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Chris,

If it is not WWI, it could certainly pass for it. Aluminum mess kits were discontinued pretty early on in the war. All aluminum kits that were at the front were supposedly recalled and replaced. The need for aluminum caused tinned, painted and even raw oiled steel to be substituted by 1915. Later on, as the need for aluminum abated, I believe it was used again, as it really was the best material for this use.

Chip

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Actually, The aluminum ones were never made again during the war. The material was too much in demand for the construction of Zeppelins and other aircraft, and would not have been wasted to make dinnerware for the infantry. The final model was the feldgrau enameled steel mess tin dating from 1916. During 1918 some were also enameled black. Judging from the number of surviving aluminum mess kits, I do not believe they were recalled for smelting. Of course many thousands became victims of shot and shrapnel and many of them would have been salvaged. Of course during the Reichswehr period the aluminum ones were manufactured again. Someone told me once that he believed that all of the brass buttons were supposed to be recalled and replaced with steel ones and the brass used for armaments. I believe it is a misinterpretattion of the regulations. Every early issue unifrom I have seen that originally would have had brass or tombak buttons, still has them.

Dan Murphy

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Dan,

There were a Prussian and Bavarian decrees (in September 1915) ordering all mess kits made from aluminum to be withdrawn from the front to be used for other needs of the army. It is hard to believe that this was universally adhered to, but it was mandated.

Chip

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Chris,

Whoever told you that was wrong. The three Mantelriemen had a "double strap", one to go around the Mantel/Decke/Zeltbahn roll and the other to attach the roll to the Tornister. The Kochgeschirrriemen were simple straps with a roller buckle. Two were needed to attach the Kochgeschirr to the Tornister.

Chip

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