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  1. A good example of a Prussian Artillery officer's peaked cap for garrison wear, dating from around 1915/16. This has a stiffened top in fine lightweight fieldgrey ribbed cloth. The band is of black velvet, as were all officer's facings when black. Crown and and band are piped in bright red, the peak of black lacquered vulcan fibre, the peak inner is lacquered fieldgrey. As from September 1915 peaks were to be lacquered fieldgrey, but this was seldom followed. The sweat band is of flimsy light grey waxcloth, the lining is of light grey ribbed silk, with much staining and slight shredding, handwritten name : Tode. Both the Reichskokarde over the Prussian cockade. This cap was also for pioniers, technical and aviation troops, as well as field and foot artillery. A foam rubber strip has been inserted under the crown to keep it in shape (easily removed). Obtained many years ago from a Hamburg militaria dealer around 1979.
  2. Three still quite common commemorative medals of the Great War, issued by Germany's allies. These were all issued post war in the late 1920s and 1930s, Bulgaria even awarded these during the early 1940s. The first medal is a commemorative medal for 1914-18 from the First Austrian Republic (Deutschösterreich) of semi-official status. After 1918 the Austrian Empire split up. This medal was also worn with crossed swords on the ribbon, and more rarely, crossed swords mounted on the ring. Hungary became a titular monarchy in the absence of a monarch, and ruled by Reichsverweser Admiral Horthy, formerly of the Austrian k.u.k. Kriegsmarine. The second decoration is Hungarian, and has the motto on the reverse PRO DEO ET PATRIA; retaining the custom of the latin inscription from imperial days. The third medal is the Bulgarian Kriegserinnerungsmedaille, 1915-18, as Bulgaria entered the war in the second year. This medal was produced under contract by a firm in Switzerland. Each medal was awarded with a decorative certificate in cyrillic lettering. German veterans, who were entitled to this, had to order this at their own cost. Bulgaria remained a monarchy until 1944. These examples are all on the Austrian trifold style of ribbon mounting, which did not apply to Germany.
  3. Tomorrow is the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916. I can remember my father talking about it fifty years ago, that was then the 50th anniversary, now we have 100. Pictures via wikipedia Lancashire Fusiliers fix bayonets German dead near Combles-Guillemont, September 1916 Further pictures of a restored, empty British 18 pounder shell, purchased during a W.F.A. Tour in Spring 1983 at an official kiosk at the Delville Wood Battle site. The brass fuse cap is still clearly marked with the grid numbering and a lot number 1058-1916 and B.S.C. No.85, being presumably Birmingham Small Arms Co. Thousands of these shells of all calibres must have rained down on the German positions during this period, many are still being found, some lay by the wayside, others are sold for the upkeep of the memorial site, which was given to South Africa.
  4. Here, the most common examples: Croix de Guerre, with palm The Belgian War Medal 1914-18 The Victory Medal The Croix de Guerre was likely inspired by the original French version. The reverse has the monogram A for King Albert. As with the French decoration, there were palms awarded for citations. A good striking, probably Paris made, as ninety percent of Belgium was occupied. The War Medal is on a nice original ribbon with the double steel prong mounting pins, emcountered on French and Belgian medals. The victory medal has a ribbon, which varies from the contemporary silk ribbons, but may be an older official replacement. Used to have more and better Belgian decorations, including the CdG and Bronze Medal of the Order of Leopold, but reduced this field many years ago. Belgian medals had inscriptions in both French and Flemish. In second illustration is also a gold-plated bronze pin bar from a Croix de Guerre, one of the popular types of suspension for single medals, as an alternative to the double pins, these could also vary in length according to the number of decorations.
