Luftwaffe SD-50 Aerial Bomb

Posted in Bombs with tags , , , on September 20, 2021 by The Dude

Here’s something you don’t see every day. This is a German 50kg General Purpose bomb. I can understand why people don’t collect these things. It’s huge and its almost fallen over on my foot a couple of times. This is the third aerial bomb I have collected, after an SD-2 here and an incendiary BD that I haven’t posted yet. These things aren’t really my core focus but how many aerial bombs do you get offered?

A Rare Loader for the MP41 Machine-Pistol

Posted in Ammo & Magazine Pouches, Ammunition, Magazines, Parts & Accessories with tags , , , on April 3, 2021 by The Dude

A few years ago I picked up a Haenel manufactured MP41 Machine Pistol. These are pretty rare because they only made about 20,000 of them before Erma forced them to stop due to a copyright issue on the MP40 design. This is the magazine loader, also made by Haenel, for the MP41. Even more rare that the gun I would expect.

Commemorative Medal of the 1939-1945 War with Extreme Orient Bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , on April 3, 2021 by The Dude

This is a French medal awarded to all participants in recognised formations, fitted with a range of bars depending on the type and theatre of service. In this case the bar is “Extreme Orient” for operations (including in the Indian and Pacific oceans) between 7 December 1941 and 15 August 1945.

An ISM to a Birchall in the Post Office

Posted in Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on April 3, 2021 by The Dude

In my never ending quest for medals named to my surname I inevitably roll past non-military items. Like Masonic medals or in this case an Imperial Service Medal. This one is named to Evelyn Gertrude Maud Burchell, a telephonist in the GPO. She was gazetted in February 1946.

Commemorative Medal of the 1939-1945 War with Mer Du Nord Bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , on February 14, 2021 by The Dude

This is a French medal awarded to all participants in recognised formations, fitted with a range of bars depending on the type and theatre of service. In this case the bar is “Mer Du Nord” for Naval Operations in the North Sea between September 3rd 1939 and May 8th 1945.

Commemorative Medal of the 1939-1945 War with Mediterranee Bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , on February 14, 2021 by The Dude

This is a French medal awarded to all participants in recognised formations, fitted with a range of bars depending on the type and theatre of service. In this case the bar is “Mediterranee” for Naval Operations in the Mediterranean between September 3rd 1939 and May 8th 1945.

Commemorative Medal of the 1939-1945 War with Manche Bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , on February 14, 2021 by The Dude

This is a French medal awarded to all participants in recognised formations, fitted with a range of bars depending on the type and theatre of service. In this case the bar is “Mache” for naval Operations in the English Channel between September 3rd 1939 and May 8th 1945.

Occupation Made Czech VZ24

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , , , , on February 14, 2021 by The Dude

This rifle, a VZ24 manufactured by Brno in 1940, is a great example of a German issue G24(t). It’s fully matching down to the stock. Still has all of its dirty birds intact. The only downer is that fact that Bubba has sanded the stock lightly at some point. Shame, but since these are terrifically hard to get in Canada in any state, I am prepared to ignore this. This brings me one step closer to having a full collection of German long guns. The ones I have missing at a G29/40 Radom and a G41(m).

Spanish M1941 Bolo Bayonet

Posted in Bayonets with tags , , on January 28, 2021 by The Dude

After picking up the M43 Mauser below I went looking for the correct bayonet for it. Interestingly the M43 has two bayonet lugs on it, one that will fit the standard M36 and M43 Spanish bayonet and the other to fit the M41 Bolo bayonet. I found a nice M41 matching to the sheath and bayonet and marked for the Fábrica de armas de Toledo factory.

Spanish M43 La Coruña Mauser

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , on January 21, 2021 by The Dude

In 1941 the decision was made by Franco’s regime to replace the 1898 M98 Mauser in 7×57 with a variant of the German K98k in 7.92×57. This resulted in the M43 Mauser which remained in service until the late 1950’s. These got imported in bulk into Canada about ten years ago and I felt the urge to own one grow as the supply of Axis weapons started to dry up. Here’s where I have ended up, an Army marked M43, all matching and in generally excellent condition.

