H042790 EM/NCO'S TROPICAL BELT. (Tropen Koppel)

BACKGROUND: Military belts and their corresponding buckles date back centuries and were initially designed for attaching swords and daggers. In 1847 a new innovative box buckle with a quick release catch and corresponding leather belt were introduced which resulted in a Prussian Hauptmann Virschow initiating a new method of carrying personal equipment with the belt and shoulder straps supporting the majority of the weight. This system, with modifications, remains in use in most of the armyís in the world to this day. During the Third Reich there was a prescribed form of wear of the belt and buckle with the buckle being positioned on the right side and the corresponding buckle catch on the left side. In late 1940, with the impending German entrance into the North African campaign, tropical uniforms and equipment were quickly developed and issued in time for DAK, Deutsches Afrika Korps, (German Africa Corps), personnelís arrival in Tripoli in February 1941. One of the items introduced was the canvas web construction waist belt. Eventually, due to leather shortages, many of the tropical uniform and equipment items would be issued to personnel serving in southern areas of continental Europe and other theatres of battle.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Olive drab canvas web construction belt with a field-grey painted, steel buckle catch to one end and a tan leather buckle retaining tongue to the reverse of the other end. The buckle catch end of belt is folded over and machine stitched to the reverse to secure the catch in place. The buckle end of the belt is rounded off and has tight reinforcement stitching. The reverse of the belt has a machine stitched, tan leather buckle retaining tongue with seven pair of parallel, punched, buckle retaining holes. The reverse of the belt is well marked with black inkstamped size, "95", and an RB number. Of Note: The RB numbers, Reichsbetriebnummer, (National factory code numbers), were introduced in late 1942 and were intended to replace the manufacturers marks on garments and equipment to conceal the manufactures name and location from the allies, to prevent bombing raids on German industrial factories.

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $325.00

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