Archive for the Odds & Ends Category

WW2 War Gas Detection Kit

Posted in Gas Masks with tags , , on March 24, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomNeat little item from the UK. This personal kit was issued to Army and Airforce troops and was used in conjunction with an air sampling pump. This one has a mix of dates, 1943 and 1944. Luckily for everyone involved the Germans did not use war gases on Western troops. I have another kit along the same lines, although that one is a training kit, here.

From the Imperial War Museum is the following description… “Tin, instructions, carded thread, utility pencil, yellow tube (2 parts) containing 22 plastic rods, blue tube (2 parts) containing 15 plastic rods, yellow tin (2 parts) containing 2 packets of circular paper pads, blue tin (2 parts) containing 4 packets of circular paper pads, glass tube containing granules and stoppered with cotton wool held in cardboard tube and metal ring. Rectangular tin with hinged lid and DETECTOR, VAPOUR, POCKET, MKII inscribed on the top of the lid in black, the tin is painted a dark yellow colour, inside the lid is an inscription entitled MUSTARD GAS VAPOUR, the inside of the tin is separated into four main compartments where the tin’s contents are contained including: instructions attached to tin by a length of string, carded white thread, utility pencil, yellow tube (2 parts) containing 22 yellow plastic rods, blue tube (2 parts) containing 15 clear plastic rods, yellow tin (2 parts) containing 2 packets of circular paper pink pads, blue tin (2 parts) containing 4 packets

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.

rsz_luneberg1

Eisenhower Jume 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.

rsz_d-day-eisenhower1.png

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.

rsz_1shrapnel

thiepval

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.

War Gas Smelling Kit

Posted in Gas Masks with tags , , , , on September 19, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomFlag_of_CanadaAfter the experience of WW1 gas use, there was a huge effort in equipping and educating military and civilians on protection from so-called “war gas”. Aside from the near universal provision of gas masks, there were also these gas samplers issued so that during training the trainee could get a first hand experience of what the gases actually smelled like. Interestingly each of the four bottles contained a sample of the actual chemical. Some sources say that the sample was simply a similar harmless chemical that mimicked the smell. But from the training guides it is clear that these did, in fact, contain mustard gas, phosgene, etc. A cautious sniff? Yeah bugger that.

This example was manufactured in Canada for the Department of Munitions & Supply by the Gelatin Products Company of Windsor, Ontario.

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.”