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Thanks for the information! I didn't know that. There's no date on the photo. Here's the writing on the back:

The man's first name is Ernst

"Meinen lieben Haynrodern zum Gedenken an ihren Ernst."

Edited by Naxos
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And here's Bernhard Reddemann in the background, the big guy with a notebook and pencil, his overcoat on his shoulder. The flamethrower is the Kleif M.1914. Notice that he doesn't have a Totenkopf sle

IR92 tankard lid............

Brunswick HR17 flask...............(with Prussian skull !!)

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You're quite welcome, Naxos.

"My dear Haynrodern to the memory of your Ernst."

Is Haynrodern a male or female name? If it's a male name, is that level of intimacy common for German men of the period?

Edited by Thomas W
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You're quite welcome, Naxos.

"My dear Haynrodern to the memory of your Ernst."

Is Haynrodern a male or female name? If it's a male name, is that level of intimacy common for German men of the period?

Haynroder = the people of Haynrode

Haynrodern = dativ (German case appropriate for giving) people of Haynrode

- it's not a name of a person but the name of a municipality in Thuringian, Germany.

In English it would be something like: "To my dear friends from Haynrode, in memory of their Ernst."

Edited by Naxos
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If it (were) a male name, is that level of intimacy common for German men of the period?

The answer is "Yes"

That may explain this photo of flamethrower pioneers at Riga, photographed November 27, 1917. Look at the right hand of the man sitting second from the left. To my modern eyes, that seems like an unusually intimate place to touch your comrade. I can safely say I've never touched the inner thigh of any male friend!

Edited by Thomas W
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You can definitely see that the uniforms in the studio photos are Dunkelblau, when you see the second shot. The contrast is better. It appears to me that the patches were just loosely applied for the photos, as the shadows indicate that neither was sewn down around the edges. I would not have thought that this gray patch was authorized for wear on the old uniform. At least, I have never heard of any regulations. Do you know any more about this Thomas?

Another thing I was wondering about is that Klietmann discussed a "Flammenwerfer Pickelhaube" with a skull and bones on the Gardestern. Neither of these photos exhibit this. According to Kraus, the Pickelhaube skull was authorized in June 1916, one month before the sleeve patch.

Chip

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You can definitely see that the uniforms in the studio photos are Dunkelblau, when you see the second shot. The contrast is better. It appears to me that the patches were just loosely applied for the photos, as the shadows indicate that neither was sewn down around the edges. I would not have thought that this gray patch was authorized for wear on the old uniform. At least, I have never heard of any regulations. Do you know any more about this Thomas?

Another thing I was wondering about is that Klietmann discussed a "Flammenwerfer Pickelhaube" with a skull and bones on the Gardestern. Neither of these photos exhibit this. According to Kraus, the Pickelhaube skull was authorized in June 1916, one month before the sleeve patch.

Chip

I think you're right about the patch being loosely attached to the Dunkelblau. I have another photo by the same photographer, Otto Hoeffke, which shows a flamethrower pioneer wearing the Friedensrock in 1918. The badge is a variation I've seen in at least four other photos, so that indicates to me that it was an official version. I haven't been able to figure out its significance. I have a photo that will appear in my next flamethrower book (I'm getting the galleys soon! Yippee!) that shows a Saxon infantryman wearing the white variation in the Rohr position. Therefore the white variation MAY have been awarded to infantrymen rather than pioneers. That's just a guess.

But in my Hoeffke photo, you can clearly see that the badge is loosely attached to the sleeve of the Friedensrock by two straight pins on either side. It's entirely possible that the badge was attached that way to the Dunkelblau as well.

The Rohr Pickelhaube was authorized by an AKO dated June 6, 1916. So far I haven't been able to find the AKO number. I've also not seen a period photo of the helmet. Daniel Griffin allowed me to use photos of his helmet in both my books. I think I shouldn't post the photos here without his permission, and I'm not in contact with him anymore.

Some people--like Tony Schnurr of the Kaiser's Bunker Web site--think the Rohr Pickelhaube probably didn't exist. I'm willing to present it as fact, based on the information I have, but of course Tony may be right.

