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  1. Yep...that little spade is indeed the MG version. Every component is smaller than the standard infantry issue shovel. Fakers will simply cut down an infantry shovel and present it as an MG spade but they're pretty easy to spot. The MG shovel carrier is also different. It has a single belt loop and obviously far smaller than the infantry issue. I can understand why MG troops might want a smaller shovel - having to lug around a huge 08 and all the gear but jeez...those little MG spades seem to be pretty much useless. Fine for flipping eggs in a skillet but digging in an MG or a foxhole to hide in?
  2. Air-raids or gas, I'm sure it saw use in several situations. It is indeed a great piece although maybe it's been over 10 years. I think I got it before overseas shipping costs and transit times increased dramatically which seems to have started maybe 10-12 years ago. Any guesses as to what might be hanging off the pole in the photo? It almost looks like a cover for something.
  3. I'm always excited to see period photos of odd-ball pieces of gear that might be somewhat questionable as to their vintage (WWI, Weimar, WWII). I picked up this siren about 10 years ago off either German or French Ebay and while I know there is at least one in a museum in Belgium, I was always just a little skeptical it was actually WWI. The period photo pretty much settled the question in my mind. It works like a charm and the neighbors always know when I have folks over who have never heard or seen it before. You could probably hear this thing for miles!
  4. Since we're on the subject of watches here are mine. I especially like the one with the bullet hole. It passes completely through and totally destroyed the case and movement. The movement was probably Swiss but the case is German (as evidenced by the German silversmith's touch marks). The one in the upper right has a plain blued steel case and radium dial. It's of Swiss manufacture and I'm assuming WWI period and saw German use? The example on the lower right is the same patriotic case as Chris Boonzier shows - the watch was made by W. Becker and Cie. of Hamburg on a 1916 "Iron for Gold" chain. The fob is, I think, the really interesting part. Can anyone shed light on what the symbolism means? Four stacked skulls and the wording "WER WAR BETTLER, UND WAR WEISER, WER DER KOENIG, WER WAR KAISER" and there is an Egyptian sphinx on the other side. Loosely translated it comes out to something like this: Who was the beggar and who was wiser, who is the king who was the Kaiser. There's obviously some kind of context I'm missing. Any ideas?
  5. Thanks Jock - nice photo actually packed with all kinds of details and interesting bits and pieces of gear once you take a moment to look. I don't have an example of the Armeefernsprechbatterie Alter Art in my collection yet but I have attached some photos of a later version (the Feldfernsprechbatterie 17) and some of the other things pictured and a few that aren't. The flashlights seem to be almost innumerable in their variety but from what I can see it's at least similar to one of the models I have posted here. I assume these were all private-purchased? Does anyone know if they were ever actually issued? As for the phone gear - I have pictured an example of the Armeefernsprecher Alter Art and an accompanying case, a Kopffernhorer Alter Art, a nice 15-dated case and an example of the Ruftrompete. Lastly, only the second example of a for-sure wartime Sicherheitsgurt...dated 1917 and maker-marked. You can find similar examples on German eBay but since this exact design persisted for decades after WWI (and no doubt for decades prior) and it's really just a civilian piece of gear, there's no way to tell exactly when most of them were made or if they saw military use. What's the material? It looks like a very course canvas...is it hemp perhaps? A few more shots - items referenced in my previous post.
  6. So far I've done well...with the exception of needing a single battery to complete the needed two contained within my Feldfernsprecher 16, all of the battery boxes and phones in my collection have these original batteries. Just dumb luck. It's pretty rare to see individual batteries for sale or for equipment to contain them so yes, they're really tough to get.
  7. Dear CCJ - these are actually fairly common and can usually be found in the collectible telephones category on German Ebay. Many are post-war dated although I have seen plenty that are pre-war dated as well. Chip - yes, please do post some photos when you get a chance. That's a great Aufspuler. You don't need that - I'd be more than happy to take that junky old thing off your hands!
  8. My pleasure Mr. Wolfe. I'm sure it's the same with collectors of just about anything but at least for me sharing what I have and seeing what others have acquired is a big part of the fun. Otherwise, I'd probably feel I'm just accumulating and could wind up on one of those TV shows about hoarders buried in crap and living with 50 cats (don't get me wrong...I'm a cat person). Also, this forum and others are populated by guys who know a heck of a lot more than I do and it's a great learning experience. Anyhow, per Jock Auld's and Chip's responses, I have attached some additional photos. You guys must have some cool stuff to post too - let's see what y'all have in your toy rooms. Cheers, Brian
  9. Hey Chip - I believe the box shown (3 batteries with the additional compartment) is indeed of WWI vintage. I'm quite sure I've got photos showing it in use (I'll dig them out later) plus Eric Siegel has it documented as the "Sprecherbatterie alter Art on his First War Technik web site. Here's a photo of my Streckenfernsprecher...with a nice papercloth strap. I have a particular fondness for my Sprechbatterie alter Art. It's the first piece of communications gear I got and it sparked my interest in that type of gear.
  10. It came with it when uncle Hans gave it to me just a year or so before he passed away many years ago. I didn't think to ask at the time but I'm assuming the cord and the tag have been together since the bunker was opened in '32. He didn't have any details of the discovery and may never have had any but assuming the cord and tag were taken directly off his brother Julius' body would could assume the bunker was never flooded. Just my guess though.
  11. I'll have to check through Hans' memoirs (fortunately for me in English!) but if I recall correctly he was killed in one of the big mine explosions on Messines Ridge on June 7, 1917. Hans was on Hill 60 that day and barely survived. He was seriously wounded and then captured and held prisoner until 1921.
  12. Here's one for ya'. At first glance it looks pretty boring...just the guy's name and birth date. However, there's a story that comes with this one. This belonged to my uncle - Julius Ludwig from Stuttgart. He was in the U.S. when the war broke out, and then went home and joined the air service. However, by 1915 he decided he wasn't seeing enough action and joined the infantry. He wound up in the 121st and 120th Reserve Infantry Regt. and his brother, Hans, was also in the 120th RIR. Their sickly brother, Emil, also served but in some kind of Landsturm outfit with the old vets probably guarding sausage factories or bridges or something along those lines. Anyhow, Julius and his entire squad (or whatever) were sealed in their bunker in 1917 and their bodies were not recovered until 1932. This is the dog tag (one of them I suppose), taken off his body.
  13. Here's a nice photo showing each of the four items in this post.
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