Flight Boot Development - 1940
Heizbar Flieger-Pelzstiefel, Baumuster Pst 4004E
Heated Fleece-Lined Flight Boots, Model Pst 4004E
Heated Single-Zippered Flight Boots
Per order LV40B, Nr.148 of 16 February 1940, the Luftwaffe introduced heated, fleece-lined flight boots. These new boots accompanied the introduction of the new electrically wired Fliegerkombi, Model K/20/24. In almost every respect, the boots were identical to their single zip, unheated counterparts.
In a manner similar to the Fliegerkombi, a wiring harness imbedded into the boots carried the 24 volt current to heating elements in the shaft and sole. Current passed into the boot via two male connector snaps on a leather tab mounted atop the shaft on the outside of the leg. The tab was actually the terminus of a double-laid leather strip (carrying the wires) which extended down into a channel between the fleece lining and the exterior of the boot. The bottom of the strip was secured by an elastic connection which provided for the strip and its tab termination to be, in some measure, adjustable.
Although the precise configuration of the wire harness and heating elements in the lining of the boot is not known,* it is safe to assume that a double-zippered boot's construction would complicate the arrangement of the wiring to a considerable extent. Therefore, it is probable that the introduction of a wiring harness into the boot was at least one of the factors moving the Luftwaffe toward a single-zippered boot design. Moreover, to standardize on one single physical design which could serve either heated or unheated configurations would have made very good sense from the standpoint of manufacturing efficiency.
It should be noted that there are no known examples of heated double-zippered boots.
*Note: the author is planning to have a set of boots x-rayed.
Angolia & Schlicht, III, 283.
Author's collection and observations.
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