Category Archive 'Militaria'

24 Jun 2018

From Ernst Junger’s Personal Collection

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German steel helmet Mod. 1916 from the collection of Ernst Jünger. Steel, leather | L 31 cm, W 24 cm, H 17.5 cm, G 1250 g | Wilflingen, Ernst Jünger Foundation.

“The steel helmet gives the soldier a desolate look,” noted front-line officer Ernst Jünger (1895-1998) in August 1916 as his unit, the 73rd Infantry Regiment became equipped with the new head protection of the Prussian troops. The engineer Friedrich Schwerd (1872-1953) had designed the helmet with an extended eyeshield and a deep neck guard in 1915 according to military medical specifications, after it had been shown that the spiked leather cap could not provide the soldiers in the trench fighting of the Western Front with sufficient protection. The new helmet was delivered to the troops beginning in the spring of 1916. In the course of the war, 7.5 million of them were produced.

In an infantry assault during the offensive in Flanders, December 1, 1917, Jünger was struck by shrapnel on the head. Although the projectile broke through the helmet, Jünger suffered only minor injuries. The helmet thus became the writer’s most important war trophy and was always kept within reach for life, along with a second steel helmet that Jünger had taken from a fallen English officer in the summer of 1917.

His detailed war diaries served Jünger as the basis for his war memoirs published as Storm of Steel, 1920, which made the writer famous and notorious. Jünger’s description of the murderous battles of the First World War is one of the most important literary sources for what George F. Kennan called “the catastrophe of the 20th century.”


Bavarian Army Museum, Ingoldstadt.

06 Oct 2016

Luger with Kittens

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lugerwkittens

“In Treue Fest” (“Firm in Fidelity”) on belt-buckle is the motto of Bavaria.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

29 Nov 2013

The Polish Forest Is the Final Victor

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JoeMonster.org presents a wonderful series of photographs of WWII weapons and helmets which have become part of the Polish forest.

The Polish language texts reads:

Nature versus war

Looking at these pictures we have no doubt who’s the winner. Nature destroys everything that could hinder its development, even old military equipment.

10 Jul 2012

Vietnam Lighter Collection Fails to Sell at Cowan’s

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Militaria from the Vietnam War has a real collectors’ following, and the whimsically-engraved Zippo lighters commonly carried by US servicemen during the Vietnam conflict are popular enough as collectibles to be extensively counterfeited. But trying to sell a collection of 282 Vietnam-era Zippo lighters, even one which had been previously published as an art book (Vietnam Zippos: American Soldiers’ Engravings and Stories (1965-1973) by University of Chicago Press) as a single auction lot would never have been the best way to achieve optimal results, and with the economy in its current condition, there just were no buyers for $30,000-50,000 worth of lighters.

The owner should have sold them, one at a time, accompanied by a certificate of provenance and authenticity on Ebay. But, I’m not sure he could, even then, have counted on getting over $100 for every example.

Design Observer story

Cowan’s American History Auction, Lot 99

From Andrew Sullivan.

15 Sep 2009

Leftwing Analyst Discredited Using Un-PC Hobby

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Marc Garlasco
moved from targeting terrorists for the Defense Intelligence Agency to a role as senior military advisor for the leftwing Human Rights Watch.

Garlasco’s new job made him some enemies, and the extensive criticism (example) of Israeli military actions in Garlasco’s reports ultimately provoked some unexpected retaliation.

Omri Ceren, a USC grad student blogging at Mere Rhetoric, on September 8th, exposed Garlasco as a German WWII militaria collector, explicitly associating criticism of Israel with a penchant for collecting Nazi war trophies.

The following day, a Tel Aviv daily, Ma’ariv, quoted the blog posted, describing Garlasco as “a compulsive collector of Nazi insignia and memorabilia.”

Garlasco wrote in his own defense, September 11th, on Huffington Post:

I’ve never hidden my hobby, because there’s nothing shameful in it, however weird it might seem to those who aren’t fascinated by military history. Precisely because it’s so obvious that the Nazis were evil, I never realized that other people, including friends and colleagues, might wonder why I care about these things. Thousands of military history buffs collect war paraphernalia because we want to learn from the past. But I should have realized that images of the Second World War German military are hurtful to many.

I deeply regret causing pain and offense with a handful of juvenile and tasteless postings I made on two websites that study Second World War artifacts (including American, British, German, Japanese and Russian items). Other comments there might seem strange and even distasteful, but they reflect the enthusiasm of the collector, such as gloating about getting my hands on an American pilot’s uniform.

But it appears the politically correct stiletto strike to the kidneys remains one of the most devastatingly effective techniques for incapacitating an opponent in the modern era.

The New York Times today announced that HRW was suspending Garlasco.

A leading human rights group has suspended its senior military analyst following revelations that he is an avid collector of Nazi memorabilia.

The group, Human Rights Watch, had initially thrown its full support behind the analyst, Marc Garlasco, when the news of his hobby came out last week. On Monday night, the group shifted course and suspended him with pay, “pending an investigation,” said Carroll Bogert, the group’s associate director.

“We have questions about whether we have learned everything we need to know,” she said.


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