  5. Here is a selection of "standard" German bayonet types at the beginning of WW1. The older types were the shorter SG 84/98 a.A., which had been converted from the old M.71/84, and had been adapted for the new G.98 rifle, whereas the older 71/84 model was only suited to the G.71/84 or G.88 rifle, which were still available in sufficient numbers to equip the reserve troops. Shown are two examples of the SG 84/98 aA (old model) in varying lengths. These had the same blades as the SG 71/84 (middle). The SG 71/84 shown has a stamp on the rear of the hilt: being 31.R.6.25 meaning Inf.-Regt.31, 6th Comp., weapon no.25. There is a date on the spine of the blade of 1888, beneath a crowned "W". The blades of all three weapons are by Weyersberg, Kirchbaum & Cie., Solingen. All three weapons have walnut grips. The rear of the pommel shows two crowned inspection marks, which are almost always present. In most cases, the blades were only sharpened on mobilisation, never in peacetime. The misuse of blades was also absolutely prohibited. The scabbard of the SG 71/84 shown here is missing, but would have been identical to the SG 84/98. When leather scabbards became unserviceable during WW1, they were replaced by the depot with steel scabbards. Each unit had it's own armourers workshops, which, constantly inspected the weaponry and carried out the necessary repairs and replacements. Further examples shown are of the SG 98/05, which was issued in large numbers till about 1918, and was probably the most common bayonet of WW1. It was originally conceived for the foot artillery for use with the G.98 and Kar 98, but was found most practical as a general service bayonet. This was originally issued with a leather scabbard, but as from 1915 steel scabbards were produced, which proved more durable under the damp and harsh conditions at the front. Shown is a 1914 produced bayonet by Haenel in Suhl with a leather scabbard. The other is a 1915 example by V.C.Schilling in Suhl and is with a steel scabbard, the hilt has lugs as a reduction of a muzzle ring, as well as no fireguard above the grips. These versions are now rarely encountered, as they were usually later fitted with a fireguard and the lugs filed down. The next two examples shown are a SG 98/05 sawback in a steel scabbard and dated 1916. This example is made by E.& F. Hörster in Solingen. The shorter bayonet is a SG 84/98 n.A. (new type) with fireguard and sawback and was issued with a steel scabbard. The blade on this example was made by Gebrüder Heller in Marienthal. The other marking to the reverse of the blade is a crowned ERFURT mark, where the weapon was produced. This example has no date stamp to the spine of the blade. The grips are of fine walnut. In the course of the war the Allies threatened to kill all prisoners who were found carrying sawback weapons, so the Germans began to withdraw these and file the sawback down. Recommended literature: Preussisch-Deutsche Seitengewehre 1807-1945 by Rudiger Franz, Journal-Verlag Schwend, 1994 (appearing in several volumes) 1884/98 old type, 2 examples, blades of varying lenghts, original leather scabbards as before, and centre - M.1871/84, scabbard missing, I.R.31 M.84/98 old type, two examples: first one mismatched - 18.R.7.x? and scabbard: 63.R. 9. 35 Second: 16 R.3.134 - Inf.-Regt.16 3. Kompagnie, weapon no.134 R = Regiment, French styled R = Reserve-Regiment+ The original numbering has been officially deleted (always still legible) for a change of weapon number! 84/98 old type, one example with crown and Erfurt mark Both blades with W and (18)87, one with RC for Revisions-Commission 1898 Bayonet, long, 2 variations, 1st and 2nd type. They were withdrawn from active service around November 1914! Bayonet and scabbard are from two different regiments. Note damaged scabbard tip (eaten away by corrosion) 2nd type, heavily corroded and damaged scabbard tip has now been expertly restored using an original re-worked replacement part! Many thanks to Michael St., did a very good job. 2 examples M.1898/05, leather scabbard, dated 1914 and steel scabbard, 1915, first type with reduced ring lugs and without flashguard. I remember getting the 1914 example complete with frog and knot of 2.Kompanie from an antique dealer in Altona, Günther Lange, he told me had been with SS-Division Wiking and had been highly decorated 1898/05, older type with reduced ring lugs but with later steel scabbard, 1915 - without flashguard 1898/05 with dates, 1914, 1915 and 1916 M.98/05 with various makers M.98/05 with sawback, with flashguard and steel scabbard, 1916 M.84/98 new pattern with sawback and flashguard, undated, steel scabbard M.71/84 and 84/98 new pattern with flashguard and sawback with crowned Erfurt stamp. Both with very fine quality wooden grips 1884/98 new pattern with flashguard and sawback with makers mark: Gebr.Heller, Marienthal, crossguard stamped with number 1871/84 with maker mark: Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Cie., Solingen - crossguard stamped: 31.R.6.25 -Infanterie-Regt.31, 6. Komp., weapon number 25
  6. A good example of a Prussian M.1915 officer field cap, as worn by infantry or a specific cavalry regiment with red facings. This example was probably from a regiment or person with a somewhat higher status, the inside of the peak has a deep red finish, associated with Garde, staff or general officers. The cap was offered to me many years ago at an arms fair in the North of Germany, together with the wearer's spurs and shoulder pieces, unfortunately, I only went for the cap. This itself has a few slight moth holes, and some slight rust staining to the top. The liner is of a heavy embroidered silk material as normally used for household, curtains, etc., due to wartime shortages. The sweatband is of a good brown leather, with a deep red silk bow at the back. There is no maker's mark or details of the wearer, the silk liner has shredded in a couple of places, but minimal for age. The field grey top is of a rough field serge, the band and piping of fine red cloth. Both Reichs- and Prussian officer cockades to the front. The peak is of good vulcan fibre with a well kept black finish, inside red. The chinstrap is of black patent leather and easily adjustable. The cap looks as though it has been worn at the Front, and has been in contact with rain and weather.
