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Belgium's First Airship the Belgique, A Bronze Plaquette, by D Weygers of Louis Godard's Airship 'Belgique' Circa 1910

Belgium's First Airship the Belgique, A Bronze Plaquette, by D Weygers of Louis Godard's Airship 'Belgique' Circa 1910

Most rare early aeronautical medal of one of the very earliest airships, from Belgium, issued by the towns of d’Auderghem and Watermael-Boitsfort.

It depicts a semi-draped nude figure holding informative scroll, looking up at the airship, 52mm x 70mm. Engraved on the reverse Souvenir of the Derigible 'Belgique' the type of construction by Louis Godard. The "Belgique" was a 4.200m3 airship constructed by Louis Goddard at Paris and used by the Service Aérostatique from 1910 onwards.

The Belgique III was in fact the third extensive modification of the basic Belgique airship previously owned by Mrs. Goldschmidt and Solvay, who donated the machine to King Albert. Transferred to the Compagnie d'Aérostiers du Génie, the Belgique III was used up to September 1914 from Wilrijk, Antwerp. When the Germans took this town, the machine was disassembled and transported to France.

Still manned by the Belgian Commandant Soucy, the Belgique III was equipped with the gondola of the vedette Zodiac to become the VZ 5 based at La Rochelle and later Rochefort for coastal surveillance duties.

The VZ 5 having been operational until at least 1919 was offered back to Belgians but the government didn't have any use for an airship anymore.

Code: 24175

175.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Royal Naval Issue Wilkinson 1907 Pattern, SMLE MkIII Rifle Sword Bayonet in Scabbard, Adapted in the Field to Drill Purpose, Physical Training.

A Royal Naval Issue Wilkinson 1907 Pattern, SMLE MkIII Rifle Sword Bayonet in Scabbard, Adapted in the Field to Drill Purpose, Physical Training.

Overall in good condition with hand carved P.T. on one grip slab, and the blade tip rounded off. V.good condition overall. Royal Naval ‘N’ issue stamp to the pommel. WW1 issue used in both WW1 & WW2.

according to its previous collector owner it was issued and used aboard British submarine boat X2 [all submarines are classified as boats not ships]

X2 was the designation of an Italian submarine the Gallileo Gallilei, shot and captured by the Royal Navy in 1940.
After her capture, Galileo Galilei was berthed at Port Said and served as a generating station to charge the batteries of British submarines. She was commissioned into the Royal Navy in June 1942 as HMS X2 (later changed to P 711), and was operated as a training boat in the East.

The British valued the bayonet for its psychological effects at least as much as for its ability to inflict harm. Use of the bayonet was intended to give soldiers a sense of confidence and aggression. On the receiving end, only a highly-disciplined enemy could withstand a bayonet charge; the weapon was intended as much to drive the enemy from his position as to wound or kill. Bayonet training was intended to instill the soldier with confidence and a sense of aggression, as well as to develop teamwork and cooperation within the rifle section. At the outbreak of World War II, bayonet training was based on the official pamphlet published in 1937. Recruits were taught two main positions: the “high port” and the “on guard”. In the high port position, the soldier held his rifle diagonally across his body, the magazine facing forward, with the right hand on the wrist of the stock (“the small of the butt”) and the left hand at the barrel band. This was considered the best position for controlling the weapon while overcoming obstacles; it was essential to keep the rifle muzzle and bayonet pointed up so as not to risk injuring one’s comrades. From the high port, the rifle could be quickly moved into the shoulder ready to fire, or into the on guard position for using the bayonet.
Designed by American James Lee and built at the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, the SMLE was first produced in 1903. With a ten-bullet magazine and high rate of fire, it had an enviable reputation. At Mons, advancing Germans believed that they were under fire from British machine guns. But it was the well drilled infantry of the BEF using their standard issue Lee Enfields. A good infantryman would expect to shoot off about twelve well-aimed bullets in a minute. The report below from the Lee Enfield Rifle Association* elaborates:

