Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ammo Can for BGS Bike

The newest addition to the BGS bike restoration project is a surplus 1967 German Army, MG-3, machine gun ammo box. The MG-3 was used by the early BGS. This box is also identical to the WW2 MG-42 light machine gun ammo box, making it a perfect addition to the time period of the bicycle. The box will be strapped to the back cargo rack and will be used as the "trunk". The old Truppenfahrrad bikes nearly always carried these ammo boxes with extra ammo when used in combat during WW2. Here's a couple of field shots of BGS troopers showing the MG-3 and ammo can in use. You can see the ammo box in use in the first photo as well as the trooper on the far left in the second photo...... the machine gun is an MG-3:

The ammo box is in as-found condition with various painted markings left intact.............

Here's how it looks on the back rack of the BGS bike. I'll secure it with a leather buckle strap later, "just like the originals".

I have also been going about the business of sanding and painting all of the old brushed silver on the bike. I'm painting it with a semi-gloss enamel. I'll paint the wheel rims black, but will leave the spokes and hubs bright.

I have also had a great exchange of emails with the BGS officer who served in the early 1960's (mostly in German). It was on his web site that I found the original photo of the BGS bike in use. He contacted the owner of the original photo, who was an ex-high-up official in the BGS service. This fellow provided me with information on how the BGS vehicle numbering system worked and also filled me in on the bicycle in the picture. It seems that the bike in the photo, was used by the educatational department at the training academy at division HQ. He also said that each field unit and the units on up the line, maintained 3 bicycles each for running between barracks and for short errands. He said that the bicycles were maintained by the weapons repair shops in each unit.
Fantastic information that will allow me to do an accurate restoration, all the way down to the unit number!

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