Das Kochgeschirr – The Mess Kit Part 2

In a previous post I gave an overview of the basic 1910 pattern mess kit and its unique variant that was issued to the cavalry in 1914. As the war progressed, the cavalry was increasingly issued with the same type of equipment as the other branches of the army, a trend driven by the need to standardize war production.

Below is a set of illustrations from Die Feldgraue Uniformierung des Deutschen Heeres 1907-1918 by Jürgen Kraus (probably one of the most authoritative works on German Army uniforms and equipment).

Kraus2

1uid000_M10_Messkit_1

1910 Pattern Mess Kit

In viewing the mess kit, there is a gradual process of transformation beginning with the handle in 1915 as illustrated above in Nos. 4 and 5. Below is what one could term the “1915 Pattern Kochgeschirr” (my terminology).

Kochgeschirr6

This example is made of aluminum but the handle type makes it the 1915 pattern.

By 1917, the mess kit was being made out of enameled steel as shown below. This is a particularly good example with the enamel completely intact. Most examples found today tend to have major cracks and dings with the exposed steel rusted.

Kochgeschirr1

The 1917 Pattern Mess Kit – Front

Kochgeschirr2 - Copy

The 1917 Pattern Mess Kit – Rear

For living history purposes, it is best to try and locate originals in the aluminum. The distinct cavalry version are rare and probably best left as display pieces but the standard pattern can be readily obtained. Also, there are several substitutes that can be successfully employed for living history purposes. Please contact me for further details.

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