Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas with the British Tank Crew in Holland

Christmas with the British Liberation Army in Holland, November 1944: A tank crew of the 4th Battalion, the Royal Tank Regiment, 4th Armoured Division, unpack a Christmas parcel near Weert in Holland. The crew - who are shown with their camouflaged tank looking like a 'travelling Christmas tree' - had been together for three years. They had seen action in Libya and Italy before coming to Holland. Left to right: Trooper R Buckley; Trooper J Round; and Sergeant H Kirk. The picture was taken by Captain E.G. Malindine from No. 5 Army Film and Photographic Unit.

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General George C. Marshall Visits Italian Front

Vallecchia, Viareggio, Italy, April 1945. Colonel Raymond G. Sherman, of the 370th Combat Team of the 92nd Division, leads General of the Army George C. Marshall on a tour of inspection. Sherman wearing an M1 helmet and US officer's raincoat (officer's field overcoat), while Marshall with the British (or civil) gabardine. Behind Marshall is General Lucian King Truscott Jr., with another of these raincoats. Marshall seems to really wear a civilian raincoat!

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Benito Mussolini Visits Tobruk in 1942

In the summer of 1942, Il Duce Benito Mussolini (marked with arrow) visits Tobruk, Libya, not long after its recaptured from the Commonwealth forces by "The Desert Fox" Erwin Rommel. In this picture, Mussolini is surrounded by his officers: the first officer from left is Vice Admiral Giuseppe Lombardi (Superior Naval Commander in Libya, with headquarters in Tobruk), then another Admiral (or maybe an Air force general). The third and fourth is Army generals. Mussolini himself have the peculiar rank insigna of Primo Maresciallo dell' Impero (a rank only for him and the King). The two officers at far right were Germans, from left to right: General der Infanterie Enno von Rintelen (Bevollmächtigten Deutschen General beim Hauptquartier der italienischen Wehrmacht) and Oberst Hans Hecker (Pionierführer Panzerarmee Afrika). Look at the ribbon bar (italian decorations), the Spange zum Eisernes Kreuz I.Klasse, and Kriegsverdienstkreuz I.Klasse mit Schwertern in Rintelen's uniform, while Hecker (a Ritterkreuzträger) wearing Spange zum Eisernes Kreuz I.Klasse, Verwundetenabzeichen in Silber, and Allgemeines-Sturmabzeichen.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Kreisleiter Ernst Wagner of Königsberg

Original color photo of Kreisleiter Ernst Wagner from Königsberg, who was very active in the defence of the city in the last months of the war. He wore a Kreisleiter bracelet and cap, mixed with Army Splitter-pattern camo, Kreisleiter armband, and NSDAP brown pants. This is obviously a custom tunic, but interesting to note that in this color picture, he is wearing a standard Kreis visor and armband - sort of negates the purpose of camo!

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Canadian Engineer Deactivated German Mine

Italy 1943. Canadian engineer sergeant of the 1st Infantry Division deactivating a German mine. In the divisional red patch it carries the letters R C E (Royal Corps Engineers). He wears a German pith helmet (tropenhelm or tropical helmet) of the type used by the Afrikakorps, to which he has added a Canadian engineers badge.

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Friday, December 7, 2018

SS Officer Wearing Army Eagle

Russia 1941. An unidentified SS-Hauptsturmführer from SS-Totenkopf-Division (motorisiert), wearing Heer Adler (eagle) in his crusher cap, usually to distinguished the wearer as one of the participants of the first military training of the Waffen-SS by the Heer officers. From his red waffenfarbe, we know that this officer - who wore a ledermantel (leather jacket) - comes from artillery unit, the same thing with all other Army officers behind him. Too bad there is no information whatsoever about his identity or his unit.

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Canadian Sergeant with German Medals

To the victor go the spoils: Sergeant Gerard Alderic Durocher - of Canadian Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal - displaying twenty-nine German medals which he acquired as souvenirs. The picture was taken by photographer Michael M. Dean at Schmargendorf , Berlin, Germany, on 19 July 1945. The "booty" aside, Sergeant Durocher wears two wound stripes and the ribbon for the Military Medal (MM) for Gallantry in the field. A .pdf of the original citation can be found HERE. Possibly another case on Montgomery downgrading an award, in this instance from the Distinguished Conduct Medal to an MM.

For the identification of the medals:
1. Ritterkreuz des Kriegsverdienstkreuz mit Schwertern
2. Tapferkeits- und Verdienstauszeichnung für Angehörige der Ostvölker 1. Klasse in Silber
3. Tapferkeits- und Verdienstauszeichnung für Angehörige der Ostvölker 1. Klasse in Gold
4. SS-Dienstauszeichnung 1. Stufe (25 years)
5. SS-Dienstauszeichnung 2. Stufe (12 years)
6. Treudienst-Ehrenzeichen 1. Stufe (40 years)
7. Treudienst-Ehrenzeichen 2. Stufe (25 years)
8. Kriegsverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse ohne Schwerter
9. Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse
10. Kriegsverdienstkreuz 2. Klasse ohne Schwerter
11. Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer
12. Kriegsverdienstmedaille
13. Treudienst-Ehrenzeichen Sonderstufe (50 years)
14. Dienstauszeichnung der NSDAP 1. Stufe (10 years)
15. SS-Dienstausteichnung 3. Stufe (8 years)
16. Dienstauszeichnung für den Reichsarbeitsdienst 4. Stufe (4 years)
17. Schutzwall-Ehrenzeichen
18. Erinnerungsmedaille für die spanischen Freiwilligen im Kampf gegen den Bolschewismus
19. Tapferkeits- und Verdienstauszeichnung für Angehörige der Ostvölker 2. Klasse in Silber mit Schwertern
20. Medaille Winterschlacht im Osten 1941/42 (Ostmedaille)
21. Olympia-Erinnerungsmedaille
22. two Mutterkreuze

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