The M31 messkit or “Kochgeschirre M 31 (Alum.)” was a 1.6 liter capacity cooking pot carried on the left side of the breadbag. The messkit was a clever engineered piece of equipment capable of serving as a cooking or eating pot. The early models also had indicating marks on the front, under the handle on which could measure the size of the contents. It had a cleverly placed wire handle on which the messkit could be hung above a fire. The messkits came in a big variety of colours and materials. At first the messkits where nearly completely made out of aluminium except the wire handle. From around 1940 onwards the handle on the lid was made from steel. In 1942 the simplified steel model “Kochgeschirre M 42 (Eis.)” was introduced. It had less and less well crafted details and the production became a hurry. I found the designation “M42” in the production numbers of the German Industry.
Marking: RZM M6/2/40 – HRE 40
Maker: RZM M6/2/40 and HRE indicate production by Heinrich Ritter, Esslingen.
Notes: This tall, pre war model was most probably made and used by the Waffen-SS. The usual prewar political models for the Hitlerjugend, Allgemeine-SS and SA where finished in a black paint. This one, being produced in Olive paint was most probably produced and used by the Waffen-SS as can be seen on many wartime pictures.