Britain declared war on the 4th Aug 1914. By mid August the Belgians were no more than an irritating hitch to the German advance. Only one intact force stood in the way of the Germans – the BEF. The first shots that the British fired were at Malpaquet, the Germans were pulled up short near Mons as the withering rifle fire of the British caused them heavy casualties.
2 days later on the 25 August 1914 at Le Cateau the storey of Mons was repeated only on a bloodier scale. Once again the Germans attacked in tightly bunched waves and again they were met with rifle fire so intense that they thought the British were equipped with machine guns. At the end of the day 3 British Divisions fell back with the loss 7,812 men and 38 field guns. Some 2000 of which became POW’s.
By September 1st 1914 the forward elements of the German Army were a mere 30 miles from Paris. The BEF had earned the title ‘Contemptible Little Army’ from the Kaiser, and the reputation of the SMLE rifle was born.

An account from Lt R A Macleod 80th Bty XV Bde RFA stated: “Our Infantry were splendid they had only scratchings in the ground made with their entrenching tools, which didn’t give much cover, but they stuck it out and returned a good rate of fire. The German Infantry fired from the hip as they advanced but their fire was very inaccurate.”
What was conclusively proved in 1914 was the awful power of the SMLE in skilled hands. From the Boer War the Army had worked unceasingly to achieve a standard of speed and accuracy of rifle fire never before considered possible in any Army. The battles of Mons, The Marne and First Ypres showed how successful the training had been.
In a sense the first few months of the Great War represented the high¬water mark for the SMLE as an infantry weapon, since time and skilled instructors necessary to achieve such standards were just not available thereafter.

Trench warfare saw the return of many weapons thought to be obsolete; mortars, grenades being amongst them but above all was the rise in importance of the machine gun which was soon to rule the battlefield.

This said, what is not stated is that the main reason for the Army placing such an emphasis on rapid rifle fire between the Boer War and the start of the First World War was that the Treasury would not unduly fund machine guns so the army had to place ever more stress on rapid musketry as a substitute for machine gun fire. Also a lot of the armies hierarchy still believed that cavalry and bayonet charges were still the way wars should be fought.

Whilst it has been often claimed by some that the Short Magazine Lee Enfield is inferior to the Mauser System, particularly as regards the strength of the action and accuracy, it is most likely one of the most “soldier proof” rifles ever designed. It was also preferred for it’s reliability under the most adverse conditions, as well as it’s speed of operation. In 1912, trials conducted at Hythe against the German Service rifle, it was found that about 14 – 15 rounds a minute could be fired from the Mauser, compared with 28 for the SMLE. The .303 inch SMLE 110 years ago was sighted to 2800 yards, accurate for over a mile. The current British rifle SA80 is sighted to 400 meters and the 5.56 bullet narrower that a .22 air rifle pellet.
Photo in the gallery shows two Scots Guards, one in the rear, with the Mk III Enfield SMLE rifle and long sword bayonet, the closer guardsman in the foreground with the new Enfield No. 4 with short spike bayonet

Code: 24247

145.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Regular WW1 Issue .303 SMLE MK III Rifle Sword-Bayonet in Scabberd with Canvas Frog

A Regular WW1 Issue .303 SMLE MK III Rifle Sword-Bayonet in Scabberd with Canvas Frog

Overall russetted and combat trench used, and hand sharpened. An honest and regular issue well aged example.
Designed by American James Lee and built at the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, the SMLE was first produced in 1903. With a ten-bullet magazine and high rate of fire, it was fitted with a long sword/bayonet, bar on the band mounted, with long single edged blade, and leather and steel scabbard, designed not only for a regular bayonet charge, but to enable the combatant to attack a horse mounted assailant, as effectively and similar as a pike once would, both the rifle and its sword bayonet had an enviable reputation. At Mons, advancing Germans believed that they were under fire from British machine guns. But it was the well drilled infantry of the BEF using their standard issue Lee Enfields. A good infantryman would expect to shoot off about twelve well-aimed bullets in a minute. The report below from the Lee Enfield Rifle Association* elaborates:

