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Some basics for bootmen

Knobelbecher Boots or Jackboots

Knobelbecher Boots      Knobelbecher Boots

West German Army (Bundeswehr) "Knobelbecher" Boots - Post WWII

Knobelbecher Boots, sometimes also called "Jackboots" (see explanation below), became famous during World War II. These boots were worn by the German Infantry. They are made of sturdy black leather, and are about 12" high. They got their name from the dimple on the side of the boot by the ankle which looks like a leather dice cup. The word "Knobelbecher" means dice cup because the boots would develop that characteristic dimple when broken in.
(More information on breaking in boots at the ankle).
Knobelbecher Boots

German Army (Wehrmacht) "Knobelbecher" Boots - WWII

Knobelbecher Boots

East German Army (NVA)
"Knobelbecher" Boots - Post WWII

Knobelbecher Boots

German Airforce (Luftwaffe) Boots - Shearling Lined pre and post WWII

The standard version of the Knobelbecher in World War II had a leather sole with hobnails and horseshoe heel. There were many variants during the war, especially when leather became scarce. Many were made with rubber half soles instead of leather.

The East German version of the Knobelbechers were of very poor quality and style. They remain widely available in surplus stores at very low prices but experts say they are not worth having at any price.

The German Navy versions of these boots, called the "Seestiefel", are distinguished by a pebble grained leather which is more supple than the Army version which is very stiff.

There is also a variant which was used by border guards. On that version the strap at the top is fastened using a snap behind the buckle.

Officers wore higher, finer versions of the boot which were like riding boots. The watch battalion, a ceremonial guard, wore a slightly dressier version of these with a leather sole, taps, and heel horseshoes. Border guards, the Navy and some other organizations had variants of these, including shearling lined versions for winter wear. The Lutfwaffe (Air Force) had some versions with side zips and shearling lining.

The sizing on the Army/Bundeswehr version is done in the continental sizing and the Navy version uses the NATO / Mondo Point sizing. So a US men's size 11 foot would need a size 45 Army boot and a size 290 Navy boot.

Knobelbecher Boots

German Navy "Seestiefel" Boots -
post WWII to present

Knobelbecher Boots

Guard Battalion (Wach Batallion) "Knobelbecher" Boots -
post WWII to present

So what's a jackboot?  A jackboot is any type of combat boot that reaches mid-calf, has no laces, and typically has a leather sole with hobnails and heel irons. Jackboots were worn by 17th century soldiers and afterwards by fishermen, among others.

Although dating from before Napoleon, since the twentieth century jackboots have been strongly associated with totalitarian regimes. The word is commonly used in Britain as a synonym for totalitarianism, particularly Fascism, although jackboots and similar types of footwear have been worn by various British regiments since the 18th Century.

The boots are connected to Fascism, particularly Nazism, as they were issued by the Wehrmacht and SS during early phases of World War II before Germany encountered leather shortages. The same style of boot had been in use with German armies in World War I and before.

Jackboots can also be associated with the former USSR and East Germany. Jackboots are still a part of the modern parade and service attire of the army of Russia.

So the answer is? "Jackboot" is a type of boot and the Knobelbecher is one of the most famous (or infamous) type of this style of boot.

Content from Wikipedia, Ron Belanger of Big Black Boots, and Booted Harleydude. Pictures from Bikerbretzke, BootedBreizh and internet sources.

Text from Wikipedia article on Jack Boots and as edited and contributed to by Booted Harleydude. Text of this article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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