Archive for the Odds & Ends Category

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.

Novelty Hitler Moustache

Posted in Propaganda Items, Toys with tags , , , on July 22, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesA little big of home-front propaganda. Probably American due to spelling. Late war and part of the dime store effort to make a penny while appearing to support the war effort.

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Luneberg War Crimes Trial Pass

Posted in Paper with tags , , , , , on March 18, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_FranceFlag_of_the_United_KingdomFlag_of_the_United_StatesFlag_of_CanadaFlag_of_the_NSDAP_(1920–1945).svgThe Luneberg Trials began on 17th September, 1945. Officially know as the “Trial of Josef Kramer and 44 others”, this was also known as the Belsen Trial. This is a day pass to that trial issued to Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Frederick Birchall of the 4th Dragoon Guards, for the 11th of October 1945. I also have an IMT day pass here. The trial resulter in Kramer and ten others swinging from a rope.

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Eisenhower June 6th order of the Day

Posted in Paper with tags , , , , , , on March 18, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomFlag_of_CanadaFlag_of_the_United_StatesFlag_of_FranceDrafted in February, 1944, this printed version of Eisenhower’s order of the Day for June 6th, 1944, was distributed to all 175,000 members of the Allied Expeditionary Force. This one came from the estate of a Birchall group I picked up. I have the President Roosevelt version here.

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German Ball Shrapnel from the Somme

Posted in Ammunition, Missiles & Projectiles, Odds & Ends with tags , , , , , on December 10, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_German_EmpireFlag_of_the_United_KingdomShrapnel and shell fragments accounted for a large proportion of those killed and wounded in WW1. Those blown into the ether by high explosive to one side, artillery accounted for around 70% of casualties. These six balls were recovered from the Thiepval Redoubt on the Somme and are German in origin. Thiepval was a slaughterhouse on the first day of the attack and, despite early success, took a savage pounding from German counter-fire.

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The Battle of Thiepval. The view looking toward Thiepval on morning of attack and showing German barrage. (IWM)

Burma Death Railway Spike

Posted in Odds & Ends with tags , , , , , , on November 18, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_ThailandFlag_of_Japan.svgFlag_of_AustraliaFlag_of_the_United_KingdomA couple of cool and evocative finds here from a contact in Thailand. These are Thai 1940 dated railway spikes from the ruined railway line that ran over 415 km from Thanbyuzayat in Burma to Ban Pong in Thailand. Many people know it only from it’s depiction in the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai” where it crosses the Mae Klong river. I visited the site and Hellfire Pass in 2014 and I cannot believe the misery under which the slave laborers, both civilian and Allied POW, must have worked and died. A digger over there walked sections of the rail line that were never reused after the war and retrieved these spikes.

Nuremberg IMT Trials Visitors Ticket

Posted in Paper with tags , , , , , , on June 18, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NSDAP_(1920–1945).svgFlag_of_the_United_StatesFlag_of_the_United_KingdomFlag_of_FranceFlag_of_the_Soviet_Union.svgInteresting bit of shyte here. This is a ticket for the visitors gallery for the 379th session of the Nuremburg Military Tribunal (NMT). This session falls within the 7th trial, the Hostages Trial, which ran from 8th July 1947 until 19th February 1948. The defendants were mostly higher commanders of the Wehrmacht accused of atrocities against civilians in the Balkans and Greece.

The ticket holder was a man named Constantine Brown who served in B-24’s in the USAAF until the end of the war when he was seconded to provide Greek-English language translation. He later served in the CIA and upon his return to the US became a policeman.

From his obituary… “BROWN–Constantine. 1927-2014. Constantine Brown passed away on October 22, 2014. His friends and family will miss his enthusiasm and active life style. In 1923, his parents and sister escaped from the forced exchange of Greek and Turkish populations, and came to New York City. He was born in Manhattan’s “Hell’s Kitchen” where his mother struggled to bring up her fatherless children while working at the Greek Orthodox church nearby. He enlisted in the New York State Guard when a teen-ager. During World War II, he joined the Air Force Cadet Program to become a flight engineer on B-24 bombers. His fluency with the Greek language was used by the C.I.A. When the war ended, he completed high school and earned a B.A. from Columbia University while working full-time with the New York City Housing Authority Police. From 1954, he rose through the ranks of the Housing Authority Police which merged with the New York City Police Department. He married Olga Boondas, a professor of social work at Columbia University. His beloved wife and daughter, Themis, pre-deceased him. Constantine was an active member of several organizations, including the Captains’ Endowment Association–NYPD, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Fraternal Order of Police, and St. Paul’s Society, NYPD. Olga and Constantine inaugurated the Themis Anastasia Brown Endowment Fund at the Morgan Library and Museum 21 years ago. He was in the process of instituting a chair for Classical and Byzantine Studies at Queens College in NYC, and provide support for the Orphanage under the aegis of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.”

