WW1 / WW2 / 20th Century

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A Rare National Socialist Flyers Corps Flyers Helmet, 1930's In Brown Cotton With Bullion NSFK Badge

A Rare National Socialist Flyers Corps Flyers Helmet, 1930's In Brown Cotton With Bullion NSFK Badge

In superb condition overall. The National Socialist Flyers Corps (German: Nationalsozialistisches Fliegerkorps; NSFK) was a paramilitary aviation organization of the Nazi Party.
NSFK was founded 15 April 1937 as a successor to the German Air Sports Association; the latter had been active during the years when a German air force was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles. The NSFK organization was based closely on the para-military organization of the Sturmabteilung (SA). A similar group was the National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK). During the early years of its existence, the NSFK conducted military aviation training in gliders and private airplanes.

The National Socialist Flyers Corps was originally founded in January 1932, but it was quickly absorbed into the pro-Nazi Deutscher Luftsportverband(DLV – ‘German Air Sports Association’) on 25 March 1933. The DLV’s widespread amalgamation of Germany’s air sports associations and glider clubs reflected the overarching Gleichschaltung(‘co-ordination’) of Germany’s institutions and systems by the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei(NSDAP – ‘Nazi Party’). On 17 April 1937, however, Adolf Hitler resurrected the National Socialist Flyers Corps from the ashes of the DLV. The NSFK’s handbook would later claim that ‘everything had to be developed out of the slightest beginnings, almost out of nothing’. 6The DLV’s main task, as the handbook continues, had been ‘clear and distinct, but also huge: “cooperation in the reconstruction of German aviation”.’

Ultimately, the National Socialist Flyers Corps was able to wield a significant level of both military and political control over its sizeable membership: influencing everything from their anti-Semitic views and strengthening their support for the Führer, to fostering a military brotherhood ready for the air war. Along with its blatant appealing to the ‘airmindedness’ of its members, the NSFK combined its National Socialist propaganda with a diverse and dedicated pre-military training scheme. The effectiveness with which such training was delivered could be inconsistent and, in certain cases, was insufficient. Nevertheless, the NSFK’s instructors still provided a well-rounded foundation for its members that enabled many of them to enjoy successful careers in the Luftwaffe.

Politically, the NSFK was unequivocally steeped in National Socialist dogma: its men were intensely bombarded with Nazi slogans in every medium available, from songs and posters to magazines and lectures. The extent to which this politicisation was successful is somewhat difficult to measure, but given its strong influx of young, impressionable Flieger-HJ boys, it can be assumed that many NSFK members were susceptible to the continuation of their political indoctrination. What is less open to debate, however, is that the National Socialist Flyers Corps served as a crucial supplier of keen and ambitious young men to the Luftwaffe – whether their enthusiasm was for politics, flying, or a mixture of the two. The NSFK’s contribution to the main air force in this respect, then, should certainly not be overlooked

Photo from; EIN JAHR NS-FLIEGERKORPS 1937-1938
(THE FIRST YEAR OF THE NATIONAL SOCIALIST
FLYING CORPS 1937 - 1938)

For ref; Victoria Taylor, an aviation historian based at the University of Hull and Sheffield Hallam University  read more

Code: 25243

750.00 GBP

Very Fine Regimental Officer's Sword WW1 of the 5th Prussian Jäger Battalion (1st Silesian). Imperial Prussian Eagle Guard With Crest of Kaiser Willhelm IInd. Commanded By Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia the Heir of Kaiser Wilhelm IInd. Sword No 1

Very Fine Regimental Officer's Sword WW1 of the 5th Prussian Jäger Battalion (1st Silesian). Imperial Prussian Eagle Guard With Crest of Kaiser Willhelm IInd. Commanded By Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia the Heir of Kaiser Wilhelm IInd. Sword No 1

Stamped on the guard for the first officer of the 5th Jäger Battalion, the 1st Company, Sword Number 1. Stamped on the hilt, 5.J.1.1, in it it’s matching numbered scabbard. Used in the 1914 Schlieffen Plan, the Battle of the Ardennes, and the Battle of Verdun and Marne. Overall the sword is in excellent condition, with its original multi wire bound sharkskin grip fully original and intact. Bronze guard, with the personal monogram of the Kaiser upon the grip, and guard depicting the Imperial Prussian Eagle, pieced and in relief. Double fullered blade and it’s original all steel combat scabbard. The blade bears the Kaiser Wilhelmi W Crown proof inspection mark
The 5th Prussian Jäger Battalion (1st Silesian)
AKA The Jäger-Batallion von Neumann (1.Schlesisches ) Nr.5 was formed in 1808 as the 1. Schützen-Abteilung (Schlesische). They fought Napoleon at the Battles of Leipzig and Waterloo, Revolutionaries in Baden in 1849, Austria- Hungary at Königgrätz in 1866 and France again at Wörth and Sedan in 1870. Since 1901 Archduke Ferdinand Carl of Austria-Hungary was honorary Colonel in Chief of the battalion.

