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Gentleman's Military Interest Club


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Everything posted by dksck

  1. First, please forgive me for bothering all of you will such a trivial matter,, but I don't know where else to turn. Just last month I was doing some on-line research into the German infantrie in the Battle of Sambre. I found a website with an English langauge translation of "Cours d'histoire militaire. La 5e armée française sur la Sambre : du 21 au 23 août 1914 / Lieutenant-Colonel Lestien," http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en/europeana/record/9200140/BibliographicResource_3000073965996 I remember that it was a type-script copy and the bibliographic citation from the title page, which I copied word for word in the false belief that it would be enough to find it again, was: "Lt. Col. Lestien, Higher School of War. Military History Course. The 5th French Army on the Sambre: From 21 to 23 August 1914, Defense Historical Service, 2013-294531, Bibliothèque nationale de France, April 11, 2013." Evidently Lt. Col. Lestien was an instructor at the French "Higher School of War" and had poured over the original French documents at great length. I was excited to find it because my French is non-existant and here was a source that offered enough detail to allow me to compare German accounts of the battle with French accounts in detail, in some cases minute by minute. For example, I cited one passage that recounted the conflict between Gen. Verrier and Gen Sauret over responsibility for the Aiseau/Presles area and another passage that mentioned a French artillery barrage on "the Bellemotte farm." Now I can't find the English language version of this course. I've tried hundreds of google and bing searches on countless combinations of key words to no avail. Any and all assistance would be greatly appreciated. Most gratefully yours -- Steve
  2. Am I correct in my understanding that there was no IR 243, but only a RIR 243? If something is marked "II/243", does that mean 2nd Battalion/ RIR 243? Your thoughts and explanations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
  3. Please try to forgive my very, very limited abilities when it comes to the German language. I can make it through most things, at least with a vague understanding in most cases, but I keep encountering this phrase -- "Strich-Dauerfeuer' -- with regard to German machinegun fire and don't really understand what it means. I can quess that 'Dauer' means something about duration, and the context usually suggests 'Strich' means something in the way of a 'dash' or short, brief or burst of fire. But that is all just a guess. I would appreciate a more meaningful, accurate definition. Thank you!
  4. Thank you for the answers. I just can't seem to understand the organization of the Army. I have a few of the books that people have recommended -- Cron, etc. -- I even managed to get a copy of the relatively new book by Kelso, Under Arms for the Kaiser (almost sounds like deoderant but really deals with schulterklappen) -- but I just can't find any good explanation for lots of things. I realize that part of the reason is that the organizational structure changed over time, but even the basic issues/questions seem to lack explanations. I think it's interesting that in the midst of what many folks would consider to be crisis and turmoil, German command decided it was a good idea to tinker almost continuously with issues like this. When and why did they (whoever "they" are) decide to assign the 200 series regiments to Reserve units? And then when and why did they stop that practice. Similarly, when, where, and how were the reserve regiments and landwehr regiments formed and put in the field, and what was the relation, if any to the original regiment. Thank you again for your help. All additional information or suggestions for my reading/library are greatly appreciated.
  5. Many of us in the U.S. face a similar but slightly different problem, particularly with firearms. There are two parts to the problem, but they are inter-related. The first part of the problem is that prices are spiraling upward based on bad information found on the internet. Here in the U.S. it often begins like this: a dealer finds an item, maybe at an estate sale, cleans it up a little and then goes to the internet to find out the price of a similar one that recently sold. Well, let's say he finds one that "sold" for $2000.00. The dealer interprets this to mean that if he prices his at $2500.00, he's being "reasonable. The problem at this point is that the information he found on-line isn't necessarily real. Yea, the one he found is listed as being "sold" for $2000.00, but in reality the guy ended up bidding up his own item. A couple of months or weeks later, you'll find the same guy with the same item, but in the meantime lots of folks "use" this information to price their own items. At the same time, buyers see that this item recently sold for $2000.00 and he/she has always wanted one, so when another one comes up for $2500.00 it seems reasonable and he/she buys it. Well, that simply pushes up the prices higher and higher. The result is that prices simply spiral upward out of reason or rationality. The second part of the problem involves the big dealers who can lay out the kind of money that Mr. Rauch and Mr. Weitze exchanged at the beginning of this thread. The situation often goes something like this: An auction of some prominent collector is announced by an auction house. The auction house lists the items on line and maybe even prints up a fancy color catalogue. The day comes