The time has come....that time in every collectors life when the collection has to be reduced, and non core items disposed of. It's like killing you pets..
But, it must be done. I simply will not have the space available to display my loot when we move into a smaller house.
Part of the process of letting stuff go is to remove the items that you intend to sell and 'rationalize' those things you aim to keep....
Sooooo, out will go the crew served weapons; quite a few rifles and SMG's; Much of the Russian and Italian gear; many of the daggers; and some of the German uniforms.
I've decided on which collector 'niches' I will persist with, and which highly iconic or special groupings I'll retain - but the rest must go!
I will be posting items for sale on various Collector related pages. This is not a 'fire sale'! I'm happy to throw things of high value into long term storage rather than take a big 'hit' on prices. But I'm negotiable on most of the rest.
The upside is, that I will have a few bucks to pursue some of the 'Holy Grail' items related to the subjects I'm retaining.
I'm trying to look on the bright side....
Some more 'rats and mice' relics arrived today to continue the quest to have all the 'soldier issue' items. Grouped with the Parachute Regiment display, but applicable to nearly every Commonwealth Army.
Soldiers nightmare - Blanco block. Dog tags. Marching compass. Camouflage net. Gas proof over boots.shell dressing, commonly worn as shown, suspended from the shoulder.
A couple of things that arrived in the mail today from Holland.
A WW2 silk escape map of Europe, used by aircrew and Commando/Para troops as an escape and evasion aid.
And a genuine Commando/Airborne pistol grip for the Mk 2 Sten.
I have heard that the Czech agents parachuted in by the SOE to assassinate Reinhard Heinrich used Sten guns, but in an attempt to make the guns more 'concealable' under their greatcoats when staging the ambush, took the stocks off. The gun becomes more prone to malfunction, so I have been told, if this is done. Perhaps this explains the failure to shoot their target - that, or bad magazines.
If it were the cause of the guns malfunction at the critical moment, perhaps this stock would have remedied the problem?
Poor old Brit Infantry. Normandy.
Both pattern helmets used in theatre. Sten Mk 3. No better, or worse than the Mk 2. The gun functions fine provided the magazines are good.
The .38 pistol is the double action only version of the Enfield. Lousy stopping power and heavy trigger pull. Point blank use only. Jack knife useful only for punching holes in the condensed milk tins....
Most important piece of kit - Entrenching tool and Tea mug,
Just some late war US 'Bloody Bucket' Division articles.
M1 Carbine is the early Inland with a 42-43 stamp on the barbell. Grenade launcher is the carbine version one (tough to locate here in NZ). Helmet is the fixed bale type.
Buckle boots and M3 fighting knife. The chewing gum is actually 1940's vintage! As are the cigarettes and V matches.
We found some M1 carbine ammunition, unfired, in Normandy while metal detecting along a country lane overlooking a river. Most of the ...brass lying around was fired M1 Garand ammo. I suspect that the radio operator or assistant gunner (someone more likely to be carrying a carbine) 'spilled' the rounds while loading his weapon with the stripper Clip seen here. I've done it myself, several times.
Apparently, there was quite a bit of patrol activity around the crossing points along the river, and a fair bit of night fighting patrol activity by the German troops in the area.
The 28th 'Bloody Bucket' Division was one of those US Infantry Divisions that took heavy casualties right throughout the European campaign.
Not finished setting this up yet. The uniform isn't 'hanging' naturally yet. But it gives you an idea. US 3rd Division. 1945. Late war uniform and two piece pack. Late war issue gas mask. Late war issue rubber poncho. It'd probably look better with the fine mesh helmet net and band. I have one on the way...
Some more relics from Europe to feed the addiction. British Parachute Regiment kit.
Most important is the Body Armor. It's very rare. The early type Parachute training helmet is also a major 'score'. I've been after one for years. Only used in the early years of the Regiments formation, it is still quite an iconic relic.
The Sten is broken down for carriage in the purpose made carry case. You can see the quick release leg drop mechanism and rope. The gun had to be partially ...stripped for insertion. The cocking handle removed, and the magazine rotated into its shipping position. It's only a few seconds work to reassemble once you hit the ground. I have yet to see any period pics showing guys jumping using these. Easier just to take the butt off the gun and carry the who,e thing under your parachute harness straps. The Sten Mk 5 used at
Arnhem would not have fitted if the front pistol grip was present. Only some Glider troops and non infantry types would have been using the Mk 2 and Mk 3 variants anyway.
The magazine loading tool is shown, as it was commonly carried - held under the strap on the Sten Magazine chest bandolier.
Shown also is the Lee Enfield drop valise. I need to find a quick release mechanism to complete this.
The two leather pads are Brit pattern knee pads to protect the knees on landing. I don't think they were used very often. Most of my parachute landings were backwards, and I suspect this would be true of the WW2 'chute characteristics.
The Hawkins mine is a repro.
Finally, an air recognition panel and carry case is shown.