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Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle

Article about: Hi, showing my latest addition to the collection, a tropical belt ("LLG Hessen 1942") that I bought paired with a 1941 dated "C. W. Motz, Brandenburg a.H (an der Havel)"

  1. #1
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    Default Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle

    Hi, showing my latest addition to the collection, a tropical belt ("LLG Hessen 1942") that I bought paired with a 1941 dated "C. W. Motz, Brandenburg a.H (an der Havel)" feldgrau buckle.


    The buckle is of course not tropical as it does not have the web tab, but it is my understanding from information volunteered by those with far more knowledge than I that DAK belts were (occasionally) brought back from North Africa by veterans assembled with standard type buckles with leather tabs on web tropical belts, so I will keep them together.

    Of course, they were worn in lots of places after North Africa too. Although they came together, there is (as is usually the case) no history with the set.

    It is possible (though not definite) that the belt originates from the early 2000's 'Austrian Hoard', I have seen pictures of these, all LLG and believed to have originated from a bombed train along with other tropical items. Many of the belts have a glue-type residue at the end (interior, so not seen when worn), perhaps a manufacturing trait (preventing fraying before the ends were sewn?), though not in all cases. The thread goes over the top of the residue, so it seems to have been there at the manufacturing stage. As LLG was a Co-operative there may have been multiple small individual makers within the Co-Operative, Hessen being quite a large area containing the manufacturing power-houses of Frankfurt an Main, and Kassel. The extra numbers on the belt ("340" & "5") may refer to an individual sub-contractor / batch number - just my guess...

    It was also the feeling on one discussion on a well known German militaria Forum (MFF). LLG Hessen made other web items and is fairly well known. I have seen other LLG web belts with different 3 digit codes that may have been sub-contractor related (e.g "807").

    LLG is an abbreviation for:-

    Landes Lieferungs Genossenschaft (State Supply Co-operative)

    At one point on the belt the weave changes slightly, perhaps a change of tension whilst the belt was being woven?

    The metal catch is a fairly light green, perhaps Olive? The belt has a definite green hue when seen in daylight, though not the darker green associated with early DAK belts and other webbing.

    The inner web adjustment tongue is the web type, sometimes regarded as 'earlier' type (as opposed to a leather adjustment tongue as also commonly seen on tropical belts), however another collector with more experience than I has indicated that the true early web adjustment tongues have a kind of slit look to the adjustment holes, whereas the adjustment holes on this belt's tongue have the later type (improved) round holes, so perhaps consistent with a 1942 belt.

    I will show some general pictures (some are the vendor's pictures, "Virtual Grenadier", and better than mine!), and of the belt, and later add some more detailed pictures of the buckle.

    Regards, Paul
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  


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  3. #2
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    A few more pictures.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  


  4. #3
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    A picture from an old thread on another forum showing a batch of LLG belts from the 'hoard', all dated 1942, some with the residue on the belt's interior.

    From what I can gather locals plundered the train and used the contents for various civilian uses, belts sewn end to end and used in agricultural machinery, tropical caps shredded and used as stuffing in pillows etc, it had little value at the time (!). At some point a collection of this material that had survived intact was obtained and distributed among dealers/ collectors around 20 years ago. It's just what I've gleaned from reading around elsewhere. This belt of course may not have been from this source, we'll never know...
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

  5. #4
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    Default C. W. Motz, Brandenburg a.H (1941) feldgrau buckle

    C. W. Motz, Brandenburg a.H (1941) feldgrau buckle:-

    Although obviously not tropical and without any history this buckle is perhaps likely added to the belt, I still really like it in it's own right!