Britain declared war on the 4th Aug 1914. By mid August the Belgians were no more than an irritating hitch to the German advance. Only one intact force stood in the way of the Germans – the BEF. The first shots that the British fired were at Malpaquet, the Germans were pulled up short near Mons as the withering rifle fire of the British caused them heavy casualties.
2 days later on the 25 August 1914 at Le Cateau the storey of Mons was repeated only on a bloodier scale. Once again the Germans attacked in tightly bunched waves and again they were met with rifle fire so intense that they thought the British were equipped with machine guns. At the end of the day 3 British Divisions fell back with the loss 7,812 men and 38 field guns. Some 2000 of which became POW’s.
By September 1st 1914 the forward elements of the German Army were a mere 30 miles from Paris. The BEF had earned the title ‘Contemptible Little Army’ from the Kaiser, and the reputation of the SMLE rifle was born.

An account from Lt R A Macleod 80th Bty XV Bde RFA stated: “Our Infantry were splendid they had only scratchings in the ground made with their entrenching tools, which didn’t give much cover, but they stuck it out and returned a good rate of fire. The German Infantry fired from the hip as they advanced but their fire was very inaccurate.”
What was conclusively proved in 1914 was the awful power of the SMLE in skilled hands. From the Boer War the Army had worked unceasingly to achieve a standard of speed and accuracy of rifle fire never before considered possible in any Army. The battles of Mons, The Marne and First Ypres showed how successful the training had been.
In a sense the first few months of the Great War represented the high¬water mark for the SMLE as an infantry weapon, since time and skilled instructors necessary to achieve such standards were just not available thereafter.

Trench warfare saw the return of many weapons thought to be obsolete; mortars, grenades being amongst them but above all was the rise in importance of the machine gun which was soon to rule the battlefield.

This said, what is not stated is that the main reason for the Army placing such an emphasis on rapid rifle fire between the Boer War and the start of the First World War was that the Treasury would not unduly fund machine guns so the army had to place ever more stress on rapid musketry as a substitute for machine gun fire. Also a lot of the armies hierarchy still believed that cavalry and bayonet charges were still the way wars should be fought.

Whilst it has been often claimed by some that the Short Magazine Lee Enfield is inferior to the Mauser System, particularly as regards the strength of the action and accuracy, it is most likely one of the most “soldier proof” rifles ever designed. It was also preferred for it’s reliability under the most adverse conditions, as well as it’s speed of operation. In 1912, trials conducted at Hythe against the German Service rifle, it was found that about 14 – 15 rounds a minute could be fired from the Mauser, compared with 28 for the SMLE. The .303 inch SMLE 110 years ago was sighted to 2800 yards, accurate for over a mile. The current British rifle SA80 is sighted to 400 meters and the 5.56 bullet narrower that a .22 air rifle pellet.

Photo in the gallery shows two Scots Guards, one in the rear, with the Mk III Enfield SMLE rifle and long sword bayonet, the closer guardsman in the foreground with the new Enfield No. 4 with short spike bayonet

Code: 24246

95.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Early War M1910 Feldgrau & Wine Red Wool Cloth Representing the Colours of a Prussian Uhlans Lancers Regiment

Early War M1910 Feldgrau & Wine Red Wool Cloth Representing the Colours of a Prussian Uhlans Lancers Regiment

