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Brian Wolfe

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Blog Comments posted by Brian Wolfe

  1. Hi Paul,

    I would have to agree with you as far as these rare cases, however, is doubling your money in 15 years really a good investment.  I ask this as an honest question and not a "round-about" statement.  I think such military collectables, like fine art, probably holds its value and even increases with time if one can figure which ones will do well and won't do well.  I've heard many collectors much older than me say that if they had known even what German helmets of either war would be bringing today they would have a warehouse full. 

    To my way of thinking an investment should have the potential of providing a living for the investor or at least a part of one's living expenses, in time.  The problem with any collectable is that you must sell it in order to realize a profit, and that is a one time, per item, prospect.  If only collectables would pay annual dividends I would be one very happy camper.  :cool:



  2. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for an insightful comment, one that to which I wish I was in opposition; however I do fear you are correct.  I believe I have mentioned that I attend two different types of shows, “Gun Shows” and “Militaria Shows”.  The gun shows have a large percentage of sporting weapons with a smattering of militaria and the militaria shows are exclusively military themed.  There seems to be a good number of young people at the gun shows but if you pay attention there is little being purchased by them or anyone in fact.  This has gotten so prevalent that this year the number of these types of shows has been cut by the organizer.  Militaria shows seem to have the majority of attendees in the over 50 generation.  Everything, even collecting trends, evolve and it looks like collecting militaria could well be in danger of extinction.  


    Hi Paul,


    A good friend of mine, who lives and collects in the Punjab, tells me that it seems that the once prolific supply of British Campaign medals named to Indians (of course) has just about dried up.  What is still available has been priced out of reach of sane collectors.  I suppose this was to be expected since dealers used to travel to small and remote villages purchasing any medals they could, from the veterans and their families, mainly for the Western market.  We’ve all heard the horror stories of the unscrupulous buyers taking advantage of these villagers and the shady families who will sell a named group and then claim it had been stolen.  Once they get it back they will sell it again and pull the same scam.  I had heard of one family that got away with this three times before they were charged with fraud.


    Thanks to both of you for your comments.





  3. Hi Paul,


    Thanks for your comments.  I was contemplating touching on “financing” certain additions to a collection and then thought that I may end up sounding like I was contradicting what I had earlier said about not collecting “on the card”.  If an item comes up and the only way you can obtain this rarely offered specimen then the only option may be to “finance” it.  This doesn’t mean put the cost on the credit card and then at month’s end, when the amount comes due, pay the minimum and continue adding more “once in a life time” finds.  I had (emphasis on the word “had”) a friend who tapped out his Visa purely by collecting and making payments through the card.  His answer, once it was maxed out, was to get a Master Card; and so started the cycle all over again.


    I have made larger purchases on the credit card, from time to time, and then paid it off before the amount came due, thereby saving the interest, which can be quite high.  I remember when a “loan” at 20% was illegal and called “usury”.  Now it has been legalized because a bank is doing it.  Ethically it’s still usury; the difference is that now it is legalized theft.


    A less expensive option may be to actually take out a bank loan which carries a lot lower interest rate.  Remember I am talking about a true “once in a life time” find; not simply the current find that would have been available at a later date; albeit from a different source.   Once in a life time is exactly that, a figuratively “never” offered piece; in that case go for it.





  4. I would agree that there is little new, perhaps nothing new, in my blog that was not previously generally known.  However, I don’t apologize for that as I see it as a platform upon which to express the views of the readers, which it has done to one degree or another. 


    Next month I intend to wrap up the series with the North Africa Campaign which will include a summary that may not be as flattering as it could be but one that is as accurate as possible.  I do hope that I can keep the comments within the bounds of the rules and regulations of the forum but it may be quite close to the line from time to time. 


    Thank you for your comments, they are appreciated.




  5. Thank you for your comment Larry, it is appreciated even if if comes from a youngster such as yourself.  It is very difficult to discuss history without the inclusion of politics, perhaps even impossible.  Personally I try to stay away from current events altogether and especially the politics surrounding those events.  That is not to say that I don't follow what is taking place and I do have strong opinions; opinions that would no doubt see more than a few members enraged.  I have indeed taken the time to read the rules, though I am sure your comment was not offered in a mean spirit.  There you see how the written word can easily be taken wrong?  This forum is dedicated to military interest subjects, as the forum's name would indicate, nowhere is it stated that this is a political discussion forum.  Far too often people are not fully aware of all of the facts when it comes to discussing politics and end up only supporting their own party platforms.   


    One of the problems with any organization where the rules are far from draconian, such as ours, is that it is open to interpretation.  Using terms such as "overtly" leaves it open to interpretation and in some cases a moderator may make a decision that may be seen as too harsh.  My question is why would anyone want to talk current politics, especially international politics, unless they have a desire to start a fight?  As you pointed out there are sites that allow political discussion and therefore it seems to me that these are the places to visit and therefore keeping the GMIC free of politial debate.  I do like your way of saying "bovine excrement", however I see this forum as one dealing with history, military history, and that I would say is one thing you are full of (history, just to be clear). If I am going to argue with someone let it be over historical facts and not the lies and deceit of politicians.  We can discuss and even argue over history but winning an argument over politics is hampered by the fact that there is a good chance neither one of us knows the truth behind the policy.


