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Rifle on the neck in German army

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  • Rifle on the neck in German army

    Dear friends, I beg for your help in the following problem.

    Through numerous Great War fotos I've seen a lot with german soldiers holding their rifles on the neck, like in the fotos, which I include to this posting. What's interesting, that is such way of holding was typical only for WWI, and is rarely seen in WWII fotos or on pictures of French-Prussian War. In some book I've read, that is the so-called "Dragoon style" hold, but that's all the information I've founded.

    I would like to know, is this maner of rifle holding was set by any service regulations, and if yes - after what german service command it had been performed. I've tried to look for something like "Gewehr - um Hals", but had no succes. Some people suppose, that it is just the way of performing the command "Gewehr - freihalten", but I've also have not found any information, did this command exisited.

    Could you please help me to clear this matter.

    Thank you in advance.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Have you ever walk 30 km without a pause?
    I did it during my army ,and i hold my Famas on my shoulders like the German soldiers used to do after a certain ammount of time , in order to relieve my arms .Then , some minutes after ,the absolutely painfully neck-hurting Famas was back in my hands
    That rug really tied the room together


    • #3
      Carrying them around the neck frees the hand to carry other things. If you carry one slung over the shoulder with the sling you still have to keep it in place with one hand.

      I seriously doubt that here is a regulation or order for this method.

      I hope you stay around here at ACG. New people are always welcome.
      "Ask not what your country can do for you"

      Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

      you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.


      • #4
        I second the above posts, I would wear the gun any which way possible. Also in the pictures the soldiers have their backs full of stuff and slinging the rifle over that would be cumbersome and unwieldy.

        We were forbidden the "US vietnam style(balancing the weight on the shoulder by holding onto the barrel)" but it was still one of my favorites, especially with LMG.
        Wisdom is personal


        • #5
          Warm welcome to the forums Mikhail and great maiden post

          I concur with the previous posters.
          Speaking from my own experience as an infantry platoon commander during long road marches: at some point you do not care any longer how your men carry the rifles, regulation or not, as long as thy have them with them.

          As for the WW1 aspect, I must admit it had eluded me that this was exclusive for WW1 till you drew attention to it,
          but I'll be alert from now on

          You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.


          • #6
            For those with strong necks, it would get tiring after a while unless you carry the rifle horizontally and can rest the weight on the front ammo pouches.
            My worst jump story:
            My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
            As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
            No lie.

            "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
            -2 Commando Jumpmaster


            • #7
              on the Eastern front , 1941

              That rug really tied the room together


              • #8
                "The French Army from Within 1914" describes French troops on the march carrying their rifles in whatever fashion the men found most comfortable and only carrying them on the slope when ordered to adopt a formal parade ground formation. It would seem that the Germans also did this. The first picture appears to show assault troops and carting them this way obviously leaves the hands free for grenades etc but still allows the soldier to use his rifle more quickly than if it was slung over his shoulder.
                Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)


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