and collectors and small dealers show up from around the county. When the bidding starts, however, it quickly becomes apparent that there is one or two "on-line" and/or telephone bidders who are buying everything, often paying 2, 3, 4 or even 5 times what the same item is currently selling for. All of the collectors and most of the dealers are priced out of acquiring anything. Occasionally the auctioneer will toss a bone to one of his friends by cutting off the bidding, but other than rare instances like that, most of us are there only to serve as "shill bidders", driving up the prices for the auctioneer. At three auctions in the past six months several collectors and small dealers have confronted auctioneers after the events about this issue. In once case, the auctioneer threatened to have the disgruntled bidders "removed" and basically told them not to come back. Now, these are folks who had spent thousands of dollars just in travel to attend this auction and in the past had purchased tens of thousands of dollars of items at this guy's auctions. In the case of another auction, the folks in the audience who had been shut out of purchasing everything discovered that the "phone bidder" who purchased the vast majority of the items was really in the back room of the auction house and was permitted to bid anonymously because he knew if people knew he wanted the item, they would just bid it up. Well, he ended up with most of the lots anyway, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars (probably more than a million) and paying more than any of the other collectors and dealers were willing to pay. When confronted about this, the guy became real smug and said whatever the price he pays might be, it's always "wholesale," because he has a lengthy list of "stupid customers" who will buy anything he puts through his shop. He went on to explain that these "stupid customers" really didn't care about the item or the history involved; they either simply wanted something to hang on the wall and brag about to their friends or were "dot-com" millionaires who were buying these things as "investments" -- on his advice of course. Well, thanks for letting me rant. I don't know what I'm going to do. Some collectors and small dealers call it a "bubble" and think that it won't last. All that I know is that items which I was able to purchase a year or two ago for $500 are now $1500 to $2000 and items that I purchased six months ago for $2000 now have a starting price for $4000 to $5000.
  6. I don't have much to add, but I'll be watching for future posts on your efforts. I have a luger from IR 139 and look forward to learning more.
  7. I was looking through on-line sources to find information about 2. Bayern Artillerie Regiment in the 1870s and keep finding the word "Brodeffer" or "Brodesser". Unfortunately, I can't find a definition for the word anywhere. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  8. Thanks guys! Sometimes I can't find the forest for the trees. I had found the stuff on Wiki and some other sites, but when I was looking over all the on-line sources such as the Regierungsblatt, I was finding this kind of stuff: https://books.google.com/books?id=K-pTAAAAcAAJ&pg=PR48-IA58&dq=Brodeffer&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi9u5yG4rTJAhVD4SYKHcvUCcEQ6AEIHzAA#v=onepage&q=Brodeffer&f=false Rather than the name of the Regiment, I somehow came to the conclusion that it must be some sort of rank in the Regiment or a duty position related to the laying of the guns. Thank you again.
  9. Let be begin by apologizing for not having any pictures. I have a 1912 Erfurt luger marked "B.S.A.9" There is no second date and there is no sear safety or any other indications of police use. I've looked through the book by Gortz and Bryans and a couple of other source, but have not been able to identify the unit with any degree of confidence. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  10. Thank you so much. I have been trying to figure this out for months now. You mention Gortz, p. 109. I have looked through my copy of German Small Arms Markings, and the big book on lugers but can't find anything relative on page 109. I have not been able to find a copy of his Handbuch Deutscher Waffenstempel here in the US so I could not judge whether it would be a valuable addition to my library. I also believe there were at least a couple of different versions of the big luger book. Which book or edition do I need to add to my collection so that I can see page 109? Finally, Mr. Noll, I've heard and read about your books for years but have never been able to find one or even see one. Is there any possibility that you will be making a new edition or version available? Thank you all again for everything. Most Gratefully Yours Steve
  11. I am trying to restore some lugers and have pretty much exhausted the search for parts in the US. Can any one point me toward sources of parts for lugers in the UK or Germany? Thanks
  12. My bad photography and my worse computer skills mean that this may not work, but I thought someone might like to see them. Thanks
  13. I have a friend who has a Mauser 1871/84 with a unit mark that I promised to identify for him. I pretty sure of the the unit, but since I am very much an amateur at this, I was hoping that others could identify the mark. Unfortunately, I have not been able to obtain a photo. The mark on the the top tang of the buttplate is: G.R.J. 3.109 The rifle has no other unit marks, nothing has been crossed out or cancelled and there are are no import marks. Thanks for your time and attention, but most importantly, thank you for your knowledge and support.
