Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bundesgrenzschutz Knobelbecher, Bundesgrenzschutz Jack Boots, BGS Boots

In 1981, while in Germany, I picked up a pair of West German BGS jackboots.  I loved those boots, but they were in pretty rough condition and I eventually let them go.......... I always regretted doing that and have kept my eyes open for another pair ever since.  Well, I lucked out and located a source for original BGS jackboots in nearly brand new condition!    They had a pair in my size, and I didn't hesitate, I placed an order, ASAP.  They arrived today.

These boots have are known as "Knobelbecher", or in English, "dice cups", due to the way the leather "stovepipe" boot tops resemble their leather dice cup counterparts.  Slightly different versions of these boots were used by the West German Army and are still used by the German Navy (with a pebbled leather finish).

These boots are in near un-issued condition, in fact if it weren't for the previous owner's name written inside, you wouldn't even know that they had ever been worn!

The boots are size 43 euro, and are constructed out of a very heavy, yet supple, oiled leather.... very high quality.  Inside the the boots, there is printed, ever so lightly, the letters "BGS", and a series of numbers.  The letters and numbers are very lightly printed in a dark ink, nearly invisible against the background of the black suede side leather of the boots.

The inner leather reinforcement around the top of the right boot has a series of perforated letters and numbers, but I'm not sure what they mean.

Also around the top, inner reinforcement strip, is the previous owner's name, written in felt pen:  "Wallisch", along with the number 4319.

The boots have a belt and buckle tightener at the top.

The soles are in fantastic shape and are sewn, nailed on, and even have screws.   The outer synthetic soles are attached to the top of leather sub-soles.  There is a recessed area at the toe for the attachment of a metal reinforcement toe plate.

I'm not sure of the exact age of the boots, but I an guessing that they are from late in the BGS time-line, but before the "old" BGS had been disbanded after the East-West Wall came down.  If anyone knows what the numbers on the boots mean, then drop me an email or leave a comment:  Thanks!

And now for the traditional historic shots...... here is a photo of a Bundesgrenzschutz trooper from about 1965 wearing a  pair of these knobelbecher boots:

 And here's another shot from the early 1960's:


Ed Dimick said...

Thank you for the great article and photos-

where did you purchase the boos from?

Ed Dimick said...

Thank you for the great article and photos-

where did you purchase the boots from?