Story Of The Week: The Kriegsbekleidungsamt

During the Great War, the Kriegsbekleidungsamt (War Clothing Office) was the military department responsible for providing clothing to the soldiers and military personnel. At the outbreak of war in 1914, the organization was called simply the Bekleidungsamt (Clothing Office) but changed its name at mobilization. During the war, all army corps had their own Kriegsbekleidungsamt, each with several thousand men, and apart from the section that issued clothing (Bekleidungskompanie), also included a tailoring section (Zuschneidekompanie) as well as a section responsible for repairs (Bekleidungsinstandsetzungskompanie).

On September 3, 1918, shortly before the end of the war, Tor Kiefer, our young doctor at the eastern front, writes a letter to the Kriegsbekleidungsamt of the XIVth Army Corps requesting a list of items of clothing:

1 army cap
2 shirts
2 pairs of socks
2 handkerchiefs
1 towel
1 coat
1 woollen undervest
1 necktie
1 pair of long trousers
1 army shirt

Tor has lost most of his clothes in a shell attack. "I am therefore in a state of emergency", Tor writes, "which is why the troop unit has issued the statement attached".

He writes the numbers of his attached clothing coupons "Kleiderkarte III, 12328"

The statement attached is signed by the Oberleutnant of Tor's batallion, and requests the Bekleidungsamt of the XIVth Army Corps to issue the requested clothing to its senior physician Dr. Kiefer. At this point, Tor is 29 years old. At the start of the war in 1914, he was a junior doctor working under a medical officer.

Statement from Tor's batallion

Tor's clothing coupons sent with his letter, "Kleiderkarte III, 12328". They are marked "Valid for 1918".

These coupons entitle Tor to:
1 necktie
2 handkerchiefs and
1 towel

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