A Postcard from France

Posted in Paper with tags , , on January 21, 2021 by The Dude

When the British soldiers reached France in 1914 & 15 many of them sent these embroidered postcards home to their family and friends. Usually pretty bland in content they are a very period specific bit of tourist kitsch.

This one is from a Henry Birchall to his sister “E” in Southport in Lancashire. It reads…

Dear Sister
I am pleased to hear that your Father Mother is keeping in good health. they will think I have forgot them because I have not wrote to them for a long time. I will … them a line just to let them no that I have not forgot them. So good by, till we meet again.

Yugoslav M24 Mauser Infantry Rifle

Posted in Firearms with tags , , on January 18, 2021 by The Dude

This M24 Mauser came to me untouched from it’s journey post-1945 and complete including matching serials, King Peter II cartouche and original sling mounts.

With the First World War over, the newly formed country of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later known as Yugoslavia) decided they wanted a standardized rifle for their front line troops. After a brief trials, they came up with an almost exact copy of Germany’s K98k rifle – the biggest difference being that the action was 1/8 inch shorter than Germany’s standard infantry rifle. The first 100,000 rifles came from FN, and the remaining examples (which were produced through WWII) were built at the Yugoslavian national armory. There were three main configurations of this rifle: two carbines and one rifle.

This example is marked BOJHOTEX.ЗАВОД – Крагујевцу (Military Technical Institute 1932-1941) on the sidewall indicating a Yugoslav arsenal origin.

German Contract G98/40 Infantry Rifle

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , , on January 17, 2021 by The Dude

Here’s an uncommon rifle I just picked up. These German contract guns were made by Fémáru Fegyver és Gépgyár, Budapest, which company possibly subcontracted some or all of the work to Danuvia Gépgyár, Budapest 1941-44. In 1940 the Mannlicher Model 35 was redesigned for the German contract. Based on German request the caliber was changed to 7.92x57mm Mauser, the bolt handle was turned down, a staggered row Mauser-type box magazine flush with the bottom of the stock was fitted and German M98-type bands and bayonet lug were used on this rifle. All steel parts, including the bolt were blued.

I haven’t been able to work out why the reference to Gewehr 98 in it’s name as it shares no dna with that rifle. Note the 2 part lower stock in the same style as the Enfield SMLE rifles.

An Orphan for a Birchall MM Winner

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on January 14, 2021 by The Dude

When I find a Birchall impressed medal out there on the Intertubes I am always pretty stoked. Sometimes it’s an orphan, a medal that has been split from its group. This one is particularly poignant as it belonged to a Military Medal winner, 685885 GNR J.Birchall, RA. James Birchall was gazetted for the Military Medal on the 4th of February 1918. I also found him listed as wounded on the War office casualty lists for July 9th 1918.

Italian Carcano Ammunition Pouches

Posted in Ammo & Magazine Pouches with tags , , on October 18, 2020 by The Dude

A pretty simple little bit of kit, these are a pair of green Italian made leather ammunition pouches for the Carcano infantry carbine. These date from pre-1943.

A Birchall with a career in the Postwar BAOR

Posted in 1945 + Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on October 18, 2020 by The Dude

This QEII Long Service/Good Conduct medal was awarded in 1962 to Staff Sergeant J.R. Burchell, 22221209 of the 3rd Battalion, East Anglian Regiment. Looking for him on the intertubes I find him listed as C/Sgt in 3/East Anglian in 1965 and assigned to the Regimental Depot.

2 cm Flak 30/38/Flakvierling Magazine

Posted in Magazines with tags , , , , on August 5, 2020 by The Dude

This is the 10 round magazine for the 20mm Flak 30/38 anti-aircraft gun. These were blued steel and supplied in cases of two. This example is stamped cjs for the manufacturer Kallenbach, Meyer & Franke Metallwarenfabrik in Luckenwalde. It is dated 1943. Amusingly Canadian regulations require all magazines for “rifles” to be pinned for 5 rounds as this helpfully has been. For scale I have put one of the mags for my K43 rifle in the photo.

2 cm Flak 30/38/Flakvierling HE round

Posted in Ammunition with tags , , , , on August 5, 2020 by The Dude

A fairly straightforward item here. I got this from Andrew so that I would have one round for the magazine I bought from him. This is an HE 20mm round for the 2 cm Flak 30/38/Flakvierling. It has the asr code for “HAK” Hanseatisches Kettenwerk in Hamburg-Langenhorn as well as the WaA271 inspection stamp for that factory.

