Festung.net is a web site dedicated to sharing information about the German Army of the Second World War. Here, you will find an array of historical information including wartime documents and translations, reference material, and articles about material culture of wartime Germany. A focus is on WWII German Army security troops and anti-partisan warfare.
From “Hilfsbuch für den Hauptfeldwebel” by Hans Rödel, 1943
Kompanie Regulations from pages 127-146. (PDF)
Regulations for the “Unteroffizier vom Dienst” from pages 146-155. (PDF)
WWII German Army Regulations on the Fit of Uniform and Equipment Items
Wehrmacht Guidelines for Inspections
Tasks of the Hauptfeldwebel On Maneuvers and In the Field
How uniforms and equipment were maintained
WWII German Army Regulations on Cleaning and Maintenance of Uniforms and Equipment Translated from “Hilfsbuch für den Hauptfeldwebel”
Clothing care tips from “Tornister-Lexikon für den Frontsoldaten” by Gerhard Bönicke, 1943
Wehrmacht tips for care of footwear from the “Tornister-Lexikon” 1943
Shoe care during the rainy season from “Taschenbuch für den Winterkrieg,” 1942
The Gruppe as Feldwach
Translated from the German Army manual H.Dv. 130/2a, “Ausbildungsvorschrift für die Infanterie, Heft 2a: Die Schützenkompanie,” from 1942.
Distribution, Equipment and Tasks of the Squad
Also from H.Dv. 130/2a.
Daily Duty Plan for Wehrmacht Training
Original photos of Zeltbahn tents and shelters
Gallery of private snapshot photos
Truppenkennzeichen des Feldheeres 1944
German document from the US National Archives that indicates the correct Waffenfarbe and shoulder board insignia for every type of unit in the German Feldheer. (PDF)
Karten- und Geländekunde
Undated WWII-era German manual, “Maps and Topography.” This does not appear to be a military issue manual, but there is information here about reporting, so clearly this was geared towards military/paramilitary use. Topics covered: Maps, landforms, orienteering in terrain using a map, the preparation of sketches. This is a scan of the original, German language of course. (PDF)
By Werner Kleinow, instructions of security of German military units
Original Wehrmacht uniform and equipment items – 10 of each
Comparison photos of some basic items, intended to show variation in original items side by side in the same lighting conditions.
Field blouse details
WWII German Field Blouse Button Sewing and Wool Detail
Wehrmacht Field Blouse Measurements
Internal Suspender Retaining Hooks on the M36 and M40 Field Blouse
Small Buttons on the German Army Field Blouse
Pebbled Buttons on the German Army and Waffen-SS Field Blouse
Pebbled field blouse buttons – pebbling variations
WWII German Army M43 Tunic Collar and Sleeve Shapes
Views of surviving original uniforms
Wehrmacht M40 field blouse details of a well worn, depot repaired and reissued original
Resized and reissued M36 field blouse
Dutch field blouse, converted and reissued by the Wehrmacht
Internal stiffener material on Heer M43 field cap visors
Comparison of two original M42 Heer field caps
German Army M34 Field Caps from 1942-43 two examples of mid-war caps
Cleaned/Repaired/Reissued Equipment in One Division, in One Year
From the war diary of the 285. Sicherungs-Division
General Historical Information
The Winter Clothing of the German Soldier
By Oberfeldzahlmeister Wortmann, translated from “Deutsche Uniformen-Zeitschrift,” February 1944.
The Story of the “Westwall Ring”
Translated from “Wir von der Westfront,” 1940.
German Infantry versus Soviet Partisans in Russia, January 1942
Translated from “3. Infanterie-Division, 3. Infanterie-Division (mot.), 3. Panzergrenadier-Division” by Gerhard Dieckhoff.
Ideological Motivations of German Soldiers
A short excerpt from the US Army Report “Trends in Wehrmacht Morale”
“Condemned to Live”
Short excerpts from the memoir by Franz Fritsch, about wartime life in the field.
Field Expedient Lamps
From “Tornister-Lexikon für den Frontsoldaten” by Gerhard Bönicke, 1943
WWII German Board Games “Melder Vor!” and “Stosstrupp greift an!”