In 1914 they were garrisoned at Hirschberg (modern Jelenia Góra, Poland) and formed part of the V Army Corps. During the First World War they served on the Western Front, notably at the Battles of the Marne and Verdun.

On mobilisation, V Corps was assigned to the 5th Army forming part of centre of the forces for the Schlieffen Plan offensive in August 1914 on the Western Front.

In August 1914 the command of 5th Army was assigned to Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany, heir to the Hohenzollern throne, with General Schmidt von Knobelsdorf serving as his chief of staff, and would remain thus until late 1916. The opening hostilities on the Western Front saw the Crown Prince's 5th Army, along with the neighboring 4th Army (commanded by Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg), acting at the center of the Schlieffen plan attack into Belgium and France. On 21 August 1914, in what became known as the Battle of the Ardennes, the 4th and 5th Armies advanced into the Ardennes to counter a thrust by the French 3rd and 4th Armies. Over the next two days 5th Army played a major part in halting the opposing French forces. By 23 August, after taking heavy losses and being outmaneuvered strategically, the two French armies were driven into retreat. Following the German 5th Army's victory in the Battle of the Ardennes it moved to Verdun, where it would remain until 1918. In February 1916 the Crown Prince's 5th Army would launch Operation Gericht, the German offensive that began the Battle of Verdun, one of the bloodiest and longest battles in history. Late in 1916, after suffering terrible losses in its efforts at Verdun, General Max von Gallwitz assumed control of 5th Army. Before the close of the war 5th Army fought in several noteworthy actions, including the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, in September 1918, when it was defeated by the American Expeditionary Force under John J. Pershing. The Fifth Army continued to oppose the AEF's Meuse-Argonne Offensive until the Armistice of 11 November 1918. At the end of the war it was serving as part of Heeresgruppe Gallwitz

It was still in existence at the end of the war in Armee-Abteilung C, Heeresgruppe Gallwitz on the Western Front.

Wilhelm, German Crown Prince, Crown Prince of Prussia (Friedrich Wilhelm Victor August Ernst; 6 May 1882 – 20 July 1951) was the eldest child of the last Kaiser, Wilhelm II, German Emperor, and his consort Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, and thus a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, and distant cousin to many British royals, such as Queen Elizabeth II. As Emperor Wilhelm's heir, he was the last Crown Prince of the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia, until the abolition of the monarchy.

Wilhelm became crown prince at the age of six in 1888, when his grandfather Frederick III died and his father became emperor. He was crown prince for 30 years until the fall of the empire on 9 November 1918. During World War I, he commanded the 5th Army from 1914 to 1916 and was commander of the Army Group German Crown Prince for the remainder of the war. After his return to Germany in 1923, he fought the Weimar Republic and campaigned for the reintroduction of the monarchy in Germany. After his plans to become president had been blocked by his father, Wilhelm supported Adolf Hitler's rise to power, but when Wilhelm realised that Hitler had no intention of restoring the monarchy, their relationship cooled. Wilhelm became head of the House of Hohenzollern on 4 June 1941 following the death of his father and held the position until his own death on 20 July 1951.

Small denting to the scabbard.  read more

Code: 25235

995.00 GBP

An Early 'Special Boat Service' Royal Navy Special Forces Frogman's Bracelet Compass With Original Strap. Excellent Condition Leather, Fully Working Compass. Can Be Operational With a Lanyard Mount

An Early 'Special Boat Service' Royal Navy Special Forces Frogman's Bracelet Compass With Original Strap. Excellent Condition Leather, Fully Working Compass. Can Be Operational With a Lanyard Mount

Brass pressure sealed case, with with screw fitted filling or release aperture, original long leather strap in excellent condition with original buckle. In good working order.

The pattern 261. No. 1241B. Divers Compass. Stamped upon the face seal ring.

