M42 Canteen – Labeflasche – MN 44 – Steel 1L Variant

A small diversity of canteens used by the German army during the second world war. The Wehrmacht used a lot of different materials to produce these canteens. Aluminium and steel is used to form the flasks. Steel variants have been introduced with various finishes as early as 1942.

Also a wide variation of strap material is used from diverse sorts of leather and canvas. The covers are mostly made from felt which got really course by the end of the war. Later in the war italian uniform cloth known as gaberdine was used too. Also a 4th press stud from the cover was ommitted in the final years of production further simplifying the production.

The large canteen or Labeflasche is a canteen issued to mountain troops and medical personnel. These Gebirgsjäger and Sanitäter needed a larger capacity canteen. These canteens where made in 1, 1,5 and 2 liter capacity. They come in a variety of different straps. The mountain troops or Gebirgsjäger where issued with a large canteen that resembles the standard M31 Feldflasche with a single strap. The Sanitäter where issued one with a complete different strap. Their canteen has a harness that goes all around with a large carrying sling. The Labeflasche was made in aluminium (M31) and steel (M42). Most of these Labeflaschen where made until the end in aluminum but some steel variants are seen.

Marking: MN 43 on the cup and MN 44 on the flask. 
Maker: MN indicates production by Metallindustrie GmbH. Neunkirchen-Saar (MENESA)
Year: Early 1944, hence the original mix of 1943 and 1944 marked parts!
Strap: Black pebbled leather, poor quality.
Flask: Red painted steel, inside is painted green. Rare(!) 1L steel variant!
Cup: MN 43 Green painted
Cover: Felt with four painted press studs
Other notes: Most of the Labeflaschen where produced in aluminium until the end, but there was a small batch of red painted steel ones produced by Metallindustrie GmbH. Neunkirchen-Saar (MENESA) in 1944. These 1L steel variants are hard to come by and I have seen only a few myself. There are some very nice late war production details, the mixed sorts of leather used, the poor quality, a lack of markings Etc. You can still see some drawing lines on the cover where they needed to stitch, note the pictures!


Please note these articles are for reference only and not for sale!

L. Keetels collection