Friday, August 27, 2010

Boat Sinks In Clallam Bay

Here's another "boat report" from up here in the PNW.........

On Wednesday, at about 4:45 pm, witnesses over at Clallam Bay, reported seeing a 30 - 37 foot fishing boat sink rapidly. No mayday was broadcast ...... A small motorboat and it's owner headed out from the marina dock, picked up the two men in the water and transported them back to the marina. When they arrived, the two men wrapped up in blankets, got in their truck and left.

The USCG reports that they still do not know who the two men are or why the boat sank! A salvage company will be raising the vessel so the USCG can investigate. I'm sure they will find a few "clues" on board when the boat comes up............. pretty fishy if you ask me.

Here's a link to the Peninsula Daily News story:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Swedish Three Crowns

Just a little update on my continuing research into the Swedish zeltbahns and when they were issued and used by the Swedish Army.

I'll start off with the Swedish "Three Crowns" hallmark...........
From what I have been able to determine from a pile of little clues and pieces from numerous internet sites, the use of three crowns by Sweden began in 1942. Prior to that date, a one crown stamp was used.

In regards to the dates that the Swedish zeltbahns that I have were used....................
The zelts were first issued in 1939 and were taken out of service in 1959. In 1959 the shape was changed from a triangle to a diamond.

From what I can tell, the Swedish Army issued the zeltbahns in camo, but did not issue out any uniforms in camo. In 1990, the army adopted camo uniforms using the same pattern, but substituted shades of green for all of the previous colors used in the old zeltbahns.

And for the last bit of "triva" on these zelts..............
The official Swedish term for the zeltbahn is "knappetalt" (with umlauts over the a's), or translated: "button tent".
The soldiers gave them the nick name of "ensamme varg", or translated: "lonely wolf".

"In Danish and Norwegian, they are called: "kneppetelt"." **NOTE: I ran across this previous bit of information in my research, but according to the comment below, I have that term wrong and I thank "M55q" for his correction........... he is a Danish speaker and military collector, so I think we can definitely consider him an expert on this topic :)

Now we're all up to speed on Swedish zeltbahns!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Boat-Marina Fire in Seattle

Here's yet another report of a boat fire here in the PNW. About 4am this morning a boat that was moored at the Jim Clark Marina on Harbor Island, West Seattle, exploded and burned inside its boat house. The fire spread to a neighboring boat house, but the fire boat Leschi arrived and saved the morning.

One boat and two boat houses lost..........

10:00 am update:
King 5 News in Seattle now reports that 3 boats and 3 boat houses were damaged or lost.
One boat burned to the waterline, one boat sank in 20 feet of water, and one boat was heavily damaged.

............. the perils and pit falls of mooring in a marina and in covered moorage!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Friday Harbor Boat Fire

It seems this last weekend was a tough one for boaters here in the Great Pacific Northwest! It seems that a boat burned up at Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands on Sunday.

A local fishing boat picked up one person from the water............... no more details.

Here's the link to King 5's news story:

Boat on the Rocks!

This morning I checked the Western Washington news on the King 5 News website out of Seattle................

It seems that a very large, and what appears to be a very expensive, power boat ended up high and dry on the Klas Rocks at Mats Mats Bay near Port Ludlow! The boat ended up about 8 feet above the water on top of the rocks, with a large buoy near by!

I'm sure there is more to this story................ The boat was pulled from the rocks on Sunday and apparently is back on the water, no word about the skipper.............

Here's the link to King 5's story:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

East German M-43 Hats

On the same day the Panzer Jacket showed up, I received a shipment of two batches of "German Work Hats". I made a bulk purchase of size medium and size large hats, 10 hats in each size. The sizes ended up being euro 57 and 60. The hats are brand new and have never been issued.

I am fairly certain that these hats were produced for the East German Army at the very end of the cold war, just before the army was disbanded and the two Germany's were re-unified. For four months, from July 1990 to October, 1990, the East Germans used a crude copy of the West German target cockade instead of the communist emblem on their hats. The army was hoping that they would have a place in the new, re-unified Germany, but that was not to be the case. On Oct. 3, 1990, all of East Germany's armed forces and state police were officially disbanded and all of their uniforms and equipment declared surplus.

