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@ Kornel

Hi Kornel, sorry for the delay with my response.

In the Spring of 1916, III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon had eight Flammenwerfer Kompanien and one Reseve-Kompanie.

Then, starting in late April of 1916 - the III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon was expanded (by adding four more Flammenwerfer companies) to become the Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment.

By June 1916 the Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment had 12 Flammenwerfer Kompanien a Versuchs-Kompanie (experimental company) and Rekruten-Abteilung (recruit training unit).

Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment was now organized in three battalions consisting of 12 flamethrower field companies plus training and testing units.

To answer your question:

III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon had no 12th company but Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment had twelve flamethrower companies - and 12. Kompanie of Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment was part of the Flammenwerfer Truppe

Hardy

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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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Hello Hardy !

Thank you very much for your reply , but at this moment ( after some info update ) have to disagree with you and try to explain why ...

On the beginning I was also very skeptical and was interpreting it the very same way , but in between did some more research and ask couple more collectors . At first glance two friends basing on the late war structure told me "that's not the one" but after I found in Peter Meinlschmidt's book info about Flammenwerfer Truppen we agreed plus a collector / historian friend very knowledgeable and interested about the subject sent me the scan from the book " Das Ehrenbuch der deutschen Pioniere " which made me sure and ... very happy - soon I'll tell you why .

So the 12. Kompagnie of the III GPB was not only part of flame thrower troops , they were actually "beginners" .

thank you very much , thanks to all participants and interested

best regards

Kornel

Below both scans from :

1) Peter Meinlschmidt " German WW I Identity Tags/Discs "

2) Koenigl. Pruess. Major Paul Heinrici " Das Ehrenbuch der deutschen Pioniere "

Edited by Kornel R.
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Great photo Robin !

it's interesting how bright look the helmets ( from the right side ) - probably it's the effect of the direct sun light ... or some kind of light feldgrau or maybe unusual color like .. sand /clay ?

with regards

Kornel

Edited by Kornel R.
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FW assault troops ........................

The mystery of the badge at the top of the sleeve cuff is solved: The men of the Recruit Depot wore it there. I thought it was machine gunners, but I have a photo that shows about thirty men with the badge at the top of the cuff. I didn't think this would be thirty machine gunners, but now I realize that new recruits wore the badge there.

The older guys in your photo are firefighters. They were recruited well into their fifties because they were incredibly fit, unafraid of fire, and familiar with spraying equipment.

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Well spotted, Thomas.

The particular position of the TKs here didn't enter my head.

If these 1916 FW recruits in the above photos wore the relatively newly-introduced TK badge in that particular position, it might be safe to assume that it would have been sewn to their new Gd. Pnr. tunics before they were issued with them. In other words, joining their new regiment, they would have been given new tunics rather than having to personally de-badge their existing uniforms and then re-badge them with all the Gd. Pnr. collars, straps and other badges.

At the very least, their existing tunics might have been re-badged on their behalf by the regimental tailors.

The point I'm trying to make (very clumsily) is that this might have been the 'official position' placing of the new TK badge on the arm, at least as far as the uniform manufacturers or regimental tailors were concerned.

Does the photo below summarise your current understanding of the placing of these badges ??

Edited by Robin Lumsden
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Well spotted, Thomas.

The particular position of the TKs here didn't enter my head.

If these 1916 FW recruits in the above photos wore the relatively newly-introduced TK badge in that particular position, it might be safe to assume that it would have been sewn to their new Gd. Pnr. tunics before they were issued with them. In other words, joining their new regiment, they would have been given new tunics rather than having to personally de-badge their existing uniforms and then re-badge them with all the Gd. Pnr. collars, straps and other badges.

At the very least, their existing tunics might have been re-badged on their behalf by the regimental tailors.

The point I'm trying to make (very clumsily) is that this might have been the 'official position' placing of the new TK badge on the arm, at least as far as the uniform manufacturers or regimental tailors were concerned.

