Product Description: This RBNr EM Leather Belt is a textbook example of the late war belt style sometimes referred to by collectors as the “M44.” This belt has no “tongue” to retain the buckle; instead, hoes for affixing the buckle were punched directly through the belt. This one is made of a correct, heavy, rough side out leather, which has been blackened on the exterior. The leather remains strong and flexible, with some light marks and scuffs. The hook is made of steel, as one expects on a wartime piece. The hook shows wear, and retains traces of the original Feldgrau paint. This belt is very well marked, with the RB number factory code “0/0375/0033,” the date “43” and the size “100” (a relatively large size, about 39 inches). Some wear marks to the holes show that this belt was worn with a buckle in the past. This RBNr EM Leather Belt is a choice example of this desirable variant, and remains in excellent condition.
Historical Description: The “Koppel,” or belt, was an important part of the German uniform, dating back to before the First World War. The standard enlisted pattern German belt was made of sturdy leather, with a thin leather “tongue” stitched to the inside of one end, to which the buckle (Koppelschloss) would be affixed. At the other end, the belt had a hook that would connect with the buckle to fasten it. These belts were worn by all military branches, as well as by political, civil, political and paramilitary organizations. With most uniforms, the belt was worn at all times when the wearer was on duty. The belts were made of brown, black, and natural leather, with sewn or riveted hooks made of aluminum or steel, depending on the pattern of the belt and the era in which it was made. There were also belts made of cotton webbing, intended for tropical use. Officer belts were often different; many types of officers wore the “Zweidornkoppel” belt with permanently affixed 2-prong buckle, while other uniforms or organizations called for a leather belt that was similar to the enlisted pattern, but wider, to accommodate the officer-specific buckles.
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