Bargains, rare, interesting or bizarre items of militaria found for sale on the internet.
Whilst the majority of collectors seem to favour British, German or US collectables, it’s nice to see items from other combatants as well. This really nice example of a WW1 French Sergeant Major’s uniform stands out as an extremely affordable, yet historic set from an often overlooked area of collecting. A nice been there tunic, showing awards as well as reused captured Turkish belt and straps. Topped off with a nice M15 Adrian helmet, this is an absolute bargain at £450.
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There are often items that at first glance look fairly common, but are actually very rare. An example of this is the so called “Right Facing Heer” German army buckle. At the start of the Nazi regime in 1933, the army buckle was redesigned from the previous Reichsheer pattern. The eagle now had folded wings and clutched a swastika in its talons. Initially made as two piece in nickel as well as aluminium, these lightweight buckles were only authorised for parade or walking out use.
The eagle on this first pattern Wehrmacht Heer buckle initially faced the wearer’s or eagle’s right, similar to the Weimar period eagle. This was soon changed so that the eagle faced to the left, and would remain this way until the end of the war. Exact reasons for the change are unknown, although it may have been to bring it in line with the left facing political eagle.
The Right Facing Heer buckle is estimated to have been manufactured for only a few months, hence its rarity. There have been variations noted in both construction and details of the actual eagle.
The example we see here is the even rarer nickel version, centre plate affixed by two solder points. A very sought after buckle amongst collectors, reasonably priced at €150 from www.fjm44.com
German helmets have always been a favourite amongst souvenir hunting troops as well as collectors, and Fallschirmjager helmets have generally been regarded as the pinnacle of that area of collecting. This early first model FJ helmet shows typical early field grey paint with side slots. The shell is a double decal with second pattern Luftwaffe eagle and the early liner and chinstrap. This liner and chinstrap were found to be unsuitable for jumping, as the three split pins tended to shear under pressure. Stamped up ET 68, produced by Eisenhuttenwerke of Thale, with lot number 3137.
A second model helmet was developed with a sturdier liner retained by four special spanner bolts, which led to some earlier helmets being modified to this arrangement. Others were put into storage, but overall, first model helmets are extremely scarce.
It’s certainly not a helmet for a new collector, or for that matter those of us on limited means, but if you want a superb example of an extremely rare helmet, you’ll need $52,500 to jump on this one at www.therupturedduck.com