  14. Thank you for the information. I was thinking Garde Reseve, but I really wasn't certain what specific unit of the Garde Reserve. I am still a little confused. In looking at various sources, I see references to three different units and don't understand if they are all the same unit just called something else or are they different? Could you explain the differences so that I can understand? What is the difference among: Garde-Reserve Infanterie Regiment Nr. 1 Garde-Reserve Jager Batallion Garde-Reserve Schutzen Batallion Thank you for all of your help.
  15. For several years now, I've owned a luger that had a Weimar army unit stamp on the front strap. Recently, I've been offered a luger holster with the same regiment and company number, but with an individual weapon number slightly higher than my luger. My question is whether I should go ahead and buy the holster for my luger or not. Will putting them together add to the value? On the one hand, the numbers do not match exactly, so it's still an unmatched set. On the other hand, what are the chances of ever putting together an exact match? I suspect that I'm just looking for some sort of justification for my decision. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
  16. German VII Corps At Mons

    Thanks for the information. It's great! Unfortunately, I don't think that I'm smart enough to understand it and I know that my German language skills aren't good enough to get me through Bulow's book. Consequently, I have tons of questions, but don't know where to go for answers. When did the shift in the kavallerie units take place? I've looked through hundreds of English language books and internet sites and still don't understand what happened with the German kavallerie and specifically the 14th K.B. Any direction you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!
  17. Luckner's high profile, public recognition and reputation are due, at least in part, to an American. Essentially, Luckner and T.E Lawrence had the same unofficial publicity agent--Lowell Thomas. Thomas took one of the earliest known pictures of Lawrence and in the years that followed Thomas made him into the widely recognized romantic figure that he is today. That romanticization ultimately resulted in the production of the now famous movie in 1962. Thomas presented Luckner in a very similar romanticized manner. In the case of Luckner, however, there was that little problem of another round of problems with Germany which sort of prevented the trajectory of Luckner's fame from following that of Lawrence's. Thomas also knew Lawrence personally and had been with him in the desert. I do not know if Thomas ever met Luckner or how he came to know of his exploits. Nevertheless, it could be argued that the image of Luckner that Thomas created was so alluring and captivated the public imagination in many, even unconscious ways, that it remains with us in other forms. For example, Thomas titled his book Count Luckner: The Sea Devil and that phrase has been used in several contexts since then.
  18. German VII Corps At Mons

    I don't have a definite answer but I have a suspicion. At some point during the mobilization and move toward France, the German high command apparently decided to shuffle many if not all of the cavalry units. One of the cavalry units that had been assigned to VII Corps was 14 Kavallerie Brigade. Rather than concentrate on the task at hand (mobilization), the German high command decided it was more important to redirect attention to creating an entirely new unit -- the 9th Kavallerie Division. This action combined 14 Kavallerie Brigade with 13 Kavallerie Brigade, both of which had been part of VII Corps, and join them with some other units with which they had little or no training. I have found individual histories of the two units that composed the 14 Kav. Brig. but nothing about the Brig. itself nor have I been able to locate a history of the division. I would be interested to hear anything you discover.
  19. After returning from Europe at the end of WWII, my father became a pharmacist with the Veterans' Administration. I began going to work with him when I was about 3 years old. In the years that followed, I spoke with thousands of veterans not only from the Great War and World War II, but also some from the Spanish-American War, the incursion into Mexico and even the Boxer Rebellion. I thought that I wanted to be a doctor so I continued to go to work with my father and visited vets in the hospitals until I graduated from high school. My father was never active in any of the veterans organizations, largely because he didn't drink and that was such a large part of their focus, but he always went out of his way to help vets. Consequently, he was frequently invited to attend reunions and I always went along. He was even invited to attend a reunion of German military veterans. I can still remember how honored I felt when I was handed a copy of Wenn Alle Bruder Schweigen signed by some of the men who had been there. At the same time, this wasn't my only way that I had contact with veterans. Another link to veterans was through my mother's side of the family. When I was very young that side of the family still included relatives who had fought in the Great War, World War II and Korea, but there were non-vets who remembered speaking with relatives who had fought in the Civil War, voted for Lincoln, saw his funeral train, and attended GAR conventions. Another member of the family had brought home a war bride and mother-in-law from Germany whose father and husband had worn the black collar tabs with oak leaves and pips. Oma didn't speak much English and my German was terrible, but we got along great and I never tired of asking questions and trying to learn as much as possible. It was just part of life to sit around the camp fire and listen to relatives and their friends talk about their experiences and compare them. It was a real special event when they brought out some of their treasures to discuss but the stories were great too. Then we moved to Chillicothe, Ohio, were my father had transferred to work for the VA. The hospital there was located on the grounds of the former Camp Sherman. My high school was on the grounds were the troops trained to go off to the war. The local movie theater still had a call board on the wall to recall all the various companies back to the camp. The local bus station still had post cards of the Camp in the rack for sale. I was surrounded by the Great War. I just wish that I could have made those times last longer.
