Germans and Sandbags?

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Jonny
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Germans and Sandbags?

Post by Jonny »

Was it common for Germans soldiers during the war to use sandbags?
I havent seen many frontline pics with sandbags...

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Jonny

Gott Mit Uns
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Re: Germans and Sandbags?

Post by Gott Mit Uns »

The field manuals do incorperate the use of sandbagged emplacements, but its rare to see them in actual usage. The point was that sandbag parapets gave away your position far easier. For this reason, German field-fortifications tended to be dug deep and incorperate a firring step, with the spoil removed and hidden. Although this means that positions take more effort to build. That being said, German logistics were very well organised, and frontline troops who had to dig in for longer than 24 hours, were often closely followed by pioneer trucks loaded with picks and spades. This wasnt so much the case for the American, British and Soviet troops - who had to make do with shell scrapes and shallow fox-holes. This is pointed out by Ambrose, in his book 'citizen soldiers', where he points out that everything for the American soldier was done either stooped over or on the floor of the fox-hole.

I had also heard that German sandbags were more often improvised from grain sacks when they were required.

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Botty
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Re: Germans and Sandbags?

Post by Botty »

Firring step? I thought the Germans had no word for fluffy?
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Reichsmark
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Re: Germans and Sandbags?

Post by Reichsmark »

You can't discount the fact that for most of the war they were on the offensive,...
when on the retreat the preferance was for good camo to blend into the surroundings rather than stick out like the proverbial sore thumb as mentioned above.
that said, fixed positions like anti aircraft defences would have used sandbags, here's an example:

Image

hope this helps?

Dietmar
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Re: Germans and Sandbags?

Post by Dietmar »

I think we've been here before. They used what was available. And most of the time in Europe that was trees. If you happen to be portraying the Atlantic Wall then by all means use sandbags. The only photos I've seen of them were taken by the seaside:-

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Whereas this appears to be the norm (obviously, you need to go "screw you, we're taking your trees" to the local landowner, but I guess when you're rampaging through someone else's country, that's not a huge problem. Might be a bit problematic when you're only reenacting, though):-

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Jonny
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Re: Germans and Sandbags?

Post by Jonny »

Thanks guys for your responses, I was a little unclear to the actual wartime usage after trailing through many pictures it was only seen a few times.

I love the Whacturm, going to get a new saw :lol:

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Jonny

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wolfsangel
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Re: Germans and Sandbags?

Post by wolfsangel »

Sandbags were a relative rarity for a variety of reasons

1 - why prepare a position when you are meant to be advancing rapidly?
b - logistical issue of getting them to the front
iii - field manual called for use of natural materials to blend in with locality - actually gives thickness of snow to stop a bullet as 30cm for hard packed snow!
4 - raw material shortages to actually produce the sand bags
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