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#1 05-05-2015 15:53:08

seagerthomas
DAK Member
Registered: 03-05-2015
Posts: 54

Some unusual items — a bit of half track and a bit of a tank!

Here are a couple of oddities for you. The first is a rifle prop from the floor of a half track (?Sd.Kfz. 7) abandoned in the Western Egyptian desert. Note the paint on the third image — green overlain by sandy yellow. This is from just in front of the first row of seats behind the driver, and formed part of a set with a catch at chest level to secure the rifle. The vehicle from which it comes is now on a pedestal in the El Alamein museum. I was given it at the museum in the late 80s. The second is a hinge from a PzKW III knocked out in La Mornaghia cemetery, Tunisia, which I picked up as a teenager in about 1975. By this time the cemetery had been cleared but there were still fragments of concrete (German) crosses lying around, bits of exhumed boot leather and small bits of cut up tank, including this and two other hinges. A. B. Austin described the tank smoking in the corner of the cemetery in his Birth of an Army (1943, p. 146), and it also featured in a contemporary newsreel (see final picture). At the time it was knocked out (on the 6th or 7th of May '43), it would have been part of Kampfgruppe Irkens. Apparently the tank is now in the Deutsches Panzermuseum in Munster — minus three original hinges!
http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/2748_alamein-half-track-1.gifhttp://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/2748_alamein-half-track-2.gifhttp://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/2748_alamein-half-track-3.gif http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/2748_mornaghia-tank-1.gifhttp://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/2748_mornaghia-tank-2.gifhttp://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/2748_imagesbritishpathecom2.jpeg


‘Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.’ Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man (1871), p. 3.

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#2 06-05-2015 00:41:56

RRA227
Supreme DAK Member
From: Hokendauqua.Pa. U.S.A.
Registered: 23-06-2011
Posts: 1339

Re: Some unusual items — a bit of half track and a bit of a tank!

Neat. Rich A. in Pa.


1969 Shelby GT-500 King of the Road
Knowledge is power, guard it well.

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#3 06-05-2015 01:46:55

NZMark
Moderator
From: New Zealand
Registered: 08-04-2011
Posts: 1061

Re: Some unusual items — a bit of half track and a bit of a tank!

I agree - neat indeed! Sometimes relic items are passed by through almost snobbery by some collectors, but they are very important historical items that deserve preservation.
Cool.
Mark


Student & Collector of WWII German Tropical Militaria

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#4 06-05-2015 01:50:58

Rebbaron55
Supreme DAK Member
From: Central Coast of California
Registered: 08-07-2014
Posts: 1131
Website

Re: Some unusual items — a bit of half track and a bit of a tank!

Awesome! Wish we could get some more history on some of the items we have displayed! tongue       Barron

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#5 07-05-2015 10:47:29

seagerthomas
DAK Member
Registered: 03-05-2015
Posts: 54

Re: Some unusual items — a bit of half track and a bit of a tank!

Why do you suppose people are snobbish about 'relics'?  We all like an object that's come from a veteran, or tunic removed rather than unissued or unused, and many celebrate the 'saltiness' of objects. I may be wrong, but I assume that these objects are desirable because they are demonstrably real — or appear to be — but also because they are more directly linked to the history that generated them. And in this case, what could be closer to history than something picked off the battlefield yesterday?

Last edited by seagerthomas (22-06-2015 02:35:52)


‘Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.’ Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man (1871), p. 3.

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#6 07-05-2015 11:04:24

don_kihotis7
Moderator
From: Cyprus
Registered: 05-09-2013
Posts: 2484

Re: Some unusual items — a bit of half track and a bit of a tank!

Hi Mike,
actually the term "relic" reffers to objects that have been recovered from battlefields, destroyed vehicles or buildings etc
So a lot of collectors consider these items to be acquired in an unethical way and refuse to pay any money for them.
I have been involved in digging my self in the past with diggers that are licenced and cooperate with the Volksbund so actually these people are helping the official departments of Germany, Russia etc to recover the bodies of lost soldiers and the latter get a proper burial with the honors they deserve. The Volksbund doesn't care about the personal items that are found with the human remains so they allow the diggers to keep them. I don't see anything wrong with that. After all these people spend some serious money and effort for all their work and selling a few relics does not seem bad to me at all.

I have a soft spot for these items, knowing that they had been on the front line. I have connections with diggers and i know when they had been found and sometimes i even have a photo of the reciovery moment. Here are a few of relics that reside to my collection:



http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/2378_dsc01512.jpg

http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/2378_img_5064.jpg

http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/2378_img_6721.jpg

http://afrikakorps.forumcrea.com/img/avatars/afrikakorps/big/2378_p1040566.jpg


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#7 07-05-2015 11:13:09

don_kihotis7
Moderator
From: Cyprus
Registered: 05-09-2013
Posts: 2484

Re: Some unusual items — a bit of half track and a bit of a tank!

Of course there are black diggers out there as well. But what said above is another story.

Black diggers have no license and don't care about history, fallen soldiers etc.

What they really care about is to find a valuable item and sell it in the market. They don't care to recover the human remains or to cover any holes in the ground. They are like grave robbers.

When i was in Estonia for digging some local diggers had told me that many years ago some locals were digging in war cemetaries to take the golden teeth from the soldiers. They were making a square hole with a shovel, taking the skull off the ground and were checking for golden teeth. The big irony is that sometimes the soldiers were buried with their uniforms and helmets so imagine to take out a skull wearing a Fallschirmjäger helmet or a SS helmet, throw away the lid because they had no idea the value of them in the years to come and just be looking for golden teeth. I am sure they are banging their heads on the wall know lol


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#8 10-05-2015 18:57:19

seagerthomas
DAK Member
Registered: 03-05-2015
Posts: 54

Re: Some unusual items — a bit of half track and a bit of a tank!

Very poignant stuff and very challenging morally. As an archaeologist, I've excavated many dead. Nobody minds too much about Anglo-Saxons or Romans, though when we excavate them (at least in the UK), we are not allowed to do it in public view. The archaeological moral — if that's the right word — is much more to do with the integrity of the archaeological context. Black diggers and collectors and the antiquities trade are disapproved of because they disturb relationships in which we as academics are interested (the existence of collectors and the antiquities trade are held to encourage the activity of the black diggers). It is taken for granted that our intellectual paradigm trumps all others. I also work in Polynesia where the ancient dead are tabu and (some) indigenous people are very offended if you do not treat them, and the places associated with them, in ways that they consider proper. Personally I do my best to respect and accommodate this, though sometimes there is a frustratingly wide gulf between my view and that of the Polynesians. I think the approach in the West to recent war dead is similar to that of the Polynesians. We want 'properly' to honour fallen soldiers, we are outraged when the British War cemetery in Basra in vandalized, the El Alamein cemeteries are maintained beautifully, in the case of the British and Commonwealth, and proudly in the case of the Italian and German. But what happens in 50 or 70 years when the last living connection is gone? Do we put up hoardings — because people aren't supposed to see dead people — and grub up all these dead like Anglo-Saxons and Romans? Do we treasure them like Polynesian, Native American or Catholic relics. Or what? Like I say, very challenging morally. For what it is worth I have several colleagues, with an interest in militaria, who regularly work on World War sites; and they do it because they are interested in militaria, not because they are concerned that the fallen soldiers are properly re-buried, but they do it with all due respect to all living stakeholders.
Mike


‘Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.’ Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man (1871), p. 3.

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