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The M31 Messkit and Wartime Variants

Article about: By the Way i Have theese one, i only buy strange things (eheheheheheh) It has this one marked EWH 446. What do you think? Anyone has manufacturers references to this M31 Kits and Feldflasche

  1. #1

    Default The M31 Messkit and Wartime Variants

    Hello Gentlemen,
    As Moderator of this subforum dedicated to the Wehrmacht Equipments & Accessories, i decided to make this "sticky " thread in order to help out our fellow members interested in the WWII german messkit. I know that some of you do own tremendous examples of this very common item, but i also know that some other collectors don't know anything about them. I don't want you fellow members to get me wrong, this is not a lesson, i'm not a teacher and you're not students, i just thought that as a fieldgear collector & moderator i could spot the main differences & variants produced during the short history of the M31 Messkit and share the all thing with you....

    The M31 Messkit (170 cl)

    1) 1930/31 to 1940 : All parts made of aluminium (excepted the wire handle)
    (It was adopted in 1931 but the production started earlier, around 1930)
    Dark Feldgrau factory paint

    2) 1940 to 1943 : All parts made of aluminium (excepted the wire handle and the handle riveted to the lid/plate.). Major fall of the production in 1942 and 1943 to promote the messkit made of steel. Dark Feldgrau factory paint to Feldgrau factory paint...many shades...to olive green.

    3) 1942 to 1944 : All parts made of steel. The interior and/or the exterior are painted, lacquered or enameled, mostly depending on the manufacturer.

    4) 1944 to 1945 : All parts made of aluminium (excepted the wire handle, the handle riveted to the lid and the two metal parts that hold the wire handle), + inner plate. Many shades of paint.

    5) Late war messkit 1944-45 with inner plate made of aluminium

    6) Steel messkit with red lacquered interior

    7) Main differences between a prewar (left) and a late war aluminium messkit : 3 soup ration marks stamped on the front of the prewar messkit, none for the late war one. The top is the body is completly folded on the prewar messkit, not on the late war one. The metal parts that hold the wire handle are aluminium molded ones on the prewar messkit, they are flat and made of steel on the late war one...(and the factory applied paint of course....)

    It does exist a messkit made of aluminium usually without paint applied on it, that has no handle riveted to the lid. Some collectors think that this messkit, that includes metal parts produced by a legit wartime maker (MN45), is the very late war last variant of the M31 Messkit. I do not subscribe to this theory. I would rather think that this very simplified messkit may have been produced right after the war for the refugees back to Germany, for the civil market or the PoWs.

    On some period pictures, one can see another types of messkits hanging from the breadbag, or fastened to a combat pack.

    - M10 Messkit : the WWI Imperial Army Messkit (250 cl). Its use will survive the 1918 defeat, and this type of messkit was reissued to national-socialist paramilitary and political organisations (prewar, the WSS were issued such a type).

    - M10 Messkit variant : introduced by the Reichswehr. The carrying strap is always positioned horizontally due to a change in the handle shape

    - Italian messkit. Made of aluminium (no factory applied paint), two wire handles, one's on the lid at the rear, one's on the body for carrying. Those reissued to the german army were usually painted green. Two metal loops on the front for the carrying strap.

    Of course the period pictures show more things, but these three types make up 90% of what is visible on them. I posted only pics showing M31 messkits, but if some of you are interested to see the "Late War" variant with no handle/no paint, the M10 messkit, the M10 variant or the painted green italian messkit, don't hesitate to ask...
    Up to you to post your best examples or best/unusual markings
    Thanks for reading and i hope that this sticky thread which is useless for some will be useful for the others.
    JPhilip.
    Attached Images Attached Images          
    Last edited by JPhilip; 11-30-2008 at 04:12 PM.
    PREUSSENS GLORIA

    In Memoriam :
    Laurent Huart (1964-2008)

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  3. #2
    ?

    Default Re: The M31 Messkit and Wartime Variants

    This is a postwar one dated 1980,except for the lid it is almost like no. 5.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    JEDEM DAS SEINE

  4. #3

    Default Re: The M31 Messkit and Wartime Variants

    thanks for your input zwerge...it allows our members to see a postwar german messkit with the high lid, the high inner plate with a slit and soup rations marks....this one is not dangerous for WWII german collectors...
    thanks
    PREUSSENS GLORIA

    In Memoriam :
    Laurent Huart (1964-2008)

  5. #4

    Default Re: The M31 Messkit and Wartime Variants

    Enjoy My M31 Cammo Mess Kit....BILL
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    "As long as there are brave men and warriors the halls of Valhalla will never be silent or empty"

    In memory of my father William T. Grist December 26, 1920--September 10, 2009..
    901st. Ordnance H.A.M. North Africa, Italy, Southern France....ETO
    Also in memory of my mother Jane Kidd Grist Feb. 22, 1920-- September 27, 2009... WWll War bride May 1942...

  6. #5

    Default Re: The M31 Messkit and Wartime Variants

    thanks to have posted it here Bill....

    and for our fellow members :
    As you can see all parts of this camo messkit posted here are made of aluminium, except the wire handle. It was most probably produced prewar and was originaly factory painted in dark Feldgrau.
    Last edited by JPhilip; 12-23-2008 at 02:03 AM.
    PREUSSENS GLORIA

    In Memoriam :
    Laurent Huart (1964-2008)

  7. #6
    Schnaps
    ?

    Default Re: The M31 Messkit and Wartime Variants

    5) Late war messkit 1944-45 with inner plate made of aluminium
    Anybody can show documentary photos where can see such "inside plate" ??? I never seen this plate on photos - doc. or battlefield archeology...I think it's post war completion: WH-mess tin+post war plate....

  8. #7

    Default Re: The M31 Messkit and Wartime Variants

    Hello,
    It's not because you didn't see it yet that it does not exist...
    I do own several late war messkits with inner plate, two of them come from the Alsace area (they were not found together)...where a lot of german stuff was left there (not postwar....not a chance, even the thinest) and one of my most interesting pieces, a prewar messkit with the standard inner plate (forced in position as it doesn't fit very well in prewar messkits) that comes from a french officer who escaped from a german Oflag in April 1945 and who brought back the messkit with him, using it for eating on his way back to France. I don't think this trustable and unaware person added the inner plate postwar...(not a chance, even the thinest).
    No period pics have been shown yet....that's a realty, but there were too many used examples found in western Europe to believe it could be postwar.
    If you want to see a postwar inner plate, have a look in post 2

    Could you provide a period pic showing without any doubt the use of a late war Zeltbahn with carbon spots ?
    I guess not.....but they do exist.....and they're not postwar....
    Thanks


    Guys, i will post new messkits soon....enjoy the summer....
    PREUSSENS GLORIA

    In Memoriam :
    Laurent Huart (1964-2008)

  9. #8
    MULON
    ?

    Default Re: The M31 Messkit and Wartime Variants

    Nice 3d, congrats.
    The camo one is unbeliveble....
    There is some of mine,I think that I show all type from the earlier (type) to the oldest, dated 45 with original inner plate:
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  10. #9
    pereto
    ?

    Default Re: The M31 Messkit and Wartime Variants

    That one is from me - my grandfather has brougt it from the front like a trophy in 1944
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  11. #10

    Default Re: The M31 Messkit and Wartime Variants

    Is this SS it has the marking MKK 38 and the RZM stamp.
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