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AndresT

Skull & Bones Symbol in Army from past to present

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These are Estonian Kuperjanov (Partisan) Battalion items. 1918 - present days.

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Officer & soldiers during Estonian War of Independence 1918-1920

56a6939d94a4a_OttoUinlemleitnant04.03.19

 

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Soldier hat skull & Officer skull

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ImageServlet?id=972363&thumb=false&musea

Sport pin

 

Iseseisvuspäev Taara linnakus 22.02.jpg

Flag

Edited by AndresT

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56a695271e1d7_Bulak-Balachowiczskullbadg

Bulak - Balachowicz skull badge, 1920

 

latgalespartizanupulks.jpglatgalespartisan-regiment-breast-badge.j

Latvian Latgale Partisan Battalion Est. 1919

 

56a6969ecaea5_BulgarianArmyalsowasusedth

Bulgarian Army also was used the Totenkopf in Tank Brigades.

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If you wish the roots of this tradition, I believe you need to look to the 'Black Brunswickers' of the Napoleonic period and their spiritual descendants in the German cavalry of the 19th century.  Pity the SS made the skull so unpalatable as a device to most modern users.

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Once i read that the use of the skull and bones by prussian hussars after the death of Frederick William 1 . Frederick the Great formed a regiment of hussars the 5th or von Ruesch hussars , and gave to their members small triangular pennons made of black cloth with the skull and bones in white over . the pennons formed part of the mourning decorations at the king s funerals . The hussars founded the banderoles well suited and used them on their mirlitons . Possible ,the Great King was notorious for his economic mind ,he dont likes waste nothing . The skull was too emblem of the british Royal Lancers . the 3rd Cavalry regiment of the chilean Army has the name Hussars and the skull and bones as emblem .

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Kuperjanov partisan battalion 1919. Note skull on helmet. It's similar to some Freikorps skull helmets.

 

VS-aegne ülesvõte Kuperjanovi partisanidest.Kuperjanovlased Ingerimaal, 1. roodu, ülem alamleitnant Rudolf Tarik.jpg

VS-aegne ülesvõte Kuperjanovi partisanidest, kus ühel mehel on surnupealuu ja kondid kiivrile joonistatud.jpg

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Posted (edited)

German Luftwaffe in Estonia Ämari air base. Air Policing. Nitice skull & bones (or wrenches) emblem. 20190713192722-6b8c1f3a.jpg

Edited by AndresT

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Many other soldiers, units and groups have used the skull unofficially.  It's a fairly obvious symbol for a soldier, I think, as it allegedly was for pirates: death, merciless, etc etc.  However, the number of units who use it officially is fairly small, I think, because the optics aren't good in this day and age. 

I recall a public fuss when a member of the French Foreign Legion on patrol in Africa was photographed wearing a skull mask which covered most of his face.  Wearing the masks against dust is common in the theatre, but this one was deemed 'intimidating' and 'inappropriate' as, I believe, his unit was on 'peacekeeping' duty.  

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Peninsula Commemorative Medal, Brunswick (Death’s Head) 17th Hussars.

This medal was awarded by the Dukedom of Brunswick in 1909 to the descendants of the 17th (Death's Head) Hussars Regiment who fought in the Napoleonic Peninsular wars of 1809: -

b.jpg.8a305d6b8fbdb89064a79caaaeb23467.jpg

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Nice topic.

Here is a Belgian sleeve insignia for artificer.

Here seen on a student hat.


rimg9735.jpg

rimg9739.jpg
 

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On 07/08/2019 at 13:55, graham said:

Peninsula Commemorative Medal, Brunswick (Death’s Head) 17th Hussars.

This medal was awarded by the Dukedom of Brunswick in 1909 to the descendants of the 17th (Death's Head) Hussars Regiment who fought in the Napoleonic Peninsular wars of 1809: -

b.jpg.8a305d6b8fbdb89064a79caaaeb23467.jpg

Here is mine.

Missing its ribbon...

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On 08/08/2019 at 04:00, AndresT said:

Yes German history is full of skulls....

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Very nice!!

Here are mine, only 2. The second one on the right is hard to see due to reflection of the windows....

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And more German skull's;

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Posted (edited)

Very nice! Here are  (old!) Estonian Kuperjanov Batallion cuff with skull: file.php?id=31932&t=1

And in collar: file.php?id=36480&t=1

pisipilt?id=dfa9a605-cb76-44a2-a1f4-dfef

Kuperjanow's bust:

pisipilt?id=620f892e-2bd9-4702-877a-2c7d

Sport dress:

pisipilt?id=fafb1e7d-cd4d-4611-abbc-c4d6

Modern Kup. dog tag:

pisipilt?id=b0ec0aea-c10e-437b-a1eb-dfc2

First commander after restauration Bat. gen. Johannes Kert 1992:pisipilt?id=f26798a4-6239-4772-92ef-9dc9

 

But here are British Submarine famoust "protest" skull-flag. hms-utmost-1942-aastal-need-pole-mitte-m

PS! These hats are not mine. Found it from from other forum. It show nicely how skull similar to SS-skull is not SS-skull but... similar. There are many fools who still sees that behind any skull there must be ss and nazis. But hell no!

Edited by AndresT

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Hello, clearly NO ! the Chilean Army for example used and use the Skull and bones as emblem of one of their Cavalry units named also Death Hussars No 3 and dating back to 1818. The 17/21st Lancers of the British Army uses the Skull and bones over a scroll that reads OR GLORY as badge. The French Revolutionary Army created in 1792 a Cavalry Regiment named Hussards de la Mort , Death Hussars , with a black uniform almost identical to that of the Prussian Hussars. During the Spanish Civil War in the Francoist Army was created a Shock Company within the Guardia Civil ,the militarized Police force . the creator Captain Roger Oliete named the Coy La Calavera ,that is the Skull . the near 200 members weared a patch on the arm or the breast with the skull and bones and the letters G and C entwined . the Guardia Civil was and is a rather conservative Institute.

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It is a fairly obvious symbol to connect with soldiering - and pirates, I suppose - as death is part of the whole package.  The Elizabethans were fond of including skulls in artwork too, as a reminder of Man's mortality.  

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Peter, perhaps i am wrong but i believe that the skull and bones as symbol of the Death is closely related with the Christianismus . 

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'Remember, Man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.', to quote from the Roman Catholic Ash Wednesday service.  Today, many Christian denominations put a more positive spin on it, complete with crucifixes displaying the risen Christ. 

cross 1.jpg

cross 2.jpg

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