The very same form of Imperial German army cap worn by Adolf Hitler in WW1 [see photos] A rare survivor of early WW1 German trench warfare head dress of 1914. In super condition with no mothing. The cockades used during WW1 to represent the National colours and Prussian state was black and white, and the upper cockade, red, white and black.
The type of cap worn by. Adolf Hitler is shown in a photo in the gallery wearing his very same type of cap, while serving as a gefreiter in the trenches in WW1. The infantry Mutze was adorned with two roundels (Kokarden) sewn one over the other. The upper Kokarde was known as the Deutsche or Reichs Kokarde, and it was painted in the national colors of red-white-black. The lower Kokarde was painted in the State colours and was known as the Landeskokarde. 1897 Reich's Kokarde
In 1897 a new Reich's Kokarde in Red/White/Black was introduced for all ranks to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kaiser Wilhelm 1st. The Reich's Kokarde was to be worn on the right side of the Pickelhaube, and worn centered between the band and the top row of piping on Kratzchen (Feldmutze)The lower Kokarde was painted in the State colors and was known as the Landeskokarde, and is based in Schlesien - a Prussian State Because the Krätzchen was a vital link in the rather complicated unit colour-coding system, it had a wide-range of colour combinations for the band and piping. A wide coloured band in combination with piping at the cap’s top, and sometimes on the band, indicated the wearer’s branch, or in the cavalry’s case, regiment. It sounds simple, yet the almost endless colour-coding made it so complicated it had little utility. For example, all infantrymen would have a poppy red band and piping. Various shades of red band and piping would also apply to certain regiments of Dragoons, Uhlans, Schwere Reiter and Chevaulegers. Some cavalry regiments, such as Hussars and Cuirassiers, would have their own unique unit colour combination. Certain branches of the army would wear the identical colour combination, such as the technical branches, including engineers, field artillery and transport troops (black band with red piping). This cap has wine red coloured band and piping which usually denotes an Uhlan Regt. The cotton lining is good and complete but the interior wear marks have worn away the interior black regimental ink stamps.

Code: 23679

695.00 GBP


Shortlist item
WW1 Regimental Marked SMLE MkIII Rifle Sword Bayonet, of the Notts and Derby Regt 9th Batt. Formed To Fight in Gallipoli in 1915, and Later On in the Somme Campaign  in 1916

WW1 Regimental Marked SMLE MkIII Rifle Sword Bayonet, of the Notts and Derby Regt 9th Batt. Formed To Fight in Gallipoli in 1915, and Later On in the Somme Campaign in 1916

In superb condition, a real beauty!. Regimentally marked for the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire regiment, DY, The Sherwood Foresters, who served at Gallipoli in the 9th (Service) Battalion. Scabbard stamped EFD for Enfield

In 24.08.1914 They formed at Derby as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Grantham to join the 33rd Brigade of the 11th Division.The 11th (Northern) Division, was an infantry division of the British Army during the First World War, raised from men who had volunteered for Lord Kitchener's New Armies. The division fought in the Gallipoli Campaign and on the Western Front. The division's insignia was an ankh or ankhus.

April 1915 Moved to the Frensham area.
July 1915 Embarked for Mudros from Liverpool.
20-31.07.1915 At Helles and engaged in various actions against the Turkish Army including;
07.08.1915 Landed at Suvla Bay;
The Battle of Sari Bair in the Gallipoli campaign
Dec 1915 Deployed to Imbros.
Feb 1916 Deployed to Egypt and took over a section of the Suez Canal defences.
July 1916 Deployed to France and engaged in various action on the Western Front including;
The capture of the Wundt-Werk, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Thiepval, the Battle of Delville wood on the 7th August 1916 as machinegunners alongside the Staffs
1917
Operations on the Ancre, The Battle of Messines, The Battle of the Langemarck, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle.
1918
The Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of the Drocourt-Quant Line, The Battle of the Canal du Nord, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war south of Mons, Belgium.

Code: 24240

275.00 GBP


Shortlist item
Remington Type Pump Action Trench Shotgun Miniature By Ron Platt

Remington Type Pump Action Trench Shotgun Miniature By Ron Platt

Made by renown miniaturist arms engineer Ron Platt.

The Remington Model 10 is a pump-action shotgun designed[ by John Pedersen for Remington Arms. It has an internal striker within the bolt and a tube magazine which loaded and ejected from a port in the bottom of the receiver. An updated version, the Model 29, was introduced in 1930 with improvements made by C.C. Loomis

The United States military used a short-barrelled version known variously as the "trench" or "riot" shotgun. The Winchester Model 1897 was the major production, but Remington made 3500 of the Model 10-A version for issue to U.S. troops during World War I.The Model 10 was modified by reducing barrel length to 23 inches (58 cm) and adding sling swivels, a wooden heat shield over the barrel, and an adapter with bayonet lug for affixing a M1917 bayonet.[5] These trench guns with serial numbers between 128000 and 166000 were stamped with US and the flaming bomb insignia on the left side of the receiver.[4] The United States military also purchased a number of Remington Model 10 with 20-inch (51-cm) barrels for guarding prisoners, and 26 to 30-inch (66 to 76-cm) barrels for training aerial gunners. The Model 10-A was used in limited numbers by the Marine Corps through the 1930s