    The buckle is unmarked as is I believe normally the case for this manufacturer, the manufacturer information being found on the leather tab only. I don't know whether this changed after 1942 when the tabs were dropped, or even if this maker produced buckles after 1942, others may know! Although it has some light wear and paint chips the condition is very good and I wonder if it is unissued with simply post-war collector handling wear? Elsewhere on this forum (thank-you Ben!) it has been speculated that this manufacturer may have merged with a Berlin maker "J C Maedicke" (founded in 1795, made buttons for the Prussian military and 'likely' ceased to exist by 1945 according to one Polish button website), or possibly used the same buckle die as they seem identical when viewed. C W Motz was founded in 1880 and (in 1927 at least) was located at Potsdamer Chaussee 5, close to the River Havel.


    There is no modern trace now (Brandenburg was very heavily bombed by the end of the war, I think I read somewhere '80% flattened'), and that road now seems residential, although the company seems to have survived the war and was absorbed into "Metallwarenfabrik Walter Glomp Brandenburg" by 1948.


    The only other reference I have found is that on 5th October 1942 150 female prisoners were sent to work there (i.e POW's ? perhaps Russian?) illustrating the dire labour shortages Germany must have had as they scraped every available body into the various armed forces.


    Merely as a point of interest (and not related to this buckle) I realise that there seem to be some differing opinions in regard to 'tropical' buckles, in that web tabs make a tropical buckle 'proper', but that (at least for Heer buckles) the paint remained the same, i.e that there was no 'tropical' paint for Heer buckles. Another collector with a particular interest in tropical items has related to me that the 'Olive' paint sometimes called 'tropical paint' is simply an earlier war light feldgrau also used on non-tropical buckles in 1940 - 1941, and that tropical (web tabbed) buckles made by Gustav Brehmer can be seen with this Olive paint dated 1940 (ultra-rare) and 1941, but also (perhaps later 1941) with feldgrau buckles and a web tab. I can only accept what I'm told by people with far greater 'tropical' experience than I and would be interested in other opinions on this subject.

    My primary interest for tropical kit is Italy and so for this reason I am happy with the combination, perhaps more likely than it might have been in North Africa, and indeed of the contemporary pictures I have viewed of Heer troops in Italy, even when wearing tropical uniforms, most seem to wear leather belts in any case!

    Here is one (unmarked buckle) that might appear to be Olive coloured, and with a web tab. Note also the (earlier type?) slit-type adjustment holes on the inner web tongue of the belt (see Virtual Grenadier link below):-

    Virtual Grenadier

    ...
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

  6. #5
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    More pictures.

    Also a map showing the possible maker location in Brandenburg, obviously very close to Berlin, Brandenburg being almost a 'suburb' of Berlin!
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

  7. #6
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    I bought the belt mainly to complete a small tropical related 'Italy 1943 - 44' set. As stated above, looking at Italian theatre contemporary picture sources in more than one book, the standard leather belts were at least as common (possibly the majority) even when worn with tropical uniforms, but somehow a web belt just seems better!

    Regards, Paul
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  

    Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle   Tropical Belt (LLG Hessen 1942) with C. W. Motz 1941 buckle  


  8. #7

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    Great belt ensemble and story to boot, Paul!!
    Bet the buckle boys will have some words to say when they wake up!
    Cheers, Dan
    " I used to be indecisive but now I'm not quite sure "

  9. #8
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    Thank-you Dan! In these strange times we are lucky to have our 'Lockdown-friendly' hobby!

    Regards, Paul

  10. #9
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    It makes as nice set to go with your uniform. The buckle may also be from a hoard. There seems to be lots a Moltz buckles in excellent condition but you seldom see a well worn example. You can upgrade to a excellent condition Heer buckle with a web tab.

  11. #10
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    Thanks Kirby.

    Yes, thanks to other forum users here I have read that this buckle maker is not common and often found in good condition. When I was researching the maker it was clear that they were a Metals factory and they made various items, not just a buckle manufacturer. Perhaps they only had a few orders for buckles? The hoard theory does sound plausible, a few stuck in the supply chain somewhere and then later 'liberated', great souvenirs, and so easy to stick in a soldiers pocket.

    Not in a rush but I will look out for a nice web tab buckle in the future, I am not averse to upgrades! However, I'll keep the buckle as I like it in it's own right.

    Best regards, Paul

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