Alpine Traditions

These interesting snapshots are from the Austrian Bundesheer, the federal army founded in 1955, the first such force since the Germans crossed the border in 1938. Today’s force holds a number of longstanding traditions going back to the old Austro-Hungarian K.u.K. “Imperial and Royal” army of Franz Josef’s days.

These include the use of Kappenabzeichen, or cap badges, a practice that got a little out of control in the Great War.

Also, the current Feldkappe, or Kapperl, which resembles the M1908 Fieldmutze more than the bad old M43 WWII-era cap, is also used to hold the ammo draw for annual small arms quals.

This practice goes back to the Tyrolean regiments where reservists would report, hold out their alpine-style cap to receive their range ammo, then wait for their turn with the guns on the line.

They used Steyrs back then, too.

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