, coloring (if applicable) and arrangement as on the corresponding original for the unit portrayed.
      3. Piping (color and location), braid trims, cuff, and collar style must conform to the actual style worn by the unit portrayed; piping diameter shall not exceed 4mm.
      4. The Bluse may be worn for any impression.
      5. Tail flap arrangement as on original tunics, consisting of vent flaps of two overlapped panels with the top (left) flap edge offset to the right of the tunic back center line.
      6. Cuffs, cuff flaps, and piped "false pocket" flaps on the tail vents must consist of separate pieces of material, piped and mounted to the tunic (i.e., cuffs, etc., may not be "defined" by a line of piping or braid). Turnback cuffs must be at least 4.5 inches deep; the main portion (exclusive of attached flaps or points) of any other style cuff may not exceed 3.5 inches in width.
      7. Skirt pocket flaps on the tunic front must be mounted at a slant.
      8. All characteristic seams on the rear of period tunics must be present (i.e., the tunic rear must consist of at least 3 separate pieces with continuous seams extending from the tunic bottom edge to intersect with the sleeve rear seam (figure 1).
      9. Rear "belt ramps" and side hooks of appropriate pattern/color must be present.
      10. Buttons must be subdued (chemically darkened) if blank metal, or painted grey, field grey or brown. Only the "rimless Crown" pattern button is permitted on the Bluse. Button styles will not be mixed on the same garment.
      11. Bluse collars for units other than those portraying non-Bavarian formations will be faced in reseda wool. Bavarian collars will be made of the same cloth as the remainder of the tunic.
      12. Bavarian formations will have Bavarian distinctive tape (grey or white lace with blue rhomboids) along the collar leading edge and bottom. Abbreviated application of this tape covering only the leading edge and first few centimeters of the collar is acceptable.
      13. Tunics may optionally have a center back seam ??? tunic bottom edges may be "raw" or finished. Saxon and other applicable formations will, appropriate to tunic style, display piping around the finished bottom edge of the tunic (not on the Bluse).
      14. Units entitled to the display of "Litzen" on the cuffs of appropriate garments will have an additional line of piping along the bottom edge of the cuff.
      15. Lace trims (used by some mounted formations) will reflect the size and color of those used on original garments for the regiment portrayed.
      16. The standing portion of all collars will not exceed 2 inches in height. Collars will be equipped with at least one, but not more than 2, "hook and eye" fasteners to hold the collar closed.
      17. Pointed-end shoulder straps of the old style (ca. 60mm wide) or new style (ca. 45 mm wide) at the wearer's option. They will be worn in matched sets.
      18. Leather reinforcement patches may be worn only if documented for the unit being portrayed.
    3. Uhlan (Ulanka) and Chevauleger Tunic.
      1. Constructed of field grey wool or wool blend fabric only.
      2. Number of buttons, coloring (if applicable) and arrangement as on the corresponding original. Use of the "rimless crown" pattern button is not permitted. Buttons must be subdued if blank metal, or painted grey, field grey or brown. Button styles will not be mixed on the same garment.
      3. The front edge of the standing collar of Uhlan tunics will be rounded. The Chevauleger tunic will have a rise and fall collar. Collar height will not exceed 2 inches. Collars will be equipped with 2 "hook and eye" fasteners to hold the collar closed.
      4. Uhlan tunics will have Polish cuffs, Chevauleger tunics will display Swedish cuffs; the height of the main portion of cuffs, excluding any point, not to exceed 3.5 inches.
      5. Units entitled to the display of cuff "Litzen" will have an additional line of piping along the bottom edge of the cuff.
      6. All characteristic seams on the rear of period tunics must be present, including the seam extending from the "belt ramps" to the sleeve rear seam. Tail flap arrangement as on original tunics, i.e., a single central skirt vent from the waist to tunic edge with, if required, "false pockets" on either side.
      7. Piping, color and location must replicate the original item for the regiment p ortrayed. Piping diameter shall not exceed 4mm
      8. Rear "belt ramps" and side hooks of appropriate pattern/color must be present.
      9. Skirt pocket flaps on the tunic front must be mounted at a slant and will close with a button.
      10. Only field grey "epaulette" style shoulder straps (pear-shaped or "paddle" straps) are permitted with the Uhlan tunic.
      11. Blusen with appropriate pointed shoulder straps may, likewise be worn by units portraying Uhlan and Chevauleger formations.
    4. Hussar Jacket
      1. Constructed of field grey wool or wool blend fabric only.
      2. Number/type of buttons and "rosette" buttons, as well as arrangement will be as on the corresponding original. Rosettes will be colored field grey; all other buttons are black and without rim or other design.
      3. Cording trim will be field grey throughout and placed in five rows across the chest; on the back seams from the jacket edge to the rear sleeve seams; as trim around the cuffs; along the bottom edge of the jacket; around all sides of the collar; and along the rear skirt vent. Cord loopings will be as on original jackets.
      4. The jacket rear will display field grey rosettes at the center in lieu of the "belt ramps" used on other style tunics. Black side hooks to support the belt will also be present.
      5. The standing collar will be rounded at the front edge. Collar height will not exceed 2 inches. Collars will be equipped with 2 "hook and eye" fasteners to hold the collar closed.
      6. The front pockets will be mounted at a slant and closed by a scalloped flap with a single point closed with a small black button.
      7. All characteristic seams on the rear of period jackets must be present, including the seam extending from the center back rosettes to the sleeve rear seam. Tail flap arrangement as on original jackets, i.e., a single central skirt vent from the waist to tunic edge.
      8. Shoulder cords worn with the jacket will be sewn in, constructed of intertwined braid in the regimental colors, and will display the number/cipher of the regiment in the form of a brass stamping.
      9. Blusen with appropriate pointed shoulder straps may, likewise be worn by units portraying Hussar formations.
  4. Trousers (Tuchose):
    1. Cloth Trousers (Foot Troops):
      1. Made of field grey, grey green (Jäger, Jäger zu Pferde, Stabsordonnanzen, and MG Battalions only), or stone grey wool or wool blend material.
      2. May or may not have piping. If piped, they must be piped along the outside seam in the color appropriate to the unit portrayed. Piping diameter will not exceed 4mm.
      3. Must have 2 slanted front pocket slits with internal pocket pouches.
      4. Must have an internal watch pocket.
      5. Will be cut high waisted and have an adjusting belt with buckle across the rear lower waist-line (side seam to side seam).
      6. If permitted by unit standards, corduroy trousers (called Manchesterhosen) matching the same criteria may be worn. They may be grey, field grey, brown, or black and made of medium or fine wale corduroy.
      7. Leather reinforcement patches on trousers may be worn if documented for the unit being portrayed.
    2. Riding Trousers (Reithose) (Mounted Troops):
    3. [Note: these were not "balloon-leg" riding breeches. They were very similar in style to normal cloth trousers, but more narrowly tailored to ensure a tight fit along the entire length.]