Hitler Propaganda Postcard

Posted in Paper, Propaganda Items with tags , , , , on May 13, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesAnother simple bit of propaganda, mocking the Fuhrer. Looking at the material that propagandists used to attack the Germans, it focused mostly on Adolf Hitler. He was characterised as being a carpet biter, portrayed as a monkey or a rat or, as in this example, there was a toilet joke in there somewhere. This looks mid-war American, unofficial and designed for the home front. Let’s say it together, Fuck Hitler.

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Tippco Artillery Prime Mover

Posted in Toys with tags , , , on April 22, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NSDAP_(1920–1945).svgThis is another Tippco vehicle. This is intended to represent a half track prime mover, a vehicle intended to tow artillery. These were made between 1937 and 1942. Tippco struggled to get support/materials to continue manufacturing after the outbreak of war but they were well known pre-war for the quality and detail of their models. This example has chain rear tracks. It is missing a rear spare wheel and its key which sends me off to the internet to resolve. Update: found a key. Now just need the wheel. Updated Update: found the wheel. Shit I am awesome at Google.

German Propaganda Poster

Posted in Paper, Propaganda Items with tags , , , , on April 16, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NSDAP_(1920–1945).svgVery cool items here. This is a pair of medium sized posters I obtained from Henrik in Germany. He told me that a civil servant has retired who had found these in storage in the 70’s. Crisp edges, appropriate spotting, all as you would expect. The text translates to “One People, One Nation, One Leader”. The poster was printed by the offset printer Carl Werner of Reichenbach. By the way, fuck Hitler!

Slap A Jap Birthday Card

Posted in Paper, Propaganda Items with tags , , , on March 30, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesVisitors to this site will have noted, perhaps, my rather retro-racist love for WW2 anti-Japanese propaganda. A common theme to this kitsch is the invitation to “Slap Japs”. It was pretty widespread to use this kind of disparagement of the enemy to build morale on the homefront. This birthday card, dating from 1943, is an example of this theme. Other examples are here and here, oh and here and here.

End of the War Novelty Panties

Posted in Toys with tags , , , on January 28, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesIn the great tradition of “a serviceman and his backpay are soon parted” we bring you tiny novelty underwear. As the demobilisation of the US Forces got underway from September 1945 these troops, soldiers, sailors and airmen were shipped through a small number of West Coast ports on their way back through the system and ultimately home to civilian life. Along the way enterprising merchants attempted to siphon as much of the serviceman’s demob pay as possible and this little item is just one example of the methods they used. I find it kinda interesting because beyond the obvious puns being used here, it also plays to the fear of the cuckold and the “Dear John” letter that servicemen endured.

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Hang Hitler Propaganda Toy

Posted in Paper, Propaganda Items with tags , , , on November 24, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesMan this stuff just cracks me up. It’s a cardboard doll from, I would guess, the USA around 1943. The legs and one arm are articulated and if you hold the noose and pull the string, well Adolf just goes nutzi! Honestly, fuck Hitler.

Transport Container for Mod 40 Rifle Grenade

Posted in Grenades, Paper with tags , , , on April 10, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NSDAP_(1920–1945).svgThis rather boring little cardboard tube is intended for the German Mod 40 Rifle Grenade (Große Gewehrpanzergranate). This tube is not marked for a manufacturer, just for the model grenade it contains. The grenade can be found here.

Transport Container for Mod 30 Rifle Grenade

Posted in Grenades, Paper with tags , , , on April 10, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NSDAP_(1920–1945).svgThis is the transport container for the German Mod 30 (30mm) high explosive rifle grenade (Gewehrsprenggranate). My friend James is big into ordnance and insists on talking me into buying this stuff. The type-A in me agrees but I have to say that old cardboard gets right stinky. The grenade it held is here. The container is stamped COS 44 for Merz-Werke Metallwarenfabrik in Frankfurt.

