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    Inspection Stamps

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    On April 10th 1947 the Hungarian Defense Forces published a system of inspection for nearly every aspect of the military. Everything that was to be inspected fell under the jurisdiction of the Controlling Agency of the Hungarian Military. This agency was internal to the Honved and set their specific standards according to the requirements of the Ministry of Defense. The Controlling Agency was also broken down into several branches that were instructed to handle certain items such as medical equipment, engineering items, clothes, etc. The scopes of such inspections were massive and nearly all encompassing. Everything from personal equipment, uniforms, shooting ranges, vehicles, medical equipment, furniture in the barracks and nearly everything else had a prescribed system of quality inspection. Every item had a prescribed method of inspection from the initial manufacture to being inspected once the item was used. The only item that was expressly forbidden to be inspected was the food.

    During the period of 1947 to 1956 the regulations for such inspection did not change drastically. To insure quality control from the factory where the items were produced a set series of inspections were to be required before any Hungarian soldier could receive or use anything in the military. When an item was to be manufactured there had to be a standardized and approved method of inspecting the raw materials before assembly. This had to be approved by the Controlling Agency and the factory that received the materials. Then the method of manufacture and the worker?s qualifications also had to pass validation. Once the final product was produced there was a final inspection before it was accepted.

    In the final examination two individuals were required to certify that the product was acceptable for use. One individual would be from the Controlling Agency and the other from the sending factory. In instances were the factory could not supply a qualified inspector, then the Controlling Agency was to provide another inspector, but the inspector could not be from the same department. In other words, if the regular inspector was from the clothing division, then the second person could not be from that division, they had to come from a different source. The Controlling Agency had a specific design for the stamp that provided vital information as to which division inspected it, what year the inspection was done and a designation that showed which person had performed the inspection. The factory inspector was also to provide similar details in their stamp but the stamp had to be significantly different that that of the Controlling Agency.

    In the cases where the items needed to be transported from the factory to the warehouse, the items fell under the rules of transportation. Under these rules certain items were required for inspection before and after transport and could be stamped or marked accordingly.

    Also when the products were produced they had to be sent to the Inventory Agency of the Honved after the final stamp of the Controlling Agency was put on the product. Again in certain instances the Inventory Agency required certain stamps of approval.

    In all total a normal product that fell under certain jurisdictions of inspection could have four or more inspection stamps on it.

    In the regulations printed in 1947 there are examples of the officially accepted design of the inspection stamp of the Controlling Agency. The stamp was required to have an ?H? for Honved followed by a letter that designated what division it was from.

    Main Quality Control Department: K

    Clothing Warehouse: R

    Health Institute: E

    Animal Health Institute: A

    Cartography Institute: T

    Vehicle Warehouse: G

    Train Warehouse: V

    Technical Engineering Warehouse: M

    Signals Warehouse: H

    Weapons Warehouse: F

    Ammunition Warehouse: L

    In 1949 the mark of the Technical Engineering Warehouse "M" was expanded to include the military branches of the River Flotilla and the Armored Troops Warehouses. In addition the designation for the Air Force warehouse was given the same designation as the Ammunition; "L".

    For products that did not pass the inspection of the Controlling Agency, a special stamp was incorporated. This stamp also bore the ?H? for Honved, the letter of the division and the year of inspection. In addition to this two "V-V" were placed. This designation let the factory know that the certain product did not live up to expectations. In certain cases the item may have been destroyed, but where this became a financial burden then the item would be sent back for repairs. Once the product was repaired, the inspector from the Controlling Agency would then put a separate stamp of approval. This different stamp would bear a similar mark, but with the addition of the letter "E" which meant that the item had been ?controlled?, but that it now passed inspection. Without this stamp the receiving warehouse or institute was to reject and send back any item that solely bore the "V-V" mark.

    There were four basic types of stamps from 1947. The first is the round rubber stamp used for stamping soft items. Then a rectangular stamp for metal objects and a tall rectangle for items made of wood. Finally there were small stamps that were designed to go into lead plugs for affixing to items that could not be easily marked with inspection.

    The round rubber stamp style was 35mm in diameter. The metal stamp was specified to be 8.7mm the rectangular stamp for wood items were to be 33mm in height and 26mm wide. Finally the lead plug stamp was to be 10mm in diameter. These dimensions remained consistent up to about 1950. Though there are no official records of any changes made to the stamp in the Honved Gazette, it appears that in 1950 a new rectangular rubber stamp replaced in some instances the round rubber type. (But not all!) This rubber stamp used in the 1950?s and onward was 35mm wide and 25mm tall.

