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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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It starts to be a slippery slope at some point. I saw a picture of Jesus on my french toast this morning. It all comes down to belief.

ps. I'm not for or against Robin's skull. I just want to "see" the proof before I make up my mind.

Edited by dond
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Here's the Absender block of the gas-pioneer card.

"Pionier Heintze

15 tum.(?) II Battl.

Pion. Reg 35[,] 6 Komp"

Thomas, could you post the entire script?

"15 tum. II Battl.' next to the undecipherable he spelled Bataillon wrong. Dyslexic?

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It starts to be a slippery slope at some point. I saw a picture of Jesus on my french toast this morning. It all comes down to belief.

ps. I'm not for or against Robin's skull. I just want to "see" the proof before I make up my mind.

Well, I posted this photo for Robin and Sergeant 08, mostly. They enjoyed it.

That's the only thing I care about.

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Thank you Thomas for posting the script. I'm still not sure what the abbreviation means.

" ... ist eben Krieg"

There is some irony in the words of Pionier Rudolf Heintze.

:cheers:

.

Edited by Naxos
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Well, I posted this photo for Robin and Sergeant 08, mostly. They enjoyed it.

That's the only thing I care about.

:cheers:

I can see the skull on the sleeve too.............

......... and I never see Jesus on my toast in the morning.

Some want to believe, and some don't.

Anyway, I'm a believer. So would the others be, if they had the badge in hand.

Photos don't do it justice.

Edited by Robin Lumsden
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Thank you Thomas for posting the script. I'm still not sure what the abbreviation means.

:cheers:

.

Thomas I think the abbreviation starts with an A

... compare with the letter "A" from: Auf Wiedersehen

post-1062-056210100 1294622838_thumb.jpg

post-1062-065098200 1294622863_thumb.jpg

..and yes, Rudolf is not the Best in Rechtschreiben

.

Edited by Naxos
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Thank you Thomas for posting the script. I'm still not sure what the abbreviation means.

" ... ist eben Krieg"

There is some irony in the words of Pionier Rudolf Heintze.

:cheers:

Two or three gas pioneers were assigned to each infantry assault squad during an operation. In the photo, there are two gas pioneers armed with rifles and equipped in light assault order. The second gas pioneer in the photo wears colored brassards on both sleeves, identifying him as a member of a shock troop. I'm saving the photo for my book on German assault troops, so I can't post the whole thing here.

The abbreviation may have something to do with gas pioneers who were assigned to infantry shock troops.

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Two or three gas pioneers were assigned to each infantry assault squad during an operation. In the photo, there are two gas pioneers armed with rifles and equipped in light assault order. The second gas pioneer in the photo wears colored brassards on both sleeves, identifying him as a member of a shock troop. I'm saving the photo for my book on German assault troops, so I can't post the whole thing here.

The abbreviation may have something to do with gas pioneers who were assigned to infantry shock troops.

I understand!

I also believe that the abbreviation is perhaps key

:cheers:

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Thomas I think the abbreviation starts with an A

... compare with the letter "A" from: Auf Wiedersehen

post-1062-056210100 1294622838_thumb.jpg

post-1062-065098200 1294622863_thumb.jpg

..and yes, Rudolf is not the Best in Rechtschreiben

.

Maybe it's "Arm.," short for Armierungs. He could be a member of the 15. Armierungsgruppe or 15th Reinforcement Squad, which could accompany infantry assault troops.

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"...unofficial badges were a lot more common than the experts claim."

Thomas,

I disagree with your sentence. On the contrary, Kraus did make aware in his study a few years ago of the variety of non-regulation patches!

What makes them as difficult to catch as fragile butterflies is that they were non-reg and had short lives. The Kaiser did not allow to triffle with the uniforms of his armies. What some platoon leaders for sure created at the front or on some training grounds, eager to have his troops proudly wear a patch just like the MGSS platoons or the GRPR, was to be taken off for parades. The Ministry of war did not sleep...

As the soldiers were less fetichists than we collectors are, they did not always showed their sleeves properly to the photograph, so evidence is scarce.

What could speak for a patch on your photograph is that the pioneer doesn't wear shoulder straps.However the limits of the quality of the photograph and of my poor eyes don't make the evidence (this time) conclusive

Regards

Gilles

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"...unofficial badges were a lot more common than the experts claim."

Thomas,

I disagree with your sentence. On the contrary, Kraus did make aware in his study a few years ago of the variety of non-regulation patches!

Krauss is only one source.

I've personally had experience with several experts who told me that such unofficial badges are very rare. Also, the books about uniforms usually have no information about unofficial badges.

Some experts know about them, but most don't.

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My question about Thomas' photo is, if this is a black skull, why is it not darker? The only shots that sort of look like a skull are enhanced versions. In the original photo it is nearly impossible to see. The ends of the bread bag strap around his neck are of brown leather. They show up very darkly. One would think a black skull would show up even darker. There may well be a skull there, but I don't know how it could be black.