  20. In large part, the problem was General William Crozier. He became chief of Ordnance in 1901 and, unfortunately, remained entrenched in that position until 1918. He had little preparation, no aptitude or technical skills and even less personality for the job. As a result, the U.S. entered the Great War unprepared in small arms, artillery, vehicles and almost everything else. Some insight into his complete ineptness can be seen in the fact that one of his "pet projects" was Damascus barreled heavy artillery! Similarly, have you ever wondered why the U.S. entered the war without adequate machine guns in light of the fact that the Lewis Gun was invented by an American who offered to the U.S. in 1911? By 1917 when the U.S. entered the war it had been serving the British well but the U.S. still refused and we ended up with the Chauchat! The answer to that "mystery" is Crozier. He simply didn't like the inventor, U.S. Army Colonel Isaac Newton Lewis, so Crozier just said "no" and in frustration Lewis left the U.S. and went to England!
  21. I had the good fortune of being at Cowan's auction. It was a wonderful auction. Unfortunately, this particular item did not go home with me. There were several folks, mostly on the phones, whose pockets were a little deeper than mine. There was at least one buyer who spent more than 500k on class III items. As I said, it was out of my league but was great to be able to see and touch this one and the others offered that day.
  22. Many people would agree that there has been a pattern of price increases in many, but not all, areas of military collecting. However, I think that I've noticed another pattern that may explain the first one. In the past nine months or a year, I've noticed many items that "sell" for what would appear to be high prices reappear after a few weeks or months, being offered by another seller either on fleabay, a dealer's website or even on a table at a show. In the case of one photo that interested me, the original sale price was less than 20 E. but that was more than I was willing to spend. Six months later I saw the same photo offered on line for 2 E. by another dealer. A week later the photo appeared on a table at a show for 5 E. Now maybe that original sale just attracted a lot of attention and dealers just dug out their copies of the exact same photo, but somehow that's just a little too suspicious for me. I suspect that a dealer bought the original and is now turning out copies that appear suitably aged and are being sold as originals. In another case, there were a couple of documents that caught my attention. They sold on fleabay for less than 100 E. Those same award documents are now offered on a dealer's website for 500 E. In yet another example, there was an item listed for sale at an auction that interested me. It sold for about $1500 which was more than I was willing to pay. A day later, that same item appeared on a dealer's website for more than $2500. There wasn't even time enough for the dealer to have received the item in the mail but he was offering it for sale! He was even using the photos from the auction company! The point of all this is that it seems collectors are part of the reason prices are going up; some dealers believe that they have captive clients who are willing to pay the price, even for fakes and overpriced originals.
  23. Iron Cross in Civilian Clothes

    I thought this one of Lt. Assmann of RIR 254 was a little different. It appears in the regimental history and the caption states that he received his EKII on 19.8.1915.
  24. I have a question regarding the 1st and 2nd class Olympic Crosses that I have. I have owned them for almost fifty years, but I've never been absolutely certain about them. I bought them from a dealer who had the best reputation and always offered to buy them back, at serveral times the original price as the years passed. I never accepted his offer, but now I am thinking about selling them and did not want to misrepresent them. What troubles me is the way the ribbon attaches to the medal. The attachment of the ribbon is not like all the ones that I've seen in person or in pictures. Rather than being all one piece sort of outgrowth or extension of the head of the eagle, these have a ring attached to the back of the eagle's head, then a small round ring is attached to that and in the case of the 1st class award, there is a decorative oval loop through that ring and then around the ribbon. I'm sorry that I'm not able to take photos. That would make it more clear. Does anybody have any examples of good crosses in which the attaching ring is not part an extension from the eagle's head? Perhaps a jeweler's piece? Thank you in advance for your time and attention. Steve
  25. Please forgive me for intruding. I have been a reader here for some time, but never found the courage to post. Now I have a question and I was hoping this was the proper place to ask. In many German regimental histories of the Great War, there is a list of names at the back. Sometimes the names are those killed in action. Other times they are the ones mentioned in the text and serve as an index. Sometimes they are combined. Very often after the names there are numbers such as "II" or "III" or "A.3." or "A.4. (5)". What are these numbers? One regimental history indicates that the "A" means "anlage" but I don't understand what that means. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you Steve