A Birchall killed on the 1st Day of the Somme

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on August 5, 2020 by The Dude

A sad little orphan 1914-15 Star. Impressed to Private William Burchell, 17691, of the Royal Berkshire Regiment. William entered France on the 15th of October 1915 and was killed in action on the 1st of July at Thiepval on the Somme. I have some German ball shrapnel from the same area. Thiepval was an abattoir on that day although the Berkshires reached their objectives on schedule. William was 33 on the day he was killed. He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial. Coincidentally a Sergeant in the Lancashire Regt named identically was also killed at Thiepval on the same day.

Italian Breda M37 HMG

Posted in Firearms with tags , , on May 10, 2020 by The Dude

This heavy machine gun appeared out of nowhere this last month. It’s manufactured by Breda in 1939. It all matches however the barrel has a 1938 roll date so I am assuming they dated the major parts upon manufacture and then assembled them later. It’s a dewat obviously but a nice one, with a moving bolt and a topcover that lifts to reveal the guts of the gun. A great back drop to my Carcanos!

Italian M91/38 Carcano Cavalry Carbine

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , on March 14, 2020 by The Dude

Just when I thought I was done with Carcano’s I get a call from Sean, who has scavenged up this interesting little variant, the M91/38 Cavalry Carbine (Moschetto Modello Cavalleria).

Chambered in 6.5×52, and equipped with a permanently affixed long spike bayonet, it was intended for the use of horse cavalry units and fitted into a leather saddle scabbard.

Interestingly the setup with the bayonet is almost identical to the Japanese Type 44 Cavalry carbine. I expect that designers kept an eye on what each other were producing and stole ideas that appealed to them. The gun is manufactured by Terni. Interesting that the barrel is proofed 36-XIV, meaning it was manufactured in 1936, the 14th year of Mussolini’s rule.

Japanese Type 4 Ceramic Grenade

Posted in Grenades with tags , , on March 2, 2020 by The Dude

The late war and rather desperate innovation of the Type 4 hand grenade. These grenades were invented in late 1944 in response to Japan’s collapsing raw material supplies. The US submarine and air blockade had run the Japs out of steel at this point. The weapon is pretty simple, a ceramic or porcelain vase shape, with a crimped 5 second detonator made from a blasting cap. These were handed out to all the home defence organizations as well as to troops out in the inner chain of islands like Iwo Jima and Saipan. The style varies a lot because it was left to the individual pottery to decide.

An M91/28 Carcano Reissued by the Jerries

Posted in Firearms with tags , , on February 23, 2020 by The Dude

My friend Andrew bought this rifle only a couple of months ago. I wondered if he was drunk, since he doesn’t collect rifles that aren’t a K98. I knew, if I was patient, I’d end up owning it. And here you go! This Carcano M91/28 (Moschetto Modello Mod. 91/28) in 6.5×52 shows stock markings indicated that it was issued to the Italian Navy. Markings on the stock and receiver, including the dirty bird, plus the blued bolt, indicate it was captured by the Germans, inspected and reissued. This completes my Carcano group as I have a 91/41 Carcano here and a 91/38 here.

Man it’s great having a picker like Andrew :)

A Czech VZ-23 in German use

Posted in Firearms with tags , , on February 23, 2020 by The Dude

Here is an pretty rare rifle, the Czech VZ-23 Mauser, produced by Brno. The rifle was manufactured using a German Karabiner 98AZ base, resulting in a 550mm long barrel. The newly independent Czech arms industry only made these for a short period before moving on to the improved VZ-24. Signs of German reuse in WW2 include a stamping on the receiver under the wood-line and the blued bolt.

An Embroidered Postcard from France

Posted in Paper with tags , , on February 23, 2020 by The Dude

These postcards were very popular, especially with the British troops, during WW1. This particular one has a personal connection being sent by a soldier with the surname of Birchall.

“With my best wishes to you and all in Garston. Yours with kind regards, L. Cpl J. Birchall.”

It is sent to a Nellie Tomas in Garston. Likely one I found in Garston on Ancestry, born in 1900. No sign of a marriage tho so Romeo was unsuccessful.