The Special Boat Service (SBS) is the special forces unit of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. The SBS can trace its origins back to the Second World War when the Army Special Boat Section was formed in 1940. After the Second World War, the Royal Navy formed special forces with several name changes—Special Boat Company was adopted in 1951 and re-designated as the Special Boat Squadron in 1974—until on 28 July 1987 when the unit was renamed as the Special Boat Service after assuming responsibility for maritime counter-terrorism. Most of the operations conducted by the SBS are highly classified, and are rarely commented on by the British government or the Ministry of Defence, owing to their sensitive nature.

The Special Boat Service is the maritime special forces unit of the United Kingdom Special Forces and is described as the sister unit of the British Army 22 Special Air Service Regiment (22 SAS), with both under the operational control of the Director Special Forces. In October 2001, full command of the SBS was transferred from the Commandant General Royal Marines to the Commander-in-Chief Fleet.6 On 18 November 2003, the SBS were given their own cap badge with the motto "By Strength and Guile". SBS operators are mostly recruited from the Royal Marines Commandos.

Origin: Second World War
Roger Courtney became a commando in mid-1940 and was sent to the Combined Training Centre at Achnacarry in Scotland. He was unsuccessful in his initial attempts to convince Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Keyes and later Admiral Theodore Hallett, commander of the Combined Training Centre, that his idea of a folding kayak brigade would be effective. He decided to infiltrate HMS Glengyle, an infantry landing ship anchored in the River Clyde. Courtney paddled to the ship, climbed aboard undetected, wrote his initials on the door to the captain's cabin, and stole a deck gun cover. He presented the soaking cover to a group of high-ranking Royal Navy officers meeting at a nearby Inveraray hotel. He was promoted to captain and given command of twelve men as the first Special Boat Service/Special Boat Section.

The unit, on the shores of Sannox, Isle of Arran, was initially named the Folboat Troop, after the type of folding canoe employed in raiding operations and then renamed No. 1 Special Boat Section in early 1941. One training exercise required SBS members to navigate folboats 140 miles (230 km) over 3 days and 3 nights from Ardrossan to Clachan, via the Isle of Kerrera, where they reconnoitred and sketched RAF Oban. Attached to Layforce, it moved to the Middle East. The unit worked with the 1st Submarine Flotilla based at Alexandria and did beach reconnaissance of Rhodes, evacuated troops left behind on Crete, and carried out a number of small-scale raids and other operations. In December 1941 Courtney returned to the United Kingdom where he formed No2 SBS, and No1 SBS became attached to the Special Air Service (SAS) as the Folboat Section. In June 1942 they took part in the Crete airfield raids. In September 1942 eight men of the SBS carried out Operation Anglo, a raid on two airfields on the island of Rhodes; all but two of the men were captured after carrying out their mission. Destroying three aircraft, a fuel dump and numerous buildings, the two uncaptured SBS men had to hide in the countryside for four days before they could reach the waiting submarine. After the Rhodes raid, the SBS was absorbed into the SAS due to the heavy casualties they had suffered.

The Royal Marines Boom Patrol Detachment (RMBPD) was formed on 6 July 1942, and based at Southsea, Portsmouth. The RMBPD was under the command of Royal Marines Major Herbert 'Blondie' Hasler with Captain J. D. Stewart as second in command.The detachment consisted of 34 men and was based at Lumps Fort, and often exercised in the Portsmouth Harbour and patrolled the harbour boom at nights.

1st SAS was divided, with 250 men from the SAS joining the Small Scale Raiding Force to form the Special Boat Squadron under the command of Major the Earl Jellicoe. They moved to Haifa and trained with the Greek Sacred Regiment for operations in the Aegean.

They later operated among the Dodecanese and Cyclades groups of islands in the Dodecanese Campaign and took part in the Battle of Leros and the Battle of Kos. They, with the Greek Sacred Band, took part in the successful Raid on Symi in July 1944 in which the entire German garrison was either killed or captured. In August 1944 they joined with the Long Range Desert Group in operations in the Adriatic, on the Peloponnese, in Albania, and, finally, in Istria. So effective were they that, by 1944, the 200–300 men of the SBS were holding down six German divisions.

