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Halsbinde (Neck Stock)

The Halsbinde was meant to protect the wool collar of the tunic from wear; not as is commonly thought, to prevent the collar from chafing the Soldat's neck. The comfort of the Soldat was not considered to be particularly important; more so was the need to preserve the uniform. Indeed, in many cases, the tunic lasted longer than the Soldat, as evidenced by the wartime re-issue of tunics of those soldiers who had died in hospitals.

Photo from The German Army in the First World War: Uniforms and
Equipment, 1914-1918
by Jurgen Kraus for the Bayerisches Armeemuseum.

The field-grey top sample is for standing collars (officers and infantry). The grey lower example is the "universal" wartime Halsbinde which is the correct model for infantry and the only acceptable model for JR63.

The Halsbinde should be grey-colored for wear with the field uniform, while the Halsbinde worn with the work uniform was black.  Some reversable Halsbinde of black-grey have been found.

Above left: Original photo of a group of relaxing soldiers, a couple without tunics but still
wearing their Halsbinde — a close up shown at right

How to Tie the Halsbinde

The bib portion will be centered on the neck with the top edge under the chin and lay flat on the chest.

The sides are wrapped flat around the neck slipping one tie through the slot on the opposite side — this allows both sides to remain flat and even all the way around the neck. The ties are then wrapped around to the front underneath the bib and pulled — drawing the Halsbinde tight. Lift the bib and tie the ends just like you would tie a shoe lace.

Regulations state that the Halsbinde should extend 3mm above the tunic collar and should be a somewhat loose fit so that one can reach inside with two fingers, leaving just enough room that you should not feel choked.Wearing the Halsbinde too tight could result in heat stroke.

Regulations further explain that the Halsbinde is to be washed at least once a week with soap, warning that failure to keep the Halsbinde clean can result in boils on the neck that will require painful lancing.