Soldiers shaving

So I was browsing Digitalmuseet again, and found an interesting photo. Interesting to me at least, both due to the subject, the context and current happenings.


The photo was titled “Brigadesoldater barberer seg”, which translates to “Soldiers of the Brigade shaving”. The brigade in question was the so called Tysklandsbrigaden – the German Brigade. And despite what you might think when hearing the name, it wasn’t a German brigade, but rather a Norwegian Brigade in Germany. Known formally as the “Independent Norwegian Brigade Group in Germany“, it was a Norwegian expeditionary force stationed in the British Zone of Occupation in Germany, from 1946 to 1953.

Sending an expeditionary force to take part in the Allied Occupation of Germany was costly, double so since we were busy trying to rebuild after the Nazi occupation and ravaging of Norway. But it was considered too important not to do. It was done in order to honour previous agreements, to gain valuable experience, and to help secure the hard won peace.

Some googling have not revealed what – if any – razors were standard issue for the men, but the unit was equipped with British materiel and supplied through the British Army. It stands to reason that the shave gear, unless brought from home, were British too.

All in all more than 50.000 Norwegians served in the Brigade Group. Which is a lot, when you consider than in 1946 – when the force was established – Norway had a mere 3.12 million inhabitants.

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