Throughout the war, No.2 SBS did not use the Special Boat Squadron name but instead retained the name Special Boat Section. They accompanied US Major General Mark Clark ashore before the Operation Torch landings in October 1942 on Operation Flagpole. Later, one group, Z SBS, which was based in Algiers from March 1943, carried out the beach reconnaissance for the Salerno landings and a raid on Crete, before moving to Ceylon to work with the Special Operations Executives, Force 136 and later with Special Operations Australia. The rest of No. 2 SBS became part of South-East Asia Command's Small Operations Group, operating on the Chindwin and Irrawaddy rivers, and in the Arakan, during the Burma campaign.23

Although their roles always overlapped to some extent, the various canoe and boat units became more specialised from late 1942 onwards. The RMBPD focused on ship attack and harbour sabotage, the Special Boat Section and COPP undertook covert beach surveys, and the Special Boat Squadron engaged in raiding, sabotage and reconnaissance above the high-water mark.

Picture in the gallery of the printed details on the RN service guide for its use, and storage of compass when not in use.

A few years ago we were privileged to have acquired the service sword of a WW2 SBS D.Day hero, and his ancestral; sword of his ancestor, the great ‘Nicolson of Delhi’ hero of the Raj in the 19th century, one of the few men to still have his much revered statue still standing in India.  read more

Code: 25234

395.00 GBP

An Original and Superb WW2 RAF Air Ministry Issue 'Scramble Bell', Cast Bronze With Turned Hardwood Handle On A Brass Socket Mount With Brass Ball Top. Interior Bears The AM Crown Mark of the Air Ministry Contract

An Original and Superb WW2 RAF Air Ministry Issue 'Scramble Bell', Cast Bronze With Turned Hardwood Handle On A Brass Socket Mount With Brass Ball Top. Interior Bears The AM Crown Mark of the Air Ministry Contract

An iconic centre piece of any collection from the most renowned and famed era of the British RAF. This would would make an amazing addition to any collection, or display, or a unique historic gift for any collector of aeronautica.

A most scarce, original, 'Battle of Britain' piece of original, RAF Air Ministry issue aeronautica, an original brass bracket mounted then hand-held 'scramble' bell, complete with its wooden handle, stamped AM Crown, marked with crown and initials AM, Used at an RAF air base. Made in the period when the RAF knew very well that war was imminent and very likely, and it was used throughout the entire war, right from the 'Battle of Britain' period. It’s diameter of the bell is 200 mm, and height 300 mm approx, it weighs, 3.15 kilos.

A very fine example, in super condition, of an original RAF scramble bell from a RAF base, such as RAF North Weald, as it likely came from that location area, another that came from RAF Debden, an airfield 3 miles south east of Saffron Waldon in Essex, was sold over six years ago for 2,500 at auction in New York.

This hand bell would have been rung when instructions came through from HQ of an imminent attack by the feared and deadly Luftwaffe Bombing Squadrons, in order to scramble the bravest of the brave, the frighteningly young, RAF, RAAF or RCAF pilots into the air. During the Battle of Britain and beyond the average age of the pilots was just 20 years old, of the 2,937 British and Allied aircrew. Britain aircrew were flying multiple sorties a day to intercept the relentless Luftwaffe raids over the British skies, Aircrew from sixteen nationalities flew and fought together against the Luftwaffe, who outnumbered the RAF in both aircraft and pilots.

Against all odds, the RAF defeated the Luftwaffe. Hitler was forced to abandon his plans to invade Britain.
544 aircrew were killed during the Battle of Britain. A further 422 aircrew were wounded. Almost a third of all the men that flew.

British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, famously expressed the incredible debt owed to the Battle of Britain aircrew:

“Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.”

During WW2 the world's premier gallantry medals were granted to air Force personnel, 22 Victoria Crosses were awarded, and 2,001 Air Force Crosses were Awarded, 26 were awarded to the same recipient twice, and just 1 was awarded to the same man three times.

Throughout the summer of 1940, across England, on hundreds of grass makeshift runways, with young eager pilots that awaited in huts for the bell to be rung, then rushing ‘hell for leather’ to their fighter planes, in order to attack the German bomber and fighter formations descending on vulnerable Southern England. Such as RAF Debden, in Essex, that was built in April 1937, with the tarmac airstrip laid in 1940. It was a sector station for 11 Group RAF. Many British Hurricane and Spitfire squadrons were based at Debden, including number 17 squadron throughout the Battle of Britain. In September 1942, it was handed over to the USAAF, as part of British support for the American bombing campaign in Europe. The Battle of Britain (German: Luftschlacht um England, literally "The Air Battle for England") was a military campaign of the Second World War, in which the Royal Air Force (RAF) defended the United Kingdom (UK) against large-scale attacks by Nazi Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe. It has been described as the first major military campaign fought entirely by air forces. The British officially recognise the battle's duration as being from 10 July until 31 October 1940, which overlaps the period of large-scale night attacks known as the Blitz, that lasted from 7 September 1940 to 11 May 1941. German historians do not accept this subdivision and regard the battle as a single campaign lasting from July 1940 to June 1941, including the Blitz.

