top of page


Except when they were in combat, German soldiers were expected to be clean and tidy in their appearance. The lack of cleanliness of combat troops gave rise to the nickname "Frontschwein" meaning Front Pigs for their smell and dirty appearance. Doing laundry was an important part of keeping clean. Underclothes and herringbone twill (HBT) work uniforms (drillich) were washed with soap and water as often as possible. Woolen uniforms and other items of equipment that could not be washed were brushed with a stiff bristle brush or beaten with a clothing whip to knock off caked-on dirt. Woolen uniforms were not washed as a general rule.  Laundry day and the day of cleaning of camp or Barracks was referred to as "Große Wäsche" meaning the big washing day. where everything was cleaned and deloused as needed. 

These photographs were taken from a number of online sources and auction sites.  They are presented here for educational purposes.  

bottom of page