Going downhill

An Obergefreiter, probably belonging to an artillery unit, zooms down a snowy slope, a look of concentration on his face. The photo is probably from around 1938-39 or earlier, as he wears the three-buckle boots that were replaced by the classic jackboot.

The German Army had several divisions that used skis. Those were the Gebirgsjäger-Divisionen (mountain ranger divisions) and the 1. Skijäger-Division. The personnel came primarily from Bavaria and Austria, but there was also a Skijäger battalion in the 6. SS-Gebirgs-Division “Nord”, consisting of Norwegian SS volunteers.

My own personal experience of army issue skis is 31 years back, when I checked out the bindings on the ironically named “White Lightning” wooden skis of 1940’s provenience. I never had to use them.


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