The middle of winter

These two sentries are lucky to have ample protection against the elements. This is probably the winter of 1942-43. They wear Omas (“Oma” = “granny”), the balaclava-like head protection, as well as heavy coats, and thick felt over-boots. As the regular jackboot had iron hobnails that helped the cold go through the sole and to the foot, the over-boots made stationary tasks like sentry duty more tolerable, plus they reduced the risk of frostbite. After that first disatrous winter of 1941-42, the German Army issued good winter gear. This was collected when spring arrived and sent to depots for cleaning, mending and storing for next winter.


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