  7. Garde-Ulanen Tschapka, fieldgrey - now transferred to main article "Pickelhaube", 23.01.2020
  8. 2. Hannoversches Ulanen-Regiment 14, Memorial Some shots taken of the memorial in Verden/Aller in early June 2004. The memorial is an equestrian statue in bronze of an Ulan of the 6th Regiment standing on a large sandstone plinth next to the old Cathedral in Verden. The memorial was erected in memory of those of the regiment who fell in the 1914-18 War.All round the plinthe are the names of the fallen, and the battles in which the regiment took part.
  9. Mecklenburg Belt Buckle An original example of a rare Mecklenburg belt buckle, M.95. This example has been somewhat corroded due to bad storage over the years, slightly cleaned, some staining and scratches, minor suface verdigris in smaller patches to rear. No makers mark, which was usually on the leather tab, which is no longer present. This pattern was worn by non-mounted troops of the state of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Mecklenburg-Strelitz had a different pattern without the star underlying the emblem, which was slightly larger. This pattern of buckle was worn by Grenadier-Regt.89 I./III. Btls., Füsilier-Regt.90, Jäger-Btl.14 and Feld-Art.-Regt.60. These buckles are now quite rare. Photo is not too good.
  10. German M.16 Steel Helmet This nice old helmet I acquired from a second hand shop in London on 12th September 1964 and it cost the princely sum of 40 shillings or 2 pounds. The dealer wanted originally "our price 45 bob", as they said in those days. I bargained a little, agreed on 2 pounds and left a deposit of ten shillings, and then started saving my pocket money like mad, and about one month later I paid the rest and was the pround young owner of a German Steel Helmet. At first I wondered a little at the curious shape and with the horns, but then after looking at many pictures, tv-documentaries about the Great War and WWII, I realised it was a WWI piece. Was still very proud of this old piece. The helmet in is very good condition, as fresh from the, possibly, Somme battlefields, just as brought back. Paintwork is astonishingly intact, just minor wear, the leather liner complete and fresh, just slighly wear stained. The original brass strap holders were still in place, no strap. Later learned that these straps were taken from the pickelhaube when the steel helmet was worn. The first steel helmets were left in the trenches when the troops were relieved, and these handed over to the newcomers. This helmet bears a stamp ET64 shell size 64, and produced by the Eisenhüttenwerk in Thale/Harz, one of the first manufacturers. Inside the shell is a small stamp: R/18, presumably Infanterie-Regt.18, which was based in Posen. The first steel helmets were issued for the assault on Verdun, but only in very small numbers, until gradually production capacities increased, so that most infantry had helmets by August-September 1916. The first steel helmet appeared in February 1916 in small numbers on the Verdun Front - 100 years ago
  11. Shortly after the US declaration of war in April of 1917 the US ordered around 400,000 helmets from the British for use by the American Expeditionary Force. While the US Manufacturers developed their own M1917 helmet and got production up to speed, very few of the M1917s made it to the Western Front before the Armistice. It was replaced by the M1917AI in the late 1930s - 1941 and the M1 helmet and liner was phased in 1941 - 1942.
  12. Here's a list of known makers of British WW1/WW2 helmets and Liner Markings. British Steel Suppliers of WW1 British Helmets. V = Vickers Ltd of Sheffield.......................1916 - 1917. MS= Miris Steel Co Ltd of London..............1916 - 1917. ( also produced helmets after Aug 1916 ). also used "MLS" marks. FS= Thomas Firth & Sons Ltd of Sheffield............1916 - 1918. ( also used "F" mark and most likely used "FKS" marks ).. O = Samuel Osborne & Co Ltd of Sheffield........1916 - 1918. A = Edgar Allen & Co Ltd of Sheffield ......1916 - 1918. M = J & J Maxfield & Sons Ltd Sheffield.1916 - 1918. B = Bury's & Co Ltd of Sheffield................1916 - 1918. BS= W.Beardmore & Co Ltd of Glasgow....1915 - 1919. HS= Hadfield Ltd of Sheffield......................1916 - 1919. Known Makers of WW1 British Helmets. D = James Dixon & Sons Ltd of Sheffield .............. 