Chip

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My question about Thomas' photo is, if this is a black skull, why is it not darker? The only shots that sort of look like a skull are enhanced versions. In the original photo it is nearly impossible to see. The ends of the bread bag strap around his neck are of brown leather. They show up very darkly. One would think a black skull would show up even darker. There may well be a skull there, but I don't know how it could be black.

Chip

Old photos are weird things. I have lots of photos of Guard Pioneers with black shoulder straps that register almost the same hue as the field-gray uniform.

post-3717-066752600 1294726621_thumb.jpg

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Regarding unofficial insignia, I would agree that there were many things worn that are not well known. There are others that are very well known and existed on a divisional level for some time, despite specific warnings from the highest authorities. If these were allowed to be worn (such as the sleeve insignia of the 208."Querstrich" Division), then who's to say that others were not worn on a smaller scale? Further little known examples are all of the "specialty" sleeve patches worn within the infantry regiments once they were expanded to include their own Minenwerfer, Nachrichten and pioneer specialists. As we know, there were even special "Sturmtrupp" insignia within regiments and divisions. I have an example of one of these and photos showing a similar insignia being worn during a field award ceremony that was attended by the crown prince. I have never seen it anywhere else. If I had not found the photos along with the insignia, no one would have believed that it was authentic.

There are many more examples that I could list which were worn and tolerated at some level. So I guess my point is that we don't know it all and most likely never will...but, I think it is still OK to be skeptical about things until they are proven. On the other hand, it is OK to have unsubstanciated opinions as well. I know I harbor some. :whistle:

Chip

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Old photos are weird things. I have lots of photos of Guard Pioneers with black shoulder straps that register almost the same hue as the field-gray uniform.

Thomas,

I see your point, though this guy's straps look very dirty. They are lighter than the the strap of the pioneer right next to him. But still, regardless of the reason, as you say, these straps do not stand out as being black.

Chip

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Two or three gas pioneers were assigned to each infantry assault squad during an operation. In the photo, there are two gas pioneers armed with rifles and equipped in light assault order. The second gas pioneer in the photo wears colored brassards on both sleeves, identifying him as a member of a shock troop. I'm saving the photo for my book on German assault troops, so I can't post the whole thing here.

The abbreviation may have something to do with gas pioneers who were assigned to infantry shock troops.

Hi Thomas,

Are you sure of this? My understanding is that the Gas Battalion/Regt guys were specialists using heavy projectors. Armierungs men are labourors, usually behind German lines. They are also usually unarmed, which may explain why only 2 men in the photo are armed.

One of the tasks of Armierungs soldiers is to prepare new positions once ground is occupied by the Germans. My guess would be, if the men are armierungs men, that they may be attached to the Gas Regt to prepare for the set up of the launchers, but I think it unlikely that they would be attached to Sturm troops. The very nature of the gas launchers makes then unsuitable to be rushed forward with assault troops.

What was the reference that puts the gas regt soldiers in with the shock troops?

Best

Chris

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There are many more examples that I could list which were worn and tolerated at some level. So I guess my point is that we don't know it all and most likely never will...but, I think it is still OK to be skeptical about things until they are proven. On the other hand, it is OK to have unsubstanciated opinions as well. I know I harbor some. :whistle:

Chip

I think the danger of saying "there were tons of unofficial badges" means that hope and wishful thinking can overtake logic.

It means and dirty, dusty cloth skull, which may have been used for any club, association, group, political group could now, with a bit of wishful thinking, be a WW1 German badge.

Lets keep both feet on the ground here.... and weigh up the two posibilities...

Ebay is full of stuff, some of it good, some of it downright terrible and a healthy pinch of skepticism should be used when buying... lets weigh up the possibilities...

1) For a reason known only to Buddah, for some reason it has become a source for ultra rare, never seen before, variations of german assault troop badges...

2) As has been going on for years, all kinds of badges, some good, some fantasy, are tossed on by 10 000 sellers a day... only difference now is, unlike 3 years ago, when a skull pops up, instead of saying "that could be anything from a fantasy badge to a variation of the Freischwimmer badge" someone thinks "what if that is an ultra rare ..........".

3) Day in day out there are all kinds of things on Ebay, but the race for skulls has simply lowered the bar and those in the race have to turn to "what ifs..." to keep the stuff coming in.

I think some Ockham's Razor thinking is needed here......

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Anyone who has collected variations like Inf Asaault, Panzer assualt etc. knows how it is....

You get 50 or so recognized originals... then you hit a time when nothing new shows up.... then, to keep the collection flowing you have to head out into the unusual/variation direction.... and half of what you get is disputed by others.... so it becomes a question of belief.... either you believe, or you dont....

I think the guys with the most experiance in this kinds thing are the ones who collect theater made Vietnam patches.... the collectors there also have to be "believers" each time they pull out their wallets...

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