The primary objective of the German forces was to compel Britain to agree to a negotiated peace settlement. In July 1940 the air and sea blockade began, with the Luftwaffe mainly targeting coastal-shipping convoys, ports and shipping centres, such as Portsmouth. On 1 August, the Luftwaffe was directed to achieve air superiority over the RAF with the aim of incapacitating RAF Fighter Command; 12 days later, it shifted the attacks to RAF airfields and infrastructure. As the battle progressed, the Luftwaffe also targeted factories involved in aircraft production and strategic infrastructure. Eventually it employed terror bombing on areas of political significance and on civilians.

The Germans had rapidly overwhelmed France and the Low Countries, leaving Britain to face the threat of invasion by sea. The German high command knew the difficulties of a seaborne attack and its impracticality while the Royal Navy controlled the English Channel and the North Sea. On 16 July, Adolf Hitler ordered the preparation of Operation Sea Lion as a potential amphibious and airborne assault on Britain, to follow once the Luftwaffe had air superiority over the UK. In September, RAF Bomber Command night raids disrupted the German preparation of converted barges, and the Luftwaffe's failure to overwhelm the RAF forced Hitler to postpone and eventually cancel Operation Sea Lion. Germany proved unable to sustain daylight raids, but their continued night-bombing operations on Britain became known as the Blitz.

Historian Stephen Bungay cited Germany's failure to destroy Britain's air defences to force an armistice (or even outright surrender) as the first major German defeat in World War II and a crucial turning point in the conflict. The Battle of Britain takes its name from a speech by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons on 18 June: "What General Weygand has called The Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin." The scramble bell came three different forms, the larger mounted bell, with the same AM Air Ministry marks, but much heavier, so they had to be wall mounted, or on a free standing bracket, hanging outside of say, a hut, and this type the medium sized bracket mounted for hanging outside of a hut, but as this one with an added handle, which was naturally much somewhat portable, and ideal for emergency RAF bases and landing strips, created with makeshift or tented non-permanent buildings. And the smaller regular contract hand-bell was also ideal in those bases.  read more

Code: 25232

1795.00 GBP

A Most Fine Imperial German & WW2 General Officer's & Field Marshal's Grade Sabre As Carried By Field Marshal von Kliest With Ruby Eye Lion's Head Pommel

A Most Fine Imperial German & WW2 General Officer's & Field Marshal's Grade Sabre As Carried By Field Marshal von Kliest With Ruby Eye Lion's Head Pommel

Lioness head quillon end and langets decorated with a panel to the reverse langet, and a pair of crossed cannon barrels on the front langet. Remarkably the hilt still retains around most of all its original highest grade gold plate surface.

P hilt guard with oak leaf with acorn decoration across the bow, laurel leaf patterning around the ferrule and wire bound sharkskin grip. It looks truly, spectacularly beautiful.
The blade is double side fully etched with Romanesque scroll patterning combined with stands of arms.

In the gallery is a portrait photo of WW2 Field Marshal von Kleist holding his near identical Imperial service lion's head pommel sword.

Almost all WW2 German Generals and Field Marshals served in WW1 and thus continued to use their previous war service sword, just as this one. The added benefit was often that the Imperial German made swords could be better quality than the later period replacements, especially the superior deluxe versions like this one, which were the next grade below the presentation Damascus bladed German Grosse Degan sabre. the sword hilt and blade is is superb condition for age.
The scabbard is steel, blued overall, with a copper-gilt suspension belt mount. Truly one of the best quality and condition examples apart from the light scabbard denting we have seen in 20 years. Curiously we have seen exactly the same kind of denting on the scabbards of known WW2 General officer's swords, often caused by sword scabbards being caught in Mercedes staff-car doors

The scabbard has several service dings and dents  read more

Code: 24759

1095.00 GBP

A Very Good WW1 & WW2 Royal Naval Officer's Sword with Service Knot

A Very Good WW1 & WW2 Royal Naval Officer's Sword with Service Knot

Made and used in WW1 and WW2, yet perfectly serviceable for current service.

