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Bayonetcollector
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Norway
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Posted - 04/25/2007 : 7:32:39 PM Here's a German Shoulderstrap I picked up.

It appears original, well worn and has had a field repair. One can only wonder what the damage is from. A shell fragment? A bullet? A bayonet or knife thrust? Something else? The damage is weird, the outer edge of the strap has not been cut, there is a straight cut about 2/3 of the way across it.

It is marked 23, can anyone tell me about this regiment and where they were?

I read in a British instruction manual that the British soldiers were to cut one shoulder strap off fallen germans to gain intelligence about what units they were facing. These straps were to be handed in, and the soldiers were not to keep any for themselves (or they'd face penalties). Is this one of the shoulder straps cut from the uniform of a fallen German? We'll never know, no way to find out now, but one can imagine at least...

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All comments are welcome.
TP
Moderator Military Mauser Forum


USA
2034 Posts
Posted - 04/26/2007 : 08:18:09 AM The board is from Infanterie-Regiment von Winterfeldt (2. Ober-schlesisches) Nr.23, based in the town of Neisse and at the beginning of the Great War was part of VI Armee Korps. It appears to be a late war strap. See the site "A Pocket German Army" at:

http://users.hunterlink.net.au/~maampo/militaer/milindex.html

and "Kaiser's Bunker" at:

http://www.kaisersbunker.com/

For the best source of the history of VI Armee Korps, the book "Histories of the 251 Divisions of the German Army Which Participated in the War (1914 - 1918)” first published in 1920 by the U.S. War Office as Document No. 905, Office of the Adjutant General is the best source. A search on Amazon.com shows it for sale at $53.99 new and from $45.02 used. It is essential for anyone researching the Imperial German Army in WW1.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b/104-7647791-7650303?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=%22Histories+of+the+251+Divisions+of+the+German+Army+Which+Participated+in+the+War+%281914+-+1918%29&Go.x=15&Go.y=10&Go=Go

(Hows that for a looooong link?)

ChipM
Gunboards Premium Member


176 Posts
Posted - 04/30/2007 : 11:21:44 PM Actually, this pattern of shoulder strap was introduced in early 1915 and normally is part of the simplified M10/15 tunic. It was identical to the M07/10 strap, but without the piping and the "tongue" on the back.

While 23.I.R. is a good and the most likely guess, this strap could be from any of a score of units that used the number 23. Without the piping of the prior M07/10, it is impossible to positively identify.

Chip
Collecting 1907-1918 era insignia, including shoulder boards, Litzen, collar tabs, sleeve patches & photos of same.TP
Moderator Military Mauser Forum


USA
2034 Posts
Posted - 05/01/2007 : 2:17:57 PM Excellent information Chip. But I still vote for IR23...


One thing that throws me is the neatness of the end, most that I see that have been cut from the uniform are relatively raged, but this one is very neat and even has edge stitching that appears to be original to the strap. These were sewn into the shoulder seam of the M10/15 and the M15 Bluse weren’t they? Someone appears to have gone to a great deal of trouble carefully removing it.
ChipM
Gunboards Premium Member


176 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2007 : 6:53:50 PM TP,

Then 23.I.R. it is!


This pattern was always stitched on (applied) to the shoulder, rather than into the shoulder seam. That is why they are normally removed by just snipping the stitching. The finished end of the strap is the key.

There were issue straps made that were unfinished on the end (not sewn shut), as they were meant to be sewn into the shoulder seam. The only ones that routinely did this were the Bavarians. You see many M1916 Bavarian shoulder straps without the stitching across the bottom. I have two issue Bavarian tunics and both have the M16 shoulder straps sewn into the seam. This is not a universal rule, as the Bavarians did finish the ends of M16 straps as well. There are exceptions to everything, but these are observations that I have gleened from 46 years of collecting and a collection of over 700 shoulder straps.

Best regards,
Chip
 
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