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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

WWI German Photo


P.B.

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This studio photo was taken in Flanders in 1918. Both infantrymen are wearing the M1915 Bluse and have been decorated with the Iron Cross second class, but there are also two fairly uncommon items being worn....:

post-23-1109114419.jpg

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The seated Gefreiter is wearing the MG-Scharfschutzen armbadge awarded to members of specialist machine-gun marksman detatchments. This appears to be a "thick-legged" version (the sled mount of the MG depicted on the badge having chunky front legs) which appears to be characteristic of badges produced by the firm of Juncker:

post-23-1109114616.jpg

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...whilst the standing soldier is wearing the Prussian version of the special belt buckle issued to telegraphers (see the old "Iron Cross 1914" thread for a stunning original example in Chip Minx's collection).

Two rare items in the same photo! Not a bad catch from eBay...

All the best

Paul.

post-23-1109114816.jpg

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PB.. you have the picture or the items... or both? Do you know who these soldiers are, and any other background about them personally? This is interesting. Andy

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Landsturm and Andy

Thanks for the replies. The photo is mine, but unfortunately there is nothing to indicate either the names of the soldiers or the unit they were serving in.

As for original items, I don't yet have a telegrapher's belt buckle -these have been fairly heavily faked for many years, and I'll have to do a lot more research before I'm confident about making a purchase of one of these.

I do have an original example of the MG-Scharfschutzen armbadge. These were made by a variety of firms -Juncker and Falkenberg and Richter being two who stamped their details on the backing plate- but mine features (as was common) an unmarked backing plate. Note the fact that of the front legs, the nearest one is slightly thicker, and also the reletively small gaps in the details of the trail part of the sled-mount:

post-23-1109250087.jpg

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The rear, showing the unmarked backing plate:

post-23-1109250166.jpg

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Another shot showing the badge being worn on the M1915 Bluse by a landsturm soldier:

post-23-1109250302.jpg

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Finally, a close-up of the above badge:

post-23-1109250354.jpg

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Paul,

I did not know if you had noticed, but there is an interesting detail in your second picture. The Saxon Landsturmmann is wearing removable shoulder straps on a M15 Bluse. It is hard to tell from the picture, but they appear to be piped as well. Landsturm infantry shoulder straps should be made of blue "Gurtband" material with no piping. These straps have been "customized" by the addition of tongues.

Seeing this photo, one might get the false impression that the Schlaufe (cloth loops) on the shoulder of the Bluse were there for attaching a removable shoulder strap. I have never seen an issue M15 strap with a tongue that was original to it. I do have M15 straps that have tongues, but they are either totally private purchase pieces or issue examples with the tongues added-on later, as these in your picture must have been.

Can you blow up the shoulder strap of the seated man on the right in your first photo? It looks like the regimental number might be legible.

Regards,

Chip

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The seated Gefreiter is wearing the MG-Scharfschutzen armbadge awarded to members of specialist machine-gun marksman detatchments. This appears to be a "thick-legged" version (the sled mount of the MG depicted on the badge having chunky front legs) which appears to be characteristic of badges produced by the firm of Juncker:

Attached is an image of an example of the "thick-legged" version. It is not in as good condition as the one above but it is an example. It does not scan well, and the rear even less so. Unfortunately the high points have been rubbed and a lot of the gold colour is missing, the metal has oxidised but the thickness of the front legs should be clear enough. The rear is marked 'C. E. JUNCKER BERLIN ALTE --unreadable--'(JACOBSTR13 ?)

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Grant

Many thanks for showing your MG-Scharfschutzen badge -the condition may not be mint, but it does appear to 100% original. Personally, I'll take originality over condition any day of the week, and this is a very nice example.

Chip

Interesting points about the shoulder straps being worn in both pictures. To begin with Photo 1, I've attached an enlargement of the seated soldier's shoulder board -looks like a number 17 (or perhaps a 12):

post-23-1109335585.jpg

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The point about the shoulder straps worn in the second photo is indeed an interesting one, and I concur with all of your observations. The only other photo I've seen which appears to show the tongue and loop method of attachment being used on the M1915 Bluse is this one, taken of "Three dejected-looking boches" captured at Vampire Farm during the Battle of the Menin Road in 1917:

post-23-1109335833.jpg

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However, in close-up it is possible that the straps have been sewn to the shoulder seam, and that they are merely lying over the loops:

post-23-1109335929.jpg

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Whenever I've seen cloth loops attached to the bluse, I've always believed that their purpose was to enable the straps to be rolled back as a field security measure. This a bluse in my own collection, showing the straps sewn onto the shoulder seam (Bavarian bluses tend to have them sewn into the seam), but passing under the loops:

post-23-1109336671.jpg

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Perhaps a slightly better angle:

post-23-1109337481.jpg

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