Near mint gilt, fully etched blade with traditional anchor and the King George Vth cypher.

The original Royal Naval sword was designed in 1805, although elegant in design it proved impractical and was replaced in 1827 by the solid hilt variant. In 1846 the Royal Naval blade was standardised for all Royal Naval officers, with the current lighter, straight single-edged blade being commissioned into service in 1929.

During World War I, the Royal Navy's strength was mostly deployed at home in the Grand Fleet, confronting the German High Seas Fleet across the North Sea. Several inconclusive clashes took place between them, chiefly the Battle of Jutland in 1916. The British fighting advantage proved insurmountable, leading the High Seas Fleet to abandon any attempt to challenge British dominance. The Royal Navy played an important role in securing the British Isles and the English Channel, notably ferrying the entire British Expeditionary Force to the Western Front without the loss of a single life at the beginning of the war.
The Royal Navy nevertheless remained active in other theatres, most notably in the Mediterranean Sea, where they waged the Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaigns in 1914 and 1915. British cruisers hunted down German commerce raiders across the world's oceans in 1914 and 1915, including the battles of Coronel, Falklands Islands, Cocos, and Rufiji Delta, among others

At the start of World War II in 1939, the Royal Navy was still the largest in the world, with over 1,400 vessels. The Royal Navy provided critical cover during Operation Dynamo, the British evacuations from Dunkirk, and as the ultimate deterrent to a German invasion of Britain during the following four months. The Luftwaffe under Hermann Göring attempted to gain air supremacy over southern England in the Battle of Britain in order to neutralise the Home Fleet, but faced stiff resistance from the Royal Air Force. The Luftwaffe bombing offensive during the Kanalkampf phase of the battle targeted naval convoys and bases in order to lure large concentrations of RAF fighters into attrition warfare. At Taranto, Admiral Cunningham commanded a fleet that launched the first all-aircraft naval attack in history. The Royal Navy suffered heavy losses in the first two years of the war. Over 3,000 people were lost when the converted troopship Lancastria was sunk in June 1940, the greatest maritime disaster in Britain's history. The Navy's most critical struggle was the Battle of the Atlantic defending Britain's vital North American commercial supply lines against U-boat attack. A traditional convoy system was instituted from the start of the war, but German submarine tactics, based on group attacks by "wolf-packs", were much more effective than in the previous war, and the threat remained serious for well over three years

Fully etched blade with old aged pitting at the tip end now surface polished bright.  read more

Code: 25221

695.00 GBP

A Delightful Piece of Large Quality 'Trench Art'. A German Shell Trench Engineered Into The Form Of A British 1905 Pattern Trench Service Cap. Wonderful Quality

A Delightful Piece of Large Quality 'Trench Art'. A German Shell Trench Engineered Into The Form Of A British 1905 Pattern Trench Service Cap. Wonderful Quality

In near mint condition.

‘Trench art’ is a term used to describe objects made from the debris and by-products of modern warfare. Trench Art is usually associated with the First World War, although similar items have been produced in other conflicts too.



Most trench art was made by servicemen to pass the time when not in the front line. While much of it was simple and amateurish, the production of some examples required metalworking skills or workshop facilities. Prisoners of war, faced with a constant battle against boredom, produced similar items.

The standard service dress cap prescribed for wear by all non-commissioned ranks of the British Army from 1905, excluding Scottish regiments. With its round top and stiff peak, the cap was not an entirely practical form of headdress in sunshine or windy weather. One concession to wet conditions was that it was lined with a waterproof black oilskin composition to the crown. The cap continued in service throughout the First World War but was augmented by the 1915 pat. winter trench cap, known as the 'Gor Blimey', and the later soft peaked field cap in 1917. Both of the latter had their merits, and had the uppermost regard of comfort to the soldier in mind and could be folded away and stowed easily when not worn. Naturally as shrapnel helmets became available on a wider scale of issue from 1916, cloth headdress was worn less in the trenches.

Shell case by Polte Werk in Magdeburg
This trench art piece is most likely made from a German 77 x 230mmR cartridge case

Produced by Polte Werke, Magdeburg, in October of 1915.
“St” indicates a reinforced (stronger) cartridge case construction.
“160” = serial number
“Sp252” identifies the inspector for quality control.