Hitlers Will Novelty, Version 2

Posted in Paper, Propaganda Items with tags , , , , on March 18, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesThis is the second version of this novelty that I have. Content wise it is very similar to this one here. However there are minor differences, in the front and rear pages and small verbiage deltas. This one is not attributed to the Robbins Novelty Company but it is so similar that it’s either theirs or a knock-off.

The Producers 2005 Prop Ticket

Posted in Paper with tags , , , , on March 18, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesYeah I know this isn’t strictly war shit, but this is a prop from one of my favourite movies. This ticket is a prop handed to each of the extras who appeared in the St James Theatre location for the filming of the notorious “Springtime for Hitler” scene from Mel Brooks outstandingly acidic movie “The Producers”. I like this movie for three reasons, the casting (Will Ferrell is a mad man), the musical numbers (“Winter for Poland and France”) and finally, because fuck Hitler.

K43 Butt Kit Manual

Posted in Paper, Parts & Accessories with tags , , , , , on March 15, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NSDAP_(1920–1945).svgHere is a second manual for the K43 semi-automatic rifle. This one is in perfect condition so I won’t be rolling this up and stuffing it in the butt compartment. I have a rougher one that I will use for that here.

Hitler’s Will: The Novelty Version

Posted in Paper, Propaganda Items with tags , , , , on March 1, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesI love these home front items. They represent a great view into the social zeitgeist that existed or had to be manufactured in the middle of the largest war we have ever seen. They range in execution from the cheesy comedy to toxic racism. It really does show how hard they had to work to generate the hatred necessary for a democracy to defeat militarism. This particular one is a novelty representation of Adolf’s last testament. It was manufactured by the prolific D J Robbins Novelty Company of NY in 1943.

 

K43 Semi-Automatic Rifle Butt Manual

Posted in Paper, Parts & Accessories with tags , , , , , on February 26, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NSDAP_(1920–1945).svgIn the middle of a reassembling of my K43 shooter, I found this K43 manual designed to be rolled up and placed in the butt cavity (ooh err) along with the oiler and spare firing pin parts. These are hard to find in good condition because they just were not made to last. This one has suffered from exposure to gun oil, but it’s all there where it counts.

Canadian Press Photo – Panzerschreck

Posted in Paper with tags , , on February 21, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_CanadaPretty straightforward, a Canadian press photo of two Canadian soldiers inspecting a discarded Panzerschreck found in abandoned German positions in Europe, 1945.

Private R. Neel and Sergeant R.B. Swain of The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada examining a German bazooka anti-tank weapon found in an abandoned trench in Hochwald, Germany, 5 March 1945. Bell, Ken., Photographer

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Heel Hitler Propaganda Card

Posted in Paper, Propaganda Items with tags , , , , on February 18, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_StatesThis is a great example of the mid-war propaganda coming out of the U.S. home front. It’s a card designed to be mailed in the accompanying envelope. It uses a bit of misdirection in the delivery of the joke as initially you are led to believe that Hitler will be squashed under the heel of a boot. Instead he’s in the shitter and obviously not too happy about it. Made by the D J Robbins Novelty Company of NY in 1943. Charming.

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Advertisement for these novelty cards. These were intended as “ticket lifters” and sold through convenience stores and barbershops.

Japanese Surrender Documents

Posted in Paper with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_Japan.svgThis booklet, dating from 1946, is a facsimile of the surrender documents signed on the USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, on the 2nd September 1945. These were produced by the National Archives in the US for distribution to institutions and individuals in education. I have the German ones here.


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Hausser Flak 36 Tin Toy

Posted in Toys with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NSDAP_(1920–1945).svgThe Hausser toy company was a well known and prolific producer of tin military toys in Germany, both during and immediately after WW2. This example is the third type Hausser Flak 36, manufactured during the war and up until about 1950. This one is post-war as evidenced by its olive green paint job. The same model made during the war was painted in a drab grey. The earlier models varied in their paint schemes as well as the method of attachment for the transport dollies. In this example they are attached using a screw tensioner. The gun has a receptacle for a contact cap and a working trigger.

 

Panzerfaust Warhead Label

Posted in Paper, Parts & Accessories with tags , , , , , on November 21, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NSDAP_(1920–1945).svgThis is an original paper transfer used on the head of a Panzerfaust round to provide basic instructions on use in the field. Many users of this weapon were untrained levies of youth and older men, so it was felt that providing these instructions on each individual tube would assist in getting a consistent result from the firing of what could be an alarming (to the user) weapon.