Does the photo below summarise your current understanding of the placing of these badges ??

I have my doubts... They would have gotten their tunics at musterung and kept them after being transfered...

I know Tom and I have different views on this, but there were no photographic instructions... If you tell a unit back in Germany to sew things on their lower sleeve, then a unit in the field, then a detached unit... it must have pretty much ben up to the iniative of the tailor where he put it...

Then once the guys came from the ersatz battalion to the field regiment, someone would have said "Hey, you newbies are wearing it wrong......"

I can think of a few times in the army when verbal instructions led to people doing things wrong/differently

But we will have to agree to disagree on that...

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Well spotted, Thomas.

The particular position of the TKs here didn't enter my head.

If these 1916 FW recruits in the above photos wore the relatively newly-introduced TK badge in that particular position, it might be safe to assume that it would have been sewn to their new Gd. Pnr. tunics before they were issued with them. In other words, joining their new regiment, they would have been given new tunics rather than having to personally de-badge their existing uniforms and then re-badge them with all the Gd. Pnr. collars, straps and other badges.

At the very least, their existing tunics might have been re-badged on their behalf by the regimental tailors.

The point I'm trying to make (very clumsily) is that this might have been the 'official position' placing of the new TK badge on the arm, at least as far as the uniform manufacturers or regimental tailors were concerned.

Does the photo below summarise your current understanding of the placing of these badges ??

My references--and several photos--show that all Guard Pioneers were issued two uniforms: The one with the Litzen, and a "plain" one with no Litzen.

All my photos of men in the replacment battalion show them with no sleeve badge. That would mean that the death's head was issued only when they entered the regimental recruit depot. My guess is they were handed the badge individually and told to sew it on themselves at the top of the cuff.

As for the photo, I can't say. The half-on-the-cuff position is rare, but I have so many of them that it has to signify something. It could be that half-on-the-cuff is machine gunners.

On the other hand, I have a Soldbuch for a flamethrower pioneer trained only in the grenade launcher and not the flamethrower. I would image that it would be harder to learn how to use a grenade launcher than a machine gun. Also, every half-on-the-cuff photo I have shows only two men in the whole group. A grenade-launcher was operated by two men, and only one per platoon was issued (three per company).

So the death's head badge is associated only with the flamethrower regiment and the Rohr platoon. We now know for certain that top-o'-the-cuff-to-ya means regimental recruit depot, and it's an official position.

The only unknown left is half-on-the cuff.

And the black death's head.

Incidentally, I have three photos of a guy who started out in Sturmbatallion Nr. 14, with his badge in the recruit-depot position. Then he was transferred to Sturmbataillon No. 5 (Rohr) and changed the badge to below the elbow, then he was sent back to Sturmbataillon 14 and put it in the center of the cuff.

The flamethrower pioneer Militärpass I have shows the guy going from the flamethrower battalion to the flamethrower regiment to factory duty to a pioneer recruit depot to a pioneer battalion to the aviation troops to a giant bomber detachment.

Seems like an insane use of his skills.

Edited by Thomas W
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I picked up this little Wehrwolf skull badge many, many years ago.

Cost £4 as I recall, from Mick Coverdale.

Never knew exactly what it was.

Today, I found out.

It's the centrepiece from a Wwolf sympathiser civilian trouser belt buckle !! :jumping:

This is only the second one I've seen in 40 years.

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  • 1 month later...

A fly in the ointment...

I thought the death's head sleeve badge at the top of the cuff meant men from the Recruit Depot of the Garde-Reserve-Pionier-Regiment, but every badge in this photo of the flamethrower platoon of Jäger- (Sturm-) Bataillion Nr. 3 shows the badge at the top of the cuff.

