Original German WWII SS VT Tornister Cowhide Backpack with Shoulder Straps and Partial Label - Dated 1939

Item Description

Original Item. Only One Available. Cowhide-covered rucksacks such as these were officially called Tornister (Knapsack), first designed in 1934, and were used throughout the German armed forces. This style and size was specifically used by the SS Verfügungstruppe (Disposal Force - VT), which would go on to form the nucleus of the Infamous Waffen SS.

The design of this pack was later changed in 1938 to have shoulder straps that interfaced with the pistol belt as well as the bottom of the pack. As the war progressed the design was simplified to use less cowhide, and this particular version is the second, with cowhide against the back but with the rest of the pack just being canvas with leather trim.

The pack measures approximately 12"W x 13 1/2"H x 3", and still retains almost all of its original parts. It has the all black leather for SS issue.

The pack itself has SS RZM markings between the two shoulder straps

(ᛋᛋ) (RZM) L3 / 160 / 39

There are no records of the RZM codes for SS suppliers, so unfortunately we have not been able to identify the maker. However it was made in 1939, and there is an additional (ᛋᛋ) marking on the left shoulder strap. The pack also still retains the original SS RZM label inside, though unfortunately much of the information has worn off, as shown.

Condition is very good, especially considering the age. The fur on the cowhide is still almost completely intact, with just a bit of shedding. The shoulder straps are complete and intact, though the leather is dry and cracked in places. The side straps that connect to the bottom of the pack are also still present. The interior of the pack is in great shape, and complete, though some of the rawhide stiffeners have damage. The various buckles and straps all look to be present.

A very nice and rare example of an SS-VT Tornister Backpack, ready to display!

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