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German World War II Police helmet(6/3/08) Pictured is a World War II German model 1934 Police helmet. The helmet has double decals on either side. One decal is the German Eagle with swaztica in silver and black and wreath of silver and black surrounded in black with a silver colored border representing the German nation.
German World War One Pilot’s helmet(4/22/08) During the First World War flight was in it’s infancy. Many people had only read about airplanes and the many new inventions relating to flight. New aviation inventions were develped by Germany, France Great Briton, Italy, Austria-Hungary Russia and the U.S. Airplanes at the begining of the war were used mainly for reconnaissance of the enemies supply lines and trench forifications.
Japanese Officer’s pack(3/26/08) At the start of World War II, equipment issued to troops by the Japanese Army typically was based on European designs. As the war progressed, material shortages became extreme and the Japanese took many measures to minimize the use of metal in any form. Metal features such as buckles on packs, helmets and other equipment were replaced by cloth or rubberized leather.
Italian World War II Chrome helmet(3/22/08) The Italian Army wore the French Adrian helmet during World War I, eventually producing its own version known as the Model 1916. All that changed after Benito Mussolini came to power in 1925.
French World War One combination coffee grinder and mess kit(3/4/08) During the First World War, the French soldier was required to carry great deal of equipment inside or attached to his field pack. The type of gear carried by an average soldier today has changed from the equipment carried 90+ years ago. The weight on the other hand has remained about the same at roughly 75 pounds.
British National Flag of World War II(2/5/08) There’s a mystery to this flag.
Here is what we do know. It is definitely the flag of Great Britain and that it is definitely of World War II vintage. It is truly a big flag measuring 50 x 70 inches or about 4′ to almost 6′. We know that it was made in Belgium and appears to be completely hand made using a standard home-based sewing machine, not a commercial one.
Concentration Camp Symbols of World War II(2/1/08) During the NAZI era of 1930-1940 Germany, the World War II era, the government created a state policy where ‘undesirable’ groups within Germany and any of its occupied territories were isolated from the general population. These groups were identified as Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, criminals, political prisoners, and emigrants.
SA Dagger Imposter(2/1/08) Curiously enough, this SA dagger came into the shop recently and only after careful examination after the fact revealed that in fact this official looking SA dagger was an imposter.
Here’s how I can now tell:
- the color of the handle and the scabbard should be brown, not black,
- the handle itself could be a reproduction and the scabbard changed to reflect the reproduction,
Goodbye to the Mess Kit(1/16/08) If it is true that an Army marches on its stomach, then the mess kit was the way the Army marches.
The examples of mess kits I have belong to World War I and the Vietnam Era. The first is heavy gauge steel and has some heft to it. Its design survived through the Second World War. The ‘chow’ was added unceremoniously into uncompartmented sections where everything eventually ran together.