With printable PDF files
“The German soldiers were poor fellows…”
Veteran interview excerpt
Photo album from recruit training, 1943
Photos from the training of a river in a Panzerjäger unit
Translated Wartime Recipes
Simple WWII German Recipes for Schmorbraten, Gulasch and Meatballs
Translated from the cookbook “Östliche Speise nach deutscher Art”.
More Original WWII Wehrmacht Field Kitchen Recipes
Recipes for stews, Rouladen, dishes with cabbage, dishes with ground beef
Recipes for Buckwheat Groats
From the war diary of the 281. Sicherungs-Division, 1941
Recipes from a Wehrmacht cookbook – “Improvement of Cold Fare”
From “Östliche Speisen nach deutscher Art”
Wehrmacht Pumpkin Recipes
From the war diary of the 281. Sicherungs-Division, and the cookbook “Östliche Speise nach deutscher Art.”
Recipes from “Tornister-Lexikon für den Frontsoldaten” by Gerhard Bönicke. This was a book of tips for life in the field that was published by the Wehrmacht for distribution to soldiers in 1943. It’s here in four parts:
Part 1: Soups and egg dishes
Part 2: Vegetable and potato dishes
Part 3: Fish, meat dishes and sauces
Part 4: Salads, miscellaneous, sweet dishes and drinks
Baking bread in the mess kit also from the “Tornister-Lexikon”
Information on Sicherung Units and Anti-Partisan Warfare
Original identity documents of individual soldiers
Soldbuch of an Obergefreiter in Sicherungs-Regiment 195
Wehrpass of a Gefreiter in Sicherungs-Regiment 107
Wehrpass of a Gefreiter in Sicherungs-Bataillon 797
Wehrpass of a Schütze in Sicherungs-Regiment 113
Uniform and equipment lists
For soldiers in Landesschützen and Sicherung units
Photos of a Gefreiter in Landesschützen-Bataillon 313
Russia, May 1942
Antipartisan Directives, Fall 1941
From “The Soviet Partisan Movement 1941-1944” by Edgar M. Howell.
1944 photos from a Landesschützen unit
Rare late war photos from a soldier’s album
Rear Area Security in Russia
1948 publication by the US Army, prepared by a committee of former Wehrmacht generals and general staff officers with extensive Eastern Front experience. (PDF)
From “Russian Combat Methods in World War II.” Originally published by the US Army in 1950, this book was prepared by a committee of former German officers in late 1947 and early 1948. (PDF)
Translated documents from the files of Sicherung units in the occupied East 1941-43
Daily Report for August 5, 1941
Daily Report for October 19, 1941
Experiences in Combat with Partisans
Infanterie-Regiment 322, August 1941.
Operation to Combat Partisans
October 22, 1942. Includes a list of weapons and clothing found in a partisan camp.
Guidelines for the Units of Security Sector Gdow
207. Sicherungs-Division, November 1943
Translated archive document regarding dug-in and secured strongpoints
207. Sicherungs-Division, December 1943
“Excerpted Translation of Combat Instructions for Partisan Groups”
285. Sicherungs-Division (4. Panzergruppe), July 1941
Report on instructional courses on captured weapons
281. Sicherungs-Division, 1942
Request for Assignment of a Landesschützenkompanie to Reval and Oesel
207. Sicherungs-Division, November 1943
“Festung” Reenactment Group A reenacting organization based in New England, USA
WWII German Wehrmacht Unit Designations and Abbreviations
A basic primer for reenactment
Vintage sewing machine for reenactment
Singer 66 with hand crank
Reenactment photography with prewar box cameras
A short history of box cameras in prewar Germany, what cameras to use for realistic reenactment photos, what film to use, how to develop and scan your own black and white film
Props and supplies for a reenactment weekend
Some individual and unit-level considerations
German pot roast (Schmorbraten) from a Wehrmacht recipe
Practical field preparation of a translated original recipe
Planning a reenactment event based on historical documentation – a case study
How we incorporated research into crafting a reenactment scenario
Insert Pages for the Soldbuch
Includes printable PDF files for manufacturing reproductions.
Perspectives and Opinions
The Things One May Have Carried
Ideas about personal items
Look It, Live It, Love It
Beyond the material.
If It Could Talk…
“Clothing of the Wounded”
The reenactor myth of “extra gear from the battlefield” versus reality.
Bread and Spreads
An idea about rations.
Pizza in the Field?
Pitfalls of basing a historical impression on one photo