    In closing let me say that I agree that at times the moderators seem to "hit the button" a little too quickly.  I tend to caution the participants and then probably let things go too far.  There have been times when another moderator will lock a topic to which I have only given a caution but that is a matter of differing opinions on the severity of the trespass.  I do not see you as a child (as in being treated like a five year old) but I think you are aware of this considering the years we've known each other.  On the other hand you and I both know this cannot be said about everyone.  Thanks again for your comment it is food for thought and greatly valued.




  6. HI IrisGunner,


    Actually the eggs were finished and I needed, NEEDED, ketchup for the home fries and sausages so the more ketchup the better.  The OC (thank you for using the vernacular) provides condiments at no additional charge, even if you wear some home on your shirt. 


    I fear that I am just about the most unexciting person you could ever meet. In fact if I were a super hero I’d be Bland Man and my costume colour would be beige.  No I would NOT wear a cape, no way, that might make me seem a little to much of an “adventurerâ€.


    Hi Megan,


    I am so happy to hear that the article made other people think about breakfast; I had an almost uncontrollable urge to go out to the OC here in NH for breakfast all the while I was composing this piece, in fact even now....  ;)

  7. A well written and thought out blog, well done Rick.

    I've reached the age where I now know what is wrong with the youth of today...they are too dammed much like me when I was their age!

    Collecting is a lot like the people who collect. In the beginning it is all glitter and the collecting of objects, then one starts to slow down and actually appreciate what we have, which for collectors means researching the items.

    As for 2015, I resolve to spend more, collect more and research and write more...maybe sell a few things to make room for even more.



  8. Hi Megan,

    True. When I think about when I read his History of WW2 it was in a different century, in more than one way. ;)

    SInce I actually borrowed the works I don't have them for direct reference so I need to rely on a fading memory.

    I do hope that what I write is not slanted either way and serves to make people think and express their own opinions on the man and his times.

    Many thanks for your comment.



  9. Hi IrishGunner,

    Good points all, and a lot that took place during the times covered by this and my last blog are quite open to opinion. Gallipoli is a subject that should be covered all on its own. Churchill's plan, yes, no doubt about it. However, like any planner there needs to be those who are capable of following through. There were mistakes made that were out of Churchill's control, just as there were decision made and carried out despite what Adolf Hitler had decreed. Could Gallipoli have possibly been a success under different leadership in the field? Using hind-sight I'd say no; but still there needs to be some sharing of blame. Had his plan succeeded you can bet there would have been no end of commanders in the field standing up for a pat on the back. Both Chamberlain and Churchill have been treated as if they were some sort of dictators making decisions and accountable to no one. The "whole" nation was behind Chamberlain in the day, then when the appeasment policy failed everyone jumped on the Churchill band wagon and acted as if he had been correct all along and they (perhaps secretly) supported him all along.

    Was Churchill a great war leader? You'll have to wait until January's blog before I will attempt to answer that. I will say that compairing Montgomery to Churchill is like compairing a cheerleader to a star quarterback.

    Please stay tuned.



  10. Perhaps the next logical topic for a blog would indeed be one about Winston Churchill, though I would have to adjust my high opinion of the man a great deal if I want to remain objective. Certainly to say that Churchill won the Second World War would be as inaccurate as to say that Chamberlain was responsible for the starting of the War. In doing some additional research I find that there is a recent movement by those referred to as “Revisionist” to clear Mr. Chamberlain of any blame for the situation in 1939. That makes me almost wish that I had not written this blog in the first place as it seems to me these fellows are right up there with the Conspiracy Theorists or those UFO nuts. During the 1930s both Churchill and Chamberlain were of the same opinion regarding the Soviet Union, which Churchill always referred to as Russia or the Russians. Churchill realized that Britain needed the Soviet Union as an ally if they were to go to war against Germany. Chamberlain held onto his negative opinions until war was declared and most likely until the end of his life. This negativity certainly also had a negative result in regard to any move on the part of the Soviet Union for an earlier alliance with Britain. Churchill was probably not the only voice of what we now realize was the voice of reason in protesting against the appeasement policy of the government in power at the time, however, he has been credited with this. He was not taken seriously possibly because of his history concerning the Dardanelles disaster of the First World War. At the same time it would appear that Chamberlain and his government were blind toward the consideration of any other options even though Mr. Churchill was anything but reserved in stating his opinions.

    Certainly in hindsight the armchair generals, being the geniuses that they are, can now say that had the British supported Czechoslovakia in 1938 that the war may have ended right there before it broke out into a world war. Czechoslovakia had a strong military, tanks, fortifications along her border and natural defences in the form of her mountains. These were absent in Poland therefore handing over Czechoslovakia was a move that guaranteed the loss of Poland to Germany. “Guaranteed” because German had suffered no military setbacks in the taking of Czechoslovakia and therefore was both at full military strength and undefeated, bolstering their belief in their own invincibility. Field Marshal Keitel noted in his memoirs that the Czech defenses surprised the Wehrmacht in regard to their strength. However, when it comes to history the “if only” scenario counts for little.


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