    Edited by hunyadi
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    For a more practical look - here is an example: What I have here is an unissued summer weight gymnastikora type tunic known as the "M51" - here is the sleeve tag. This one has the inspectors number on the upper right hand side (2042) then HM (Honved Technical Engineering Warehouse - but as this is after 1950 is could also be going to the panzer's warehouse) Then it has "Savoly ingzubbony" (Twill shirt tunic) and the lot number "C36419". On nealry every part of the tunic (before manufcture) this C36419 is stamped in white paint like ink. I believe that this was used in manufacture so that all the parts for tunic number C36419 were put together - this was also probably an easy way to do inventory. First shot is the cuff tag

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    In the interior for the quality inspection stamp of the same tunic with the cuff tag, we have a round style stamp. Of interest here is that the quality inspection stamp is HR - or Honved Clothing Warehouse. This give rise to my own speculation that this may have been a place where the factory did not provide a second inpsector, but as regualtions stipulated that another inspector from the Controll Agency had to be present. More research is needed - but at this time finding the regulations about this in the Honved Gazette after 1950 have not been located. This stamp also shows that it was inspected in 1953 and the lower portion has the inspectors number.

    Edited by hunyadi
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    Here is one of my 1956 Revolution era tunics and their markings - the Controling Agency stamps are rather washed out - but you can see the other stamps. This particular tunic has four stamps. One stamp is the Control Agency at the lower bottom and rectangular in form marked "HR". One of the others may possibly the facotry and the third may be inventory and the fourth may be a transportation stamp. As I dont have the exact regulations and the Honved Gazette mentions that these stamps "had to comply with those organizations". There is no other source at this time.

    Edited by hunyadi
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    Another of my 1956 Revolution Panzer Tunics - this one has only three of the inspection stamps. The Control Aency stamp is again the rectanlge style and is on the upper right.

    Edited by hunyadi
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    This is a stamp from perhaps one of the most rear tunics that can be found. In round form is a Controll Agency stamp after it left the factory. Then in the larger rectangular stamp is the acceptance stamp of the AVH or the State Secret Police. (The upper portion of the stamp is "AVHKASZ" - AVH Offical. Form the poor quality of the stamps it is hard to figure out the last digitin the year. It appears to be "1951" and as the Controll Agency stamp is of the earlier round design, this may be the fact.

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    • 3 weeks later...
    • 2 years later...

    Hello hunyadi,

    Good stuff, congratulations! This is an interesting study. Just a modest contribution from cimbineus:

    Main Quality Control Department: K Központi (= Central)

    Clothing Warehouse: R Ruházat (= Clothing)

    Health Institute: E Egészségügy (= Healthcare)

    Animal Health Institute: A Állatorvosi (= Veterinary)

    Cartography Institute: T Térképészet (= Cartography)

    Vehicle Warehouse: G Gépjármű (= Motor vehicle)

    Train Warehouse: V Vonat (= Train)

    Technical Engineering Warehouse: M Műszaki (= Technical)

    Signals Warehouse: H Hiradó (= Communication)

    Weapons Warehouse: F Fegyverzet (= Weaponry)

    Ammunition Warehouse: L Lőszer (= Ammunition)

    In addition the designation for the Air Force warehouse was given the same designation as the Ammunition; "L"

    Formally, of course, you see the same "L", but the meaning is different. Here "L" stand for "Légierők (= Air Forces)

    ...but with the addition of the letter "E" which meant that the item had been "controlled"

    "E" here stands for "Ellenőrzőtt" which, as you said, means controlled.

    The only letter I cannot see here is "S", which was to designate the totally unusable end-products (Selejt = refuse or spoilage) and usually provoked serious consequences, quite often the dismissal of the leadership of the plant or even imprisonment.


    Edited by cimbineus
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    Cimbineus -

    thanks for the additional information. I wonder if nayone has seen a VV or S stamped piece of material? I would assume that these would have been more rare than the AVH stamp...

    Well, as far as the "S" mark is concerned, I think, nowadays it is almost impossible to see a single object having that mark. The reasons are obvious, to my mind. If the leadership of the plant was lucky, they had the chance to correct their mistakes. They took back the product and eliminated it as quickly as they could. In other cases, products marked with "S" served as evidences before court-martial and were eliminated after the process.

    Edited by cimbineus
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