It's not possible that every man was recently transferred in from the recruit depot, so now I think the badge at the top of the cuff represents the flamethrower platoon of Jäger- (Sturm-) Bataillion Nr. 3. Aside from Sturmbataillon Nr. 5 (Rohr), this was the only assualt battalion that had an integral flamethrower platoon from its inception. In the case of all other army assault battalions, the flamethrower platoons were attached from the flamethrower regiment.

The officer has a metal death's head badge with no cloth backing patch. Never seen that before.

Edited by Thomas W
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Hello Hardy !

Thank you very much for your reply , but at this moment ( after some info update ) have to disagree with you and try to explain why ...

On the beginning I was also very skeptical and was interpreting it the very same way , but in between did some more research and ask couple more collectors . At first glance two friends basing on the late war structure told me "that's not the one" but after I found in Peter Meinlschmidt's book info about Flammenwerfer Truppen we agreed plus a collector / historian friend very knowledgeable and interested about the subject sent me the scan from the book " Das Ehrenbuch der deutschen Pioniere " which made me sure and ... very happy - soon I'll tell you why .

So the 12. Kompagnie of the III GPB was not only part of flame thrower troops , they were actually "beginners" .

thank you very much , thanks to all participants and interested

best regards

Kornel

Below both scans from :

1) Peter Meinlschmidt " German WW I Identity Tags/Discs "

2) Koenigl. Pruess. Major Paul Heinrici " Das Ehrenbuch der deutschen Pioniere "

Kornel,

Reddemann in his book: "Geschichte der deutschen Flammenwerfertruppe" (from which I quoted in my earlier post) is contradicting Heinrici.

During most of 1915, there where no 12 companies of Flammenwerfer. Only when the III. Btl expanded to regimental size a 12th coy (and others) was (were) added.

A bataillon of Pioniere had four companies. The I. Bataillon would have coys 1 - 4. The II. Bataillon 5 - 8 and the III. Bataillon 9 - 12.

That was also correct for the III.Garde-Pionier-Bataillon before it became the Flammenwerfertruppe.

Once Reddemann established the III. Garde-Pionier Bataillon as the Flammenwerfertruppe, in the spring of 1915 the the company numbers changed from 9, 10, 11, 12 to 1, 2, 3, 4 (since there were no other Flammenwerfer companies). Therefore, in 1915 the former 12.Kompanie of the III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon is indentical with the 4.Kompanie III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon (Flammenwerfertruppe)

Heinrici quoted the company numbers of the III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon like any other III. Bataillon.

Edited by Naxos
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Kornel,

Reddemann in his book: "Geschichte der deutschen Flammenwerfertruppe" (from which I quoted in my earlier post) is contradicting Heinrici.

During most of 1915, there where no 12 companies of Flammenwerfer. Only when the III. Btl expanded to regimental size a 12th coy (and others) was (were) added.

A bataillon of Pioniere had four companies. The I. Bataillon would have coys 1 - 4. The II. Bataillon 5 - 8 and the III. Bataillon 9 - 12.

That was also correct for the III.Garde-Pionier-Bataillon before it became the Flammenwerfertruppe.

Once Reddemann established the III. Garde-Pionier Bataillon as the Flammenwerfertruppe, in the spring of 1915 the the company numbers changed from 9, 10, 11, 12 to 1, 2, 3, 4 (since there were no other Flammenwerfer companies). Therefore, in 1915 the former 12.Kompanie of the III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon is indentical with the 4.Kompanie III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon (Flammenwerfertruppe)

Heinrici quoted the company numbers of the III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon like any other III. Bataillon.

Reddemann refered to the companies by either the names of their commanders or by the number within the battalion (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th), but the official number of each company remained relative to the original Garde-Pionier-Bataillon.

There was no third guard pioneer battalion until the flamethrower battalion was created. The III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon was still officially the Garde-Pionier-Bataillon. It was the third battalion of the Garde-Pionier-Battalion, which sounds wierd, but this is confirmed by Heinrici, Hermann Cron, and the death book of the flamethrower troops.

