Those boots

I couldn’t help noticing the boots as I read Michael Grant’s Front Lines. Just as you generally can’t avoid the famous German army (well military, anyway) leather boots.

You get them in books and you get them in films. And until the other day, I’d not stopped to think about them. They sound/look really nice. Unless you are on the other side, perhaps down on the floor being kicked, or simply hiding underneath something, hoping not to be discovered. That’s when fictional characters tend to mention the enemy’s well polished leather boots.

They appeared in Front Lines too, and I was struck anew by them (not literally), as our American soldiers were in pretty bad shape; tired and dirty. I’m guessing their heavy duty US boots were pretty disreputable looking by then. But here is their scary German enemy officer, strutting his perfectly kept boots in front of them. Why is he not all covered in muck?

I suppose in this case he’s not as tired, having come in a vehicle, but occasionally even the Germans had to walk/march/drag themselves places, surely?

So are the shiny boots a myth, or did the Germans always manage to polish their footwear, no matter what they were doing, or where?

The other thing I wondered was how come a country – any country, I guess – at war and suffering shortages of almost everything, can have these lovely boots for everyone who needs them? Civilians neither eat enough nor have proper clothes to wear, but the military have boots. Guns I understand, but perfect uniforms?

Is there a – fictional – world where the allied soldiers had more perfect boots than the Germans?


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