138mm

Code: 24239

245.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Fabulous Miniature SMLE Enfield MkIII,.303 British Enfield Rifle

A Fabulous Miniature SMLE Enfield MkIII,.303 British Enfield Rifle

Made by renown miniaturist arms engineer Ron Platt. this was his last work and probably the best.
In the photographs, if one was not aware it was a miniature, it would simply appear to be a regular full size example from, say, WW2, and it is naturally hand coloured to appear to be a vintage, combat used WW2 British service rifle of WW1 and WW2. The detailing is wonderful and the engineering is simply incredible. The bolt actions as does the site, but the two sling swivels were not yet attached, and half of the small rear band under the cocking arm is not present.
Designed by American James Lee and built at the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, the SMLE was first produced in 1903. With a ten-bullet magazine and high rate of fire, it had an enviable reputation. At Mons, advancing Germans believed that they were under fire from British machine guns. But it was the well drilled infantry of the BEF using their standard issue Lee Enfields. A good infantryman would expect to shoot off about twelve well-aimed bullets in a minute. The report below from the Lee Enfield Rifle Association* elaborates:

Britain declared war on the 4th Aug 1914. By mid August the Belgians were no more than an irritating hitch to the German advance. Only one intact force stood in the way of the Germans – the BEF. The first shots that the British fired were at Malpaquet, the Germans were pulled up short near Mons as the withering rifle fire of the British caused them heavy casualties.
2 days later on the 25 August 1914 at Le Cateau the storey of Mons was repeated only on a bloodier scale. Once again the Germans attacked in tightly bunched waves and again they were met with rifle fire so intense that they thought the British were equipped with machine guns. At the end of the day 3 British Divisions fell back with the loss 7,812 men and 38 field guns. Some 2000 of which became POW’s.
By September 1st 1914 the forward elements of the German Army were a mere 30 miles from Paris. The BEF had earned the title ‘Contemptible Little Army’ from the Kaiser, and the reputation of the SMLE rifle was born.

An account from Lt R A Macleod 80th Bty XV Bde RFA stated: “Our Infantry were splendid they had only scratchings in the ground made with their entrenching tools, which didn’t give much cover, but they stuck it out and returned a good rate of fire. The German Infantry fired from the hip as they advanced but their fire was very inaccurate.”
What was conclusively proved in 1914 was the awful power of the SMLE in skilled hands. From the Boer War the Army had worked unceasingly to achieve a standard of speed and accuracy of rifle fire never before considered possible in any Army. The battles of Mons, The Marne and First Ypres showed how successful the training had been.
In a sense the first few months of the Great War represented the high¬water mark for the SMLE as an infantry weapon, since time and skilled instructors necessary to achieve such standards were just not available thereafter.

Trench warfare saw the return of many weapons thought to be obsolete; mortars, grenades being amongst them but above all was the rise in importance of the machine gun which was soon to rule the battlefield.

This said, what is not stated is that the main reason for the Army placing such an emphasis on rapid rifle fire between the Boer War and the start of the First World War was that the Treasury would not unduly fund machine guns so the army had to place ever more stress on rapid musketry as a substitute for machine gun fire. Also a lot of the armies hierarchy still believed that cavalry and bayonet charges were still the way wars should be fought.

Whilst it has been often claimed by some that the Short Magazine Lee Enfield is inferior to the Mauser System, particularly as regards the strength of the action and accuracy, it is most likely one of the most “soldier proof” rifles ever designed. It was also preferred for it’s reliability under the most adverse conditions, as well as it’s speed of operation. In 1912, trials conducted at Hythe against the German Service rifle, it was found that about 14 – 15 rounds a minute could be fired from the Mauser, compared with 28 for the SMLE. The .303 inch SMLE 110 years ago was sighted to 2800 yards, accurate for over a mile. The current British rifle SA80 is sighted to 400 meters and the 5.56 bullet narrower that a .22 air rifle pellet.
26cm long

