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Both the collar and the cuffs on this tunic have been reworked. Was it done during the period? Anybody's guess. The "Zacher" and red "Wien" ink stamps are postwar markings (the Zacher name is related to the theater business). The buttons are replaced. A tunic from this period should have nickel or painted steel buttons for a pioneer. I think this tunic started life as something other than a pioneer. It could very well be a total put-together.

Chip

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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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Robin,

Those markings on the pennant don't make a lot of sense to me either. I suppose the "K" in the regimental abbreviation could stand for "Königin", but the order of the letters doesn't seem right.I have never before seen any stamps (the red date) on the actual body of the pennant. My issue lance pennant is made from cotton linen. From the looks of the mothing, yours is made from wool. Lots of questions about this one.

Maybe the "K" stands for "Kombination"? :rolleyes:

Chip

Hello Chip.

The pennant isn't mine.

I just saved the photo from an eBay auction several years ago.

The ones below are mine ...............

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Any idea what this thing is?

I thought it was part of a drum hanger when I bought it.

But it was suggested it might be a saddle pouch cover ???

The pennants came from the same source and are unmarked ............ linen.

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Both the collar and the cuffs on this tunic have been reworked. Was it done during the period? Anybody's guess. The "Zacher" and red "Wien" ink stamps are postwar markings (the Zacher name is related to the theater business). The buttons are replaced. A tunic from this period should have nickel or painted steel buttons for a pioneer. I think this tunic started life as something other than a pioneer. It could very well be a total put-together.

Chip

War Ministry Order No. 1672. 18. G. A6, dated September 28, 1918, decreed that all pioneer companies on the western front form a flamethrower platoon for antitank warfare. Each would be armed with six small flamethrowers.

It could be that some of these platoons used death's-head insignia in imitation of the flamethrower regiment.

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War Ministry Order No. 1672. 18. G. A6, dated September 28, 1918, decreed that all pioneer companies on the western front form a flamethrower platoon for antitank warfare. Each would be armed with six small flamethrowers.

It could be that some of these platoons used death's-head insignia in imitation of the flamethrower regiment.

I wonder if .................... ????

Königlich Württembergisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 354

1.Reserve-Kompanie/Königlich Württembergisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 13

2.Reserve-Kompanie/Königlich Württembergisches Pionier-Bataillon Nr. 13

Königlich Württembergische Minenwerfer-Kompanie Nr. 254

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I wonder if .................... ????

Guess what? Your idea made me go over a photo I have of line pioneers posing with flamethrowers in late 1918. It's a group photo of about a company, so the image of each man is tiny.

Look what I found on the left sleeve of one man holding a flamethrower igniter:

Edited by Thomas W
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War Ministry Order No. 1672. 18. G. A6, dated September 28, 1918, decreed that all pioneer companies on the western front form a flamethrower platoon for antitank warfare. Each would be armed with six small flamethrowers.

It could be that some of these platoons used death's-head insignia in imitation of the flamethrower regiment.

Thomas,

While it is possible that insignia could have been created due to this order, given the late date and the state of the German army at this time (in retreat in many areas), it seems unlikely that such insignia would have been created. The Germans were having trouble carrying out uniform changes that were mandated in 1918. The likelihood that un-mandated ones were being pursued, is even less.

Chip

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While it is possible that insignia could have been created due to this order, given the late date and the state of the German army at this time (in retreat in many areas), it seems unlikely that such insignia would have been created. The Germans were having trouble carrying out uniform changes that were mandated in 1918. The likelihood that un-mandated ones were being pursued, is even less.

I'm sure that the flamethrower platoons mandated in late September of 1918 didn't have any official badges. But it's entirely possible that some men--who were trained by the Death's Head Pioneers of the Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment--scrounged up skull-and-crossbones badges on their own.

The Austrian assault battalions were trained by Sturmbataillon Nr. 5 (Rohr); the Austrians were impressed by the death's-head sleeve badge worn by Rohr's flamethrower troops and adopted the skull-and-crossbones for many of their assault formations.

It's possible that some line pioneers trained by the Death's Head Pioneers liked the badge and bought locally manufactured skull-and-crossbones insignia, cut them crudely out of cloth, or had metal versions sent from home. That would only take a few days.

Edited by Thomas W
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Guess what? Your idea made me go over a photo I have of line pioneers posing with flamethrowers in late 1918. It's a group photo of about a company, so the image of each man is tiny.

Look what I found on the left sleeve of one man holding a flamethrower igniter:

Hello Thomas.

Thank you ............. once again. :cheers:

Some great photos you have on file.

I think that with every week that passes with this thread, we are getting closer to identifying this little black guy once and for all ........................ :jumping:

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It's possible that some line pioneers trained by the Death's Head Pioneers liked the badge and bought locally manufactured skull-and-crossbones insignia, cut them crudely out of cloth, or had metal versions sent from home. That would only take a few days.

As a point of interest, the black skull is constructed in exactly the same way as the standard flamethrower TK.

IMHO, whoever made the black skull had to have been in possession of a standard flamethrower TK to work from.

The Niemann photos from 2009 did not show all the details.

The black TK could not have been made using the Niemann photos alone as 'templates'.

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Wish I knew more about this photo. I found it on Imageshack. It's a genuine Wex flamethrower, but the uniform has lots of anomalies. No Garde Litzen on the collar, and the cuffs are wrong for the M.1915 Bluse. The sleeve badge is in the Sturmbataillon No. 5 (Rohr) position; I can't tell if the badge is the right pattern or not. The trousers appear to be riding breeches, and the boots don't look German.

The caption in the upper right says Piave front, 1917, assault pioneer of Garde-Fusilier-Regiment.

Museum mannequin? Private collection? Who knows?

Edited by Thomas W
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I would imagine that you could find out about this article by querying the Italian collectors about how to contact the author. The name of the author of this article (Furio Lazzarini) is familiar to me. He was on the staff of the magazine "Uniformi & armi" as far back as the 1980s. He must be well known among Italian collectors, as he has authored many articles.

Chip

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Last year I got this skull badge and I had already posted it here before.

It came together with some Freikorps items. That was the reason why I thought, it must have a relation to that period.

Today I got an answer! The badge is for soldiers, who fought in the Czechoslovak Legion (for example the Legion fought in Russia during the Russian Civil War).

Perhaps a German Freikorps member (who fought in East) brought it to Germany?

Another mystery....and finally an answer. Some things need time. ;)

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Edited by Sergeant 08
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  • 3 weeks later...

I think I have a (very serious) problem. :speechless:

Every time I look at this totenkopf pennant, I think of Cherie Blair. :violent:

The result of too much skull collecting during last years. I wonder, when I will have similar symptoms......:cheeky:

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