Tropical M31 Canteen – Labeflasche – V.A.L. 43
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: V.A.L. on the cup and on the flask
Maker: V.A.L., it is unclear to which company V.A.L. refers.
Strap: Canvas or “tropical”
Flask: Aluminium, big 1 liter variant
Cup: Small variant, black painted aluminium
Cover: Felt with four painted press studs
Other notes: Note the small ink stamps and the cork inside of the bakelite screwing cap. These small cups in aluminium were mostly produced early/pre war, late war dated ones are not often seen! V.A.L. is an unknown maker, but there are examples known as early as 1938 from this producer!
Please note these articles are for reference only and not for sale!
L. Keetels collection