Code: 24238

Reserved


A Simply Fabulous Historical, WW2 SMLE Rifle Sword Bayonet, Sanderson, From One of The Best & Notable Regiments of WW2, The Ox and Bucks, of Pegasus Bridge Fame

A Simply Fabulous Historical, WW2 SMLE Rifle Sword Bayonet, Sanderson, From One of The Best & Notable Regiments of WW2, The Ox and Bucks, of Pegasus Bridge Fame

This is one of the finest condition SMLE .303 Enfield rifle sword bayonets we have ever seen, obviously used, but in simply fantastic condition, with full issue and inspection, maker markings etc. and regimental issue stamps for the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry.

Issued and used by the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry regiment in 1915/6, both the sword and the scabbard are bearing the issue dates etc. plus the regimental markings.

However, it is during in its service in WW2 that its use becomes really interesting. It was issued to a member of 2nd battalion Ox and Bucks, William Osborne [we know not his rank] and apparently used by him in Africa in the Sicily landings, and then as part of 6th Airlanding Bgd, part of the capture and defence of Pegasus bridge during the morning of D.Day. One of the outstanding airborne actions during WW2. Then they took part at action in the Ardennes and Rhine crossing. Mr osborne took part in several veteran reunions in Normandy up until, around, 2000.

At the time of the start of WW2 they were stationed in India (as 52nd Ox and Bucks LI)
They were recalled to UK & attached to 31st Infantry Brigade on defence roles in various parts of UK.
In Sept 1941 the powers that be decided they needed to expand the plan for the growth of parachute airborne from small scale commando force to a large scale strategic front line spearhead attack force. The plan was to develop heavier equipped troops using gliders able to carry these additional infantry to reinforce the para with heavy equipment including field & Anti-Tank guns.
2nd Ox & Bucks & 3 other battalion strength units were added; 1st Bn Border, 1st Bn Ulster Rifles & 2nd Bn South Staffs. Together they were renamed 1st Airlanding Brigade.
As part of 1st Airlanding Bgd, 2nd Ox & Bucks was in North Africa 1943 supporting the planned invasion of Sicily. Before the Sicily operation they were detached to begin training for the invasion of Europe & became part of the 6th Airlanding Bgd.
D-Coy & part of B-Coy were tasked with the attack & seizure of the River Orne and Canal bridges Subsequently known as the Pegasus Bridge operation it was one of the outstanding airborne actions during WW2.

They saw further action in 1944/45 in the Ardennes & Rhine Crossing in 1945.

On the night of 5 June 1944, a force of 181 men, led by Major John Howard, took off from RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset, southern England in six Horsa gliders to capture Pegasus Bridge, and also "Horsa Bridge", a few hundred yards to the east, over the Orne River. The force was composed of D Company (reinforced with two platoons of B Company), 2nd Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry; 20 sappers of the Royal Engineers of 249 Field Company (Airborne); and men of the Glider Pilot Regiment. The object of this action was to prevent German armour from crossing the bridges and attacking the eastern flank of the landings at Sword Beach.

Five of the Ox and Bucks's gliders landed as close as 47 yards from their objectives from 16 minutes past midnight. The attackers poured out of their battered gliders, completely surprising the German defenders, and took the bridges within 10 minutes. They lost two men in the process, Lieutenant Den Brotheridge and Lance corporal Fred Greenhalgh.

Greenhalgh drowned in a nearby pond when his glider landed. Lieutenant Brotheridge was mortally wounded crossing the bridge in the first minutes of the assault and became the first member of the invading Allied armies to die as a result of enemy fire on D-Day.

One glider, assigned to the capture of the Orne river bridge, landed at the bridge over the River Dives, some 7 miles off. Most of the soldiers in this glider moved through German lines towards the village of Ranville where they eventually re-joined the British forces. The Ox and Bucks were reinforced at 03.00hrs by Lieutenant Colonel Pine-Coffin's 7th Parachute Battalion, and linked up with the beach landing forces with the arrival of Lord Lovat's Commandos.

Among the first of the 7th Battalion reinforcements was Lieutenant Richard Todd, a young actor, who, nearly two decades later, would play Major Howard in the film The Longest Day.