1915. V = W & E Viener Ltd of Sheffield.................. 1915. ( possibly used EV mark ). M = J&J Maxfield & Sons Ltd of Sheffield .......1915. ( possibly used "M&S" mark ). H = Hutton & Sons Ltd of Sheffield................. 1915. HH = Harrison Bros & Howson Ltd of Sheffield. 1915.. R = John Round & Sons Ltd of Sheffield. 1916. Other Makers not part of the Sheffield Munitions Committee Groups. Army & Navy Co-operative Society Sept 1915 to Jan 1916 ( Not Marked ). Joseph Sankey & Sons Ltd Oct 1915 to Oct 1916 ( No Marks Except Steel Suppliers Mark ). Bleriot Ltd May 1916 to Oct 1916 ( No Marks Except Steel Suppliers Mark ). Known Makers of WW2 British Helmets. AMC = Austin Motor Co Ltd Cowley. 1941. BMB = Briggs Motor Bodies Ltd of Dagenham. 1939 - 1945. BS = William Beardmore Steel Co of Glasgow. F & L= Fisher & Ludlow Ltd of Birmingham. 1939 - 1942. WD = William Dodson & Sons of Birmingham. 1938 - 1941 ( possibly also used "WDS" marks ). Helmets Ltd = Helmets Ltd of Wheathampstead. RO & CO = Rubery Owen & Co Ltd of Leeds. 1939 - 1943 ( Spelled as RO.CO or RO & CO ). JSS = Joseph Sankey & Sons Ltd Bilston . 1938 - 1941. Cs. = Clydesdale Stamping Co Ltd. Dudley. 1939 - 1940. ( used a letter S within a letter C mark ). HBH = Harrison Bros & Howson. Sheffield. 1938 - 1943. EC & CO = E Camelinat & Co Ltd Birmingham. 1939 - 1944. ( also used just EC mark ). SO = Samual Osborne & Co Ltd. Sheffield. SC = Steel Ceillings Ltd. Hayes. 1939 - 1940 EB = Eveson Bros of Worchester. 1939 - 1943 ( possibly also used "EBW" marks ). PPM = Patent Pulp Manufacturing Co Ltd Thetford. ( Tank Crew and Motorcycle Dispatch Helmets ). Known Makers of British Helmet Liners. BMB 1 = Briggs Motor Bodies Ltd of Dagenham.........1939 - 1945. BH & G = Barrow Hepburn & Gale Ltd. London...........1939 - 1940. FFL 2 = Fisher. Foil. Ltd.............................................1941 - 1945 Helmets Ltd 1 = Helmets Ltd of Wheathampstead.......1937 - 1943. Vero 2 = Everett.W.Vero & Co London.........................1937 - 1944. TTC 1 = Teddy Toy Co Ltd. Dagenham.......................1939 - 1943. also used TTC 2 mark. FFC 2 = ?. SNL 2 = S.E.Norris Ltd. Dagenham. ( also "N" Ltd 2 ).1940. JCS&W= J. Crompton Sons & Webb Ltd. London........1938 - 1943. CCL 2 = Christy & Co Ltd London................................1940 - 1945. LWL = Lane & Whittaker Ltd..........................................1940 G.& S = Gimson & Slater of Nottingham........................1943 F&L 1 = Fisher & Ludlow Ltd Birmingham.....................1939 - 1942 AG = A.Garstin & Co Ltd. LPC = ?..........................1941 PPM = Patent Pulp Manufacturing Co Ltd Thetford. J&AJB 2 = ?...................1941 E & R = ?.......................1941 W&LC= ?......................1941 F.H = Failsworth Hats Ltd Oldham. H & S = ?......................1941 Commonwealth Helmet & Liner Makers. Known Makers of Canadian WW2 Helmets. CL/C = Canadian Motor Lamp Co. of Windsor.............1940 - 1943 AG/C = Aluminium Goods Co. of Toronto....................1942 exclusively GSW = General Steel Wares. of Toronto.....................1940 - 1942 Known Makers of Canadian WW2 Liners. Baskstay Standard Co of Ontario. ( Also made chinstraps ). Viceroy Manufacturing Co of Toronto. ( C/Arrow 144 ) and VMC )...1940 - 1945 Scully Manufacturing Co of Montreal. Known Makers of Australian WW2 Helmets. CS. = Commonwealth Steel Co (Australia ). Waratah ( NSW ). John Heine & Son Ltd Sydney. Known Makers of Australian WW2 Liners. Dunlop. = Dunlop Rubber Co Ltd Sydney. ( Aust & NZ ) 1940 - 1945 Known Makers of South African WW2 Helmets. TSP = Transvaal Steel Pressing Syndicate Ltd Johnnesburg. Known Makers of South African WW2 Liners. Jager Rand.& ( mark- Broad Arrow inside Letter "U" )...1940 - 1942 Known Makers of New Zealand WW2 Helmets. NPZ marked commonly referred as made by New Zealand Pressings, but helmet shells imported from Australia made by CS and assembled by General Motors Petone Wellington.The helmet lugs were made by Precision Engineering Co they supplied only 40,000 to General Motors and had stamped them ( nPz 1941 ) this was the only consignment ever made by this firm. The liners were made by Dunlop Rubber Co Ltd. This list is on going if you know of any more please let us know.
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