First Engineer Combat Battalion, Battle of the Bulge

As I was digging through the 1st Engineer Combat Battalion archives, I discovered that the combat engineers used snowcapes fairly extensively during the Battle of the Bulge, especially when laying minefields.

Based on a pattern that appears to be similar to what the 1st Infantry Division was wearing and the 100th Infantry Division (Reenacted)’s excellent post about the production of snowcapes, I set out to reproduce one (with much incredible help from my fiancée). I bought a set of white sheets from Target and then after quite a bit of head scratching, we cut out the pattern based on how we interpreted the instructions. My fiancée also helped me fix the hood to look more like the original photos (and to remove the… unfortunate implications of the pointed hood).

Original instructions for how to make a WWII US GI Snow Cape

I’m pretty happy with the results overall, it looks similar to some of the photos I’ve found, and I’m excited to be able to try it out in the field after the pandemic.

Also note the M1A1 Land Mine in the sandbag, per the attached “lessons learned” document from the 1st Engineers. If you’re a living historian, I would 100% recommend archival research, as you’ll find all sorts of little details that will take your impression to the next level.

Here are a few of the records I found from the First Engineers‘ archives:

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