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.

Reference Material

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

Material Culture

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.

How WWII German Uniforms and Equipment were Marked with Names

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

Issued equipment items
Zeltstock 01 the Wehrmacht-issue tent pole section
Wehrmacht Toques (Kopfschützer)
Wehrmacht Foot Wraps (Fusslappen)
Bekleidungssack 31 German Army clothing bags

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

Field caps
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

1940 pattern generic Heer Litzen (collar tabs)
WWII German Army Enlisted Breast Eagles Timeline
Wartime German Army enlisted issue wool shoulder straps

What Color Were Heer Wool Uniforms?

Some Drinking Cups of the Eastern Front

Cleaned/Repaired/Reissued Equipment in One Division, in One Year
From the war diary of the 285. Sicherungs-Division

Wehrmacht aerial recognition flags

German Army uniform wool specifications, 1939

General Historical Information

Wehrmacht Unit Structure, Assigned Weapons and Vehicles According to K.St.N.

WWII German Wehrmacht Trenches, Shelters, Field Fortifications

WWII German “Booby Traps”

MG26(t) and MG30(t) Light Machine Gun

The Winter Clothing of the German Soldier
By Oberfeldzahlmeister Wortmann, translated from “Deutsche Uniformen-Zeitschrift,” February 1944.

Verpflegung des Soldaten (Rations of Wehrmacht Soldiers)

Contents of Wehrmacht Steel Ration Cans

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”

Shortages on the “Heimatfront,” 1941-45

“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

Song books
“Sing mit, Kamerad!”
“Lied der Front” (Song of the Front), 1940

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

Wehrmacht Recipe for “Borschtsch” (Russian National Dish)

Recipes from the “Kriegskochbuch” (War Cookbook), 1915

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.”

Rutabaga recipes from wartime Germany

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

German Wehrmacht Security Units in WWII

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)

Partisan Warfare
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)

207. Sicherungs-Division, 1943: Order of battle, tasks, weapons

Translated documents from the files of Sicherung units in the occupied East 1941-43

Daily Report for August 5, 1941
Sicherungs-Regiment 3

Daily Report for October 19, 1941
285. Sicherungs-Division

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.

General Guidelines for Security of Units Against Ambushes by Partisans and Separated Enemy Units

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

Captured weapons in the 281. Sicherungs-Division, May 1941
An inventory

Uniform guidelines for Eastern volunteers in “Unternehmen Maikäfer,” May 1943


“Festung” Reenactment Group A reenacting organization based in New England, USA

Sicherungs-Regiment 195 Reenactment Group 2014-2022

WWII German Wehrmacht Unit Designations and Abbreviations
A basic primer for reenactment

How to Choose a Unit Designation for a WWII German ID Disk (Erkennungsmarke)

How to measure a reproduction Wehrmacht field blouse to create correct size stamps

How to Make a Tin Can Tent Oven to Keep Warm

Original WWII German Esbit stoves and fuel, and postwar substitutes

Mess Kits – Wehrmacht and Postwar Comparison

WWII German Straight Entrenching Tools and Similar Postwar Variants

Razors Used by German Soldiers in WWII, and Current Production Equivalents

Reenactment display – Verpflegungstross

Soviet “Kotelok” cook-pot mess kits

Field Expedient Stove for Zeltbahn Tent

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

“Stellung Haselhuhn” – Our first bunker

Match boxes from occupied Ukraine – reproduction label

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

Basic kit issue to one soldier, as recorded in the Soldbuch

Reproduction First and Second Pattern German Army HBT Uniforms


Paperwork for a Living History Impression

Insert Pages for the Soldbuch
Includes printable PDF files for manufacturing reproductions.

Blank Stationery for “Feldpost” Military Mail

Perspectives and Opinions

Beyond the Blank Fire: A Realistic Approach to Recreating Life in WWII

Strategies for Promoting WWII Reenacting Using Social Media

Talking to the Media: Suggestions for WWII German Reenactors

Public “Battles” in Living History

Evaluating and Upgrading a Reproduction WWII German Field Blouse (2019)

Evaluation of Reproduction WWII German Wool Uniform Items – Cut and Tailoring (2019)

Perspectives on Reproduction Uniforms (2017)

Reproduction Wool Uniforms and Artificial Aging

“Just Wear It” Versus Reenactment Realities

The Things One May Have Carried
Ideas about personal items

Reenacting alone

WWII German reenactment uniform- the cheapest possible usable kit (2021)

Look It, Live It, Love It
Beyond the material.

If It Could Talk…
The “Zone.”

Public Events: A Response to Questions About Atrocities

“Clothing of the Wounded”
The reenactor myth of “extra gear from the battlefield” versus reality.

German Terms for Uniform and Equipment Items, and Language Tips for Reenactors

Bread and Spreads
An idea about rations.

Pizza in the Field?
Pitfalls of basing a historical impression on one photo