Original German WWII Medic Aluminum M31 Canteen in Unissued Condition - ESB 41
Original Item: Only One Available. Although the .8 liter capacity, M31 canteens were the standard issue canteen, field medics and medical personnel were issued a larger, one and a half to two liter capacity canteen that was based on the larger canteens used by their WWI counterparts. These larger medical canteens were of identical design to the standard M31 canteens but came equipped with a different carrying harness and shoulder strap assembly.
Originally the mountain troops/medical canteens were manufactured in aluminum but later as the aluminum was required for other more critically essential items the canteens began to be manufactured in steel. With potable fluids being such an essential item for an individuals well-being the mountain troops/medical canteen must be considered as a very important piece of kit.
This is a near mint unissued example, with only storage wear preventing it from being truly mint. The bakelite cup has a maker mold mark, but no letter code or date, and the cap has the same maker mark. The wonderful black finished leather harness is stamped ESB 41 in the leather, and also has a contractor ink stamp of KufB / 41. The neck of the canteen and the inside of the wool cover are also marked ESB 41. The makers of canteens often did not use the German 3 letter system, so this maker mark is in fact for Eduard Sommerfeld, Berlin, made in 1941.
All straps, buckles and snaps are complete, with the large hanging hook on the back. There is a bit of oxidation staining around the snaps on the felt cover, which has also stretched out the area around the snaps a bit. There are some surface cracks and rippling to the leather in places, as it was not conditioned at all for 70 years. Excellent complete example of a very hard to find canteen.
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