It's also confirmed by postcards.

The official stamp and the writer both indicate the 12th Company in 1915. Reddemann called it the 4th Company, but it was officically the 12th Company.

Edited by Thomas W
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Reddemann refered to the companies by either the names of their commanders or by the number within the battalion (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th), but the official number of each company remained relative to the original Garde-Pionier-Bataillon.

There was no third guard pioneer battalion until the flamethrower battalion was created. The III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon was still officially the Garde-Pionier-Bataillon. It was the third battalion of the Garde-Pionier-Battalion, which sounds wierd, but this is confirmed by Heinrici, Hermann Cron, and the death book of the flamethrower troops.

It's also confirmed by postcards.

The official stamp and the writer both indicate the 12th Company in 1915. Reddemann called it the 4th Company, but it was officically the 12th Company.

Thanks Thomas for the clarification!

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Great photo Robin !

it's interesting how bright look the helmets ( from the right side ) - probably it's the effect of the direct sun light ... or some kind of light feldgrau or maybe unusual color like .. sand /clay ?

with regards

Kornel

Dirt to match the terrain can anyone read/translate the back of Robins photo?

Eric

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I've had this very distinctive type of skull for a few years.

Today, I managed to get the 'Viking Ship' sleeve badge to go with it.

Matching silvered brass insignia for the Sturmkompanie of the Ehrhardt Brigade, 1919-20.

I'm sorry to say that your 2nd Pattern Ehrhardt Brigade shield is a well-known fake noted by the lack of detail in the dragon's head on the bow, which looks more like a chicken, the missing helmsman's head, arm and body at the stern, the badly drawn and incorrect 'Ehrhardt' lettering and the overall slightly soft detail. Here are two genuine examples and the details of your fake example. The first of the genuine badges is the same type as yours with cutout oakleaves and holes for sewing and the 2nd is a variation with prongs and a backplate. Note the details of the helmsman, dragon head and lettering on both.

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_12_2014/post-12700-0-73553800-1417751018.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_12_2014/post-12700-0-39658600-1417751037.jpg

Edited by bolewts58
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A comparison of the genuine versus your fake clearly shows the discrepancies. Note also that the top of the cartouche on yours is badly done and asymmetrical. The mast and ropes on yours have no detail compared to the real one. Other obvious details are easy to pick out. Verkuilen Ager identified this fake at least 10 years ago as made from a completely different (and likely new) die. Whoever did it had little understanding of old German typography resulting in the glaring mistakes in the wonky lettering. One wonders whether the guy was drunk when he cut the letters.There are only 3 variations of the 2nd pattern as well as the smaller version made for the Viking-Bund. I'm sorry to say that yours is not one of them.

Edited by bolewts58
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Kornel,

Reddemann in his book: "Geschichte der deutschen Flammenwerfertruppe" (from which I quoted in my earlier post) is contradicting Heinrici.

During most of 1915, there where no 12 companies of Flammenwerfer. Only when the III. Btl expanded to regimental size a 12th coy (and others) was (were) added.

A bataillon of Pioniere had four companies. The I. Bataillon would have coys 1 - 4. The II. Bataillon 5 - 8 and the III. Bataillon 9 - 12.

That was also correct for the III.Garde-Pionier-Bataillon before it became the Flammenwerfertruppe.

Once Reddemann established the III. Garde-Pionier Bataillon as the Flammenwerfertruppe, in the spring of 1915 the the company numbers changed from 9, 10, 11, 12 to 1, 2, 3, 4 (since there were no other Flammenwerfer companies). Therefore, in 1915 the former 12.Kompanie of the III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon is indentical with the 4.Kompanie III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon (Flammenwerfertruppe)

Heinrici quoted the company numbers of the III. Garde-Pionier-Bataillon like any other III. Bataillon.

Hi!

Does someone know, where I can get the book of Reddemann? A pdf would be ok too.

Thanks a lot!

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