Code: 24237

475.00 GBP


Shortlist item
A Scarce WW1 British Propaganda 1813 Iron Cross. Stamped R.D, to Front.

A Scarce WW1 British Propaganda 1813 Iron Cross. Stamped R.D, to Front.

Sold in WW1 in Britain as a propaganda tool to mock the award for so called gallantry, when they were awarded to German soldiers as rewards for the barbaric invasions of French and Belgian towns, that were decried as scenes of butchery and depravity against the local inhabitants. Germany invaded neutral Belgium on 4 August 1914. From the next day, civilians were executed en masse, as the invasion force advanced on its first obstacle, the ring of forts around Liège. To retaliate for the shelling from these forts, the German troops rounded up inhabitants of surrounding villages. Victims were selected and shot, those still alive being killed off with bayonets. By 8 August, nearly 850 civilians were dead. By then, several of the dynamics of this particular type of violence had fully emerged. First, the massacres occurred where the invading army suffered setbacks; the German military did not consider Belgium’s military defence to be legitimate. Second, the victims were accused, incorrectly, of being franc-tireurs (civilian snipers). Most of the German rank and file genuinely believed that the locals were attacking them; this sniper delusion was sometimes countered by the commanding officers, sometimes not. Third, there were women, children and old men among the victims but the vast majority were men of military age. These were more likely to be suspected of sniping; moreover, the invading troops resented them for still enjoying the civilian life that they themselves had so recently been torn from. Fourth, and last, the massacres went together with rituals designed to show civilians how helpless they were. People were made to cheer the troops; local dignitaries (mayors, priests) were publicly mistreated, in some cases killed. On a smaller scale, invaded France saw similar killings: the first civilians were shot in the northern Meuse-et Moselle on 9 August, and, among other massacres, 60 people were killed in Gerbéviller, a large lorrain village, on 24 August. Throughout, the invaders made a point of stressing their superiority. One makeshift triumphal arch in the small town of Werchter, north of Louvain, built close to where the victims of a group execution lay buried, bore the inscription ‘To The Victorious Warriors’. As the French say, "plus ca change plus ca mem chose"

Code: 24236

110.00 GBP


Shortlist item
An Edwardian West Yorkshire Regt. Large Helmet Plate

An Edwardian West Yorkshire Regt. Large Helmet Plate

World War I saw numerous battalions of The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) serving at Neuve-Chappelle, Loos, the Somme, Passchendaele, Ypres, Marne, Arras, Cambrai and Gallipoli. At its peak The West Yorkshire Regiment numbered 37 battalions, 66 Battle Honours were bestowed and four Victoria Crosses were awarded.

The four TF battalions formed the West Yorkshire Brigade, which mobilised as 146 Brigade, 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division on the outbreak of World War I and served in France 1915?18. They raised duplicate battalions (2/5th, 2/6th, 2/7th, 2/8th) that constituted 185 Bde in 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division, which also served in France 1917?18. In 1915 they formed further reserve battalions (3/5th, 3/6th, 3/7th, 3/8th) Battle honours in WW1 The Great War [31 battalions]: Aisne 1914 '18, Armenti?res 1914, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers, Hooge 1915, Loos, Somme 1916 '18, Albert 1916 '18, Bazentin, Pozi?res, Flers-Courcelette, Morval, Thiepval, Le Transloy, Ancre Heights, Ancre 1916, Arras 1917 '18, Scarpe 1917 '18, Bullecourt, Hill 70, Messines 1917 '18, Ypres 1917 '18, Pilckem, Langemarck 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Cambrai 1917 '18, St. Quentin, Rosi?res, Villers Bretonneux, Lys, Hazebrouck, Bailleul, Kemmel, Marne 1918, Tardenois, Amiens, Bapaume 1918, Drocourt-Qu?ant, Hindenburg Line, Havrincourt, ?p?hy, Canal du Nord, Selle, Valenciennes, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914-18, Piave, Vittorio Veneto, Italy 1917-18, Suvla, Landing at Suvla, Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli 1915, Egypt 1915-16

Code: 19251

220.00 GBP


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