Edited by Thomas W
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Thomas,

Thanks for the additional photo with the straight pins. I think that is very telling. It could be possible that the studio provided that "prop", as it was, as you have indicated, taking photos of this unit on a regular basis and the Dunkelblau uniforms being brought to the studio more than likely would not have had a gray patch sewn on. That might account for the odd shape of the skull that does not conform to the normal issue skull. Pure conjecture of course.

I am now aware of three original skull patches in the States and they all are dead ringers for the "issue" pattern patch.

I have a copy of the 1977 Klietmann article around here somewhere. There is a photo of an officer's helmet with the skull that supposedly was a "Probe" piece, or at least came out of the collection of the Zeughaus in Berlin. There were such things as officer's "Probestücke", so it could be a legitimate piece, but I don't recall seeing the actual tag. According to Kraus again, the skull was authorized by a Vfg., not an AKO. But he also refers to Klietmann's article as the source of this information.

Chip

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Interesting, Sergeant08!

I grabbed this from eBay a while ago. The seller claimed it was from Minenweferkompagnie Nr. 16, dated 1916. As far as I know the Minenwerferkompagnien wore Pionier uniform, right? Which means their helmets had fittings in white metal ("pioneer silver") instead of brass.

At any rate, note the Totenkopf on the eagle.

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Chip and Sergeant08, according to Jürgen Kraus, Die feldgraue Uniformierung des deutschen Heeres 1901-1918 Volume II (Osnabrück: Verlag Biblio, 1999), p. 499, it was an AKO of June 6, 1916, that authorized a silver Brunswick-style Totenkopf for the Garde-Pionier Pickelhaube worn by the flamethrower platoon of Sturmbataillon Rohr.

It's clear that the flamethrower platoon of Sturmbataillon Rohr had its own uniform regulations. The men wore Garde-Pionier uniform, but with a red number "5" on the shoulder strap. They wore the Totenkopf sleeve badge, but at the elbow rather than on or above the cuff.

As for the unit itself, the flamethrower operators were recruited from the II. Garde-Pionier-Ersatz-Bataillon, and after service with Rohr they transferred into the Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment. However, the reverse wasn't true. Men did not transfer from the Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment into Rohr's unit.

I think Rohr was a favorite of Crown Prince Wilhelm and the Kaiser, so he was given lots of privileges that other unit commanders didn't get.

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I think Rohr was a favorite of Crown Prince Wilhelm and the Kaiser, so he was given lots of privileges that other unit commanders didn't get.

Thomas, it is possible!

But I think it is impossible, what some ebay sellers try to sell us with their own creations sometimes. shame.gif

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Chip and Sergeant08, according to Jürgen Kraus, Die feldgraue Uniformierung des deutschen Heeres 1901-1918 Volume II (Osnabrück: Verlag Biblio, 1999), p. 499, it was an AKO of June 6, 1916, that authorized a silver Brunswick-style Totenkopf for the Garde-Pionier Pickelhaube worn by the flamethrower platoon of Sturmbataillon Rohr.

Thomas,

I am not seeing where an AKO is mentioned on that page of Kraus. It is in Volume I, not II. All it says is a Vfg., which does not necessarily indicate that an AKO existed. Normally, Kraus gives a footnote if an AKO is indicated.

Chip

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Chip, you may be correct. I was going by notes on my computer. I have the photocopied pages somewhere, but I can't find them. Would it be possible for you to scan and post the sentence that says it's a Vfg?

Edited by Thomas W
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Can anybody PM me the information from page 499, Volume 1, of Jürgen Kraus, Die feldgraue Uniformierung des deutschen Heeres 1901-1918 (Osnabrück: Verlag Biblio, 1999)? I'm about to get the galleys of my next flamethrower book, and I need to correct the text if the Rohr Pickelhaube wasn't auhorized by an AKO on 6. 6. 1916. I need to verify that it was authorized by a Vfg. and not an AKO, and I need the info pretty quickly.

Thanks.

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