This cartridge case was used in the German "7,7cm leichte Feld Kanone (l.F.K.) 96 n/A " or 7.7cm (77mm) light field cannon, 1896 new model.  read more

Code: 25220

Reserved

An Original WW2 British 6 Pounder Tank Shell, Head and Brass Case

An Original WW2 British 6 Pounder Tank Shell, Head and Brass Case

The six-pounder antitank gun was Great Britain’s premier tank killing weapon when it first appeared in the Western Desert, proving able to pierce the armour of any German tank the Afrika Korps could field. The technological arms race of World War II produced new tanks with ever thicker armour, however, and ultimately the six-pounder became ineffective well before war’s end. This obsolescence made little difference for many of the Allied soldiers who used it; since there was no comparable replacement that worked better, the cannon was still in wide use when the war ended.
The weapon the British Army eventually got was a marked improvement over its predecessor. The six-pounder Mk2 production model weighed in at 2,521 pounds, almost 800 pounds heavier than the two-pounder but still light enough for crews to manhandle it into position when necessary. It was mounted on a conventional two-wheeled carriage with “split” trails; that is, the two trailing arms that extended to the rear of the carriage could be separated to increase stability. The barrel on the six-pounder was 43-caliber, meaning the bore’s length was 43 times its diameter of 57mm. The weapon could traverse 45 degrees to either side and elevate from minus five to plus 15 degrees.

When firing the standard six-pound armour-piercing round, the six-pounder had a maximum range of 5,500 yards with a muzzle velocity of 2,693 feet per second and could penetrate 74mm of armour at 1,000 yards. Over time, improved ammunition was developed, culminating in June 1944 with an APDS (Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot) round that had a tungsten core. This increased penetration to 146mm at 1,000 yards. Tungsten was a valuable commodity in war production, so shortages meant there were never as many APDS rounds available as needed.

Photo in the gallery of a Panzer tank crew comparing our six pounder shell to their 88mm shell. As you can see much merriment was had that day by the jolly German crew, famously known for their sense of humour.

Inert, deactivated and completely safe  read more

Code: 25218

275.00 GBP

A Stunning Original Horseguards Officer's Pattern Helmet Plate. In Gold, Red Enamel Cross, Blue Enamel Garter, And Frosted Silver Cut Steel Order of the Garter Badge Star

A Stunning Original Horseguards Officer's Pattern Helmet Plate. In Gold, Red Enamel Cross, Blue Enamel Garter, And Frosted Silver Cut Steel Order of the Garter Badge Star

Probably the worlds most beautiful helmet plate ever designed.
This fabulous quality officer’s helmet plate, in use since the Queen’s coronation in 1953, was used by an officer of the Queen’s mounted bodyguard, from either the Blues and Royals or the Life Guards regiments, that combined, make up the Royal Horseguards. The helmet plate is identical for both helmets, only the colour of the yak hair plume was different, white for Life Guards, red for Blues and Royals.

The Albert helmet is the current ceremonial headgear of the British Army's Household Cavalry, for both the Life guards regiment and the Blues and Royals regiment, known collectively as Horseguards.

This pattern will now be changed very soon for the design designated for His Majesty King Charles lII. The crown will be changed to the single domed crown of all the kings since Edward VIIth. The domed crown is called either The King’s Crown or the Imperial State Crown. The late Queen’s crown, is known as St Edwards Crown.

The Albert pattern helmet was introduced by Prince Albert in 1842 and adopted by the Household Cavalry the following year. In 1847 the helmet was introduced to all heavy cavalry regiments. It remains in use as the full dress headgear of the two remaining Household Cavalry regiments, the Blues and Royals and the Life Guards. The magnificent helmet remains in use with the two current Household Cavalry regiments, the Blues and Royals with red plume and the Life Guards with white plume. These regiments are amalgamations of the four earlier regiments. The Life Guards retain the white plume and the onion from the 2nd Regiment, the Blues and Royals retain the red plume of the Royal Horse Guards. Blues and Royals officers wear a yak hair plume. Farriers in both regiments wear different plumes, the Life Guards farrier wear black and Blues and Royals farrier red.

The regiments also differ in how they wear the helmet's chin strap. The Blues and Royals wear it under the chin while the Life Guards wear it under the lower lip. The helmet is now in white metal for all ranks and the same helmet plate is worn by both regiments (they were different historically).

The Albert helmet is only worn in full dress review order, guard order and front yard order by other ranks and in full dress, levee dress and ceremonial rehearsal dress by officers. Medical and veterinary officers do not wear the helmet, instead wearing a cocked hat.