      1. Made of field grey, grey green - (Jäger, Jäger zu Pferde, Stabsordonnanzen, and MG Battalions only), or stone grey wool or wool blend material.
      2. Optional outside seam piping only for those portraying Jäger zu Pferde, Stabsordonnanzen, and members of Machine Gun Battalions. Piping diameter on these trousers will not exceed 4mm.
      3. Must have 2 slanted front pocket slits with internal pocket pouches.
      4. Must have an internal watch pocket.
      5. Will be cut high waisted and have an adjusting belt with buckle across the rear.
      6. The inside of the legs will be reinforced with an additional layer of material (cloth or leather) extending from the bottom of the fly to half way up the seat of the trousers. This reinforcement will extend down along the legs to a point where its end point is not visible when boots/leggings are worn.
      7. The riding trousers of individuals portraying Hussaren will additionally display a broad lace trim in field gray color along both outer seams.
      8. Cloth trousers or optional corduroy trousers may likewise be worn by those portraying mounted units.
    4. Boot Trousers (Stiefelhose) (Non-mounted Machine Gun Troops only).
    5. [Cut and fit is identical to Riding Trousers but without leg reinforcement.]

      1. Made of grey green or stone grey wool or wool blend material.
      2. Optional red outer seam piping. Piping diameter on these trousers will not exceed 4mm.
      3. Must have 2 slanted front pocket slits with internal pocket pouches.
      4. Must have an internal watch pocket.
      5. Will be cut high waisted and have an adjusting belt with buckle across the rear.
      6. Cloth trousers or optional corduroy trousers may likewise be worn by those portraying members of Machine Gun Battalions.
  5. Foot Gear (Marshstiefel/ Schnürschuhe und Gamaschen):
    1. Marching boots or "jack boots (Marshstiefel).
      1. Boots must be rough side out leather for enlisted men.
      2. Boots must have a rounded, undecorated toe. Leather may be natural, brown or black.
      3. Soles and heels must be leather, or covered by a leather sole; and must have heel irons and hobnails.
      4. Boots must be between 12 and 16 inches in height.
    2. Cavalry Boots (einheits Kavalleriestiefel).
    3. Restricted to units portraying Cavalry and Artillery Regiments or Machine Gun Battalions. These units may substitute ankle boots and leggings.

      1. Leather construction with rounded, undecorated toe. Black leather, smooth or rough side out.
      2. Soles and heels must be leather; heel irons desired, hobnails permitted.
      3. Height between 14 and 16 inches along the front of the shaft; the rear of the shaft will be 2-3 inches shorter than the front measurement.
      4. Boots worn by individuals portraying Hussaren will be decorated with a broad field grey tape trim (as used on Hussar trousers) completely around the top of the boot shaft.
    4. Ankle Boots (Schnürschuhe—Must be worn with leggings (or puttees).,
      1. Leather construction with rounded toe; an undecorated toe cap is permitted. What of captured ankle boots? i.e. Brit "Ammo Boots" Use of these was common? Leather may be natural, brown, or black, smooth or rough side out.
      2. Soles and heels must be leather; heel irons and hobnails desired.
      3. Boots must be of sufficient height to cover the ankle.
  6. Leggings/Puttees (Gamaschen).
    1. Wrap style only. Constructed of wool or wool blend material in grey, field grey, black or any drab shade.
    2. Of sufficient length to completely cover area between ankle and knee when worn.
    3. Width not to exceed 4 inches.
    4. Tie or buckle closure authorized.
  7. Neck Stock (Halsbinde):
    1. Constructed of grey, field grey, or black polished cotton or similar material.
  8. Shirt (Hemd):
    1. The shirt will be long-sleeved with buttoning cuffs and a small, standing collar. It will be a pullover shirt and will close down the front slit with buttons.
    2. The issue pattern will be made of an off-white unbleached linen or muslin.
    3. Civilian pattern shirts of muted checks or striped patterns, conforming to the basic style of the issue shirt, are authorized to wear.
  9. Knit Items:
    1. Acceptable colors for knit garments are shades of gray or field gray. No captured stuff?