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An Interesting Flieger Board


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WW1 FG Enlisted Flieger Board. No unit number, no missing metal numbers. Odd shaped wings. No glow. Thick "buckram" rough-weave stiffener and crispy thin brown paper that the red has been sewn right through.... Sew-on style, unused. One moth nip on the back. Otherwise pretty clean! Weird, weird, weird.

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It was either cut off a shoulder seam (no stitching holes in the petrified paper underlay beneath the Feldgrau top that anchored the branch device pattern) or was unworn.

I still have it (along with those Fredman von Hofrichten photos) until Evil Ricky picks them up tomorrow from this week's scannings.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

If Tony & Kaiser said this is a bad piece, I have to disagree with them. It is perfectly all right. Everthing that is "wierd" about it is because it is not an issue piece. The material on the inside is papercloth (Papiergarn), commonly used as a stiffener in private purchase examples. I have seen it many times and probably have an example or two in my collection. This piece is 100% good.

Chip

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My concern was not with the papercloth backing. It was with the heavy issue quality grey wool, on what is a M1910 private purchase strap. A private purchase strap from heavy issue quality wool concerns me as they are nomrally a higher quality wool. What appears to be dark green wool backing is not typical for an original strap and is also very odd. I am also concerned about a hand-embroider propeller being too large for the strap, so that the edge stitching had to be smashed over the wing tips. These factors, combined with the flood of fake Flieger straps with hand-embroider propellers from the UK, led me to suggest that Rick be very cautious. After all, it is hard to tell from a photo.

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No worries with this piece. There is no flood of Flieger straps that I know of. Yes, there are fakes, but most of them are the same, coming from the same source and quite easy to identify. I have not seen any fakes with piping. All the fakes I have seen are unpiped M07/10 examples. The really scarey area is Flieger officer's boards, which are easily assembled with original parts. You can stick an original Flieger insignia on about any kind of board, as many officers continued to wear the boards of the unit that they came from.

What I would like to find is an issue example of this strap. I have other Verkehrstruppen enlisted straps that are Feldgrau with light gray piping, but none from the Fliegertruppen. Still looking....

Chip

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  • 1 month later...

I have a 2nd Garde Uhlan Friedensrock for a Leutnant that was seconded to the air service. The feldgrau wool is so coarse as to be almost overcoat wool. I actually removed some wool from a mothed 1917 overcoat to do a couple of small repairs on it. The wool matched perfectly in color and texture. The red Cuffs and collar with their fine gold bullion Litzen, on the other hand, is very high quality (pre war quality) wool. There is no doubt in my mind that my uniform and your shoulder board were manufactured in 1917-18, since the quality of the wool during that time was poor. On issue uniform wool, nettle and other fibers were being used to "stretch" the wool. This is one of the reasons that the late war uniforms are so dark, the ersatz fibers were hard to dye and a darker dye was required. As far as the early red wool, many people do not know that half of the wool manufactured in 1915 was for the prewar "dunkelblau" uniforms. The retailers expected the war would be over very shortly, and that there would be a need for more pre war type uniforms. This may be one of the reasons for the authorization of the Friedenrocks. All of that wool sitting unused would have been a waste of a valuable resource. When the Friedenrocks were ordered instead of a Waffenrock or Bluse, it saved a certain amount of Feldgrau wool, which was needed for officers and soldiers in the field. This may not seem like much material, but multiplied by the tens of thousands (or more) of uniforms made, this was a considerable savings.

Dan Murphy

Edited by Daniel Murphy
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