The other ranks of the Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry wear the helmet in full dress (with the plumes of their parent regiments), except when parading in the presence of the royal family, when they wear state dress with jockey caps. Band officers wear Albert helmets on both occasions.

Its condition is considered by us as mint. A complete Horseguards officer’s helmet from the 1953 coronation period, in mint condition, will cost today somewhere between £6,500 to £10,000.  read more

Code: 24065

950.00 GBP

A Fine & Very Rare WWI Prussian Regimental Officer’s Sword of The 2nd Imperial Garde Uhlan Lancers Regiment

A Fine & Very Rare WWI Prussian Regimental Officer’s Sword of The 2nd Imperial Garde Uhlan Lancers Regiment

Fully etched blade with the Imperial Garde Garter Star motif and regimental name of the [Imperial Prussian] Garde 2nd Uhlan Regiment. The Imperial German Garde were the regiments that composed the elite bodyguard regiments of the Kaiser.

The regiment of Field Marshal Schlieffen, inventor of the world renown military tactic, the ‘Schlieffen Plan’

Included in the officers of the 2nd Garde Uhlans was Field Marshal Count Alfred Graf von Schlieffen who joined the 2nd Garde Uhlans as a young officer in Berlin. He first saw active war service as a staff officer with the Prussian Cavalry Corps, in the uhlans, at the Battle of Koniggratz of 1866, during the Austro-Prussian War. His career saw rapid promotion due to his obvious tactical skills. He became Lieutenant General on 4 December 1888, and eventually General of the Cavalry on 27 January 1893., followed by Field Marshal. Schlieffen was perhaps the best-known contemporary strategist of his time, although criticized for his "narrow-minded military scholasticism." In World War I the regiment was part of the Guards Cavalry Division fighting on the Western Front. After the mobilization the regiment moved through Belgium and was involved in the First Battle of the Marne before the general retreat to Reims, where it dismounted and was involved in trench warfare as well as signaling operations. By September 1914, the regiment was divided, with 3rd and 4th Squadrons (2nd half-regiment) sent to the 2nd Cavalry Division and the 1st and 2nd Squadrons (1st half-regiment) remaining in the 2nd Guards Infantry Division.

1st half-regiment: On 20 November 1914, it moved into Russian Poland and by August 1915 moved into Vilna, as a part of the Gorlice?Tarn?w Offensive. By the end of October 1915, the half-regiment was involved in operations in Courland and was involved in the capture of Riga in September 1917. In November 1917, the unit moved back to the Western Front where they remained till the end of the war.

2nd half-regiment: It remained first on the Western Front and in April 1915 was transferred to Galicia, but soon returned to the Western Front. In 1917 it again returned to the Eastern Front in action around Vilna before returning to the West, where it remained until the end of the war.

After the end of the war, in December 1918 the squadrons reunified and returned to Berlin, where the regiment was demobilized and then dissolved in 1919.

Schlieffen's operational theories were to have a profound impact on the development of maneuver warfare in the twentieth century, largely through his seminal treatise, Cannae, which concerned the decidedly un-modern battle of 216 BC in which Hannibal defeated the Romans. Cannae had two main purposes. First, it was to clarify, in writing, Schlieffen's concepts of maneuver, particularly the maneuver of encirclement, along with other fundamentals of warfare. Second, it was to be an instrument for the Staff, the War Academy, and for the Army all together. Schlieffen held that the destruction of an attacking force required that it be surrounded and attacked from all sides until it surrendered, and not merely repulsed as in a 'passive' defence: His theories were studied exhaustively, especially in the higher army academies of the United States and Europe after World War I. American military thinkers thought so highly of him that his principal literary legacy, Cannae, was translated at Fort Leavenworth and distributed within the U.S. Army and to the academic community. In 1914, the Imperial German Army included twenty-six Uhlan regiments, three of which were Guard regiments, twenty-one line (sixteen Prussian, two Wurttemberg and three Saxon) and two from the autonomous Royal Bavarian Army. All German Uhlan regiments wore Polish style czapkas and tunics with plastron fronts, both in coloured parade uniforms and the field grey service dress introduced in 1910. Because German hussar, dragoon and cuirassier regiments also carried lances in 1914, there was a tendency among their French and British opponents to describe all German cavalry as "uhlans". No scabbard.  read more

Code: 22670

1495.00 GBP