These hats are the identical cut and color of the original WW2 German Afrika Korps, M-43 caps that were used by Field Marshal Rommel's troops in North Africa and the Mediterranean. The target cockade is a quick and crude copy of the West German Army's cockade and matches the ones found on other documented, end of the cold war East German Hats. East Germany used the WW2, M-43 hats at various times throughout their history. The labels only state the size and that they are 100% cotton........ no other markings, which would fit for hats that were quickly produced to issue out to the East German troops so they would "fit in" with the West Germans.

These hats are also very unique in that they are a "exact copy" of the old WW2 style and are also the last hats used in that awkward four month end of the East German Army.

I will probably end up turning one of the hats into an Afrika Korp replica (even the cloth color is correct!). The fate of the other hats is still pending at the moment.................

Here's a shot of "The Desert Fox", Field Marshal Rommel, with some of his command soldiers who can be seen wearing the Afrika Korp M-43 caps:

Oak Leaf Camo Panzer Jacket, Sturm Mil;-Tec Reproduction

My long awaited father's day present from the kids arrived yesterday..........a new made copy of a WW2 Panzer Jacket in the Spring Oak Leaf Camo print. The jacket is made of very heavy canvas and is true in every detail to the originals, the only exception being no insignia. This particular jacket is made by Sturm in Germany under the Mil-Tec name.

This style of jacket was worn by the German Panzer tank units in all theaters. Black wool jackets were the standard with camo used in the field. The jackets are a wrap-around style and can be worn buttoned all the way up to the collar or with the outer flap folded down. The shoulder tabs are removable and would normally be replaced with rank tabs if an officer wore the jacket.

I love this jacket!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Coleman Sportster 502-700 Camp Stove

After heading back from working on the Bernadine out on Mystery Bay, Sweet Pea and I stopped off at the Northwest Harvest Thrift Store in Port Hadlock to look for a small table for our burning Man art project. We did not find the table, but I did pick up a Coleman Sportster model 502-700 gas camp stove in nearly unused condition...... for $2.99 !!!!!!

The stove is dated Oct. 1973 on the bottom and it includes the original instruction pamphlet as well. There is a little fuel in the tank
and it appears that the stove was run only once or so. The burner is barely blued! I have actually been keeping my eye out for one of these and have even been checking eBay off and on for the past few months................ more of that manifestation thing :)

A quick internet search revealed that this model was produced until somewhere around the early 1980's and cost around $22.00 new.

Here are a few close ups:

Friday, August 13, 2010


Here's a quick peak at this year's Burning Man poster by Port Townsend's own Cory Catska.
A full size poster can be purchased over at the Burning Man site:

Two weeks until we head for the Playa!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Swedish M96 Bayonet

17 Infantry Group Photo

Since I hit pay dirt with the Swedish Mauser Carbine in regards to the great history, I decided to dig out the M96 Swedish Mauser bayonet that I picked up at a yard sale here in PT last year and check out the unit markings to see what I could find out...........(this is the bayonet for the long rifle version of the Swedish Mauser and will not fit my carbine)............... Here's the run down:

The bayonet scabbard is marked with D over I17, which signifies that the bayonet was specifically to an individual company within the 17th Infantry Regiment. The longer number is the serial number of the bayonet.

The 17th Infantry regiment was known as the Bohusläns Regiment. This was an infantry regiment that was formed in 1661 and disbanded in 1992. The regiment's soldiers were originally recruited from the provinces of Bohuslän, and it was later garrisoned there in the town Uddevalla.

It does not appear that there was anything outstanding about the unit from the time period that the Mausers were used. Too bad, it's always nice to have some juicy tidbits to attach to an artifact :)

Here are a few pictures of the bayonet.

And here is a map of Sweden showing the location of the Bohuslän highlighted on the West side of the country.

Friday, August 6, 2010

WW2 Swiss Tent Pole Sets

The last of my ever expanding zeltbahn project components has arrived. I have four more WW2 Swiss Army tent pole and stake sets now (binging my total to six). I found a little mom-and-pop, family run surplus company down in Waco, Texas that has some real gems up for sale. It seems that the father of the family stsrted a surplus company when he got out of the service in the early 60's and started buying up large lots of surplus gear from around the world and warehousing it, and now his daughter is running the company and has finally dug into the "piles" and is offering up some great gear that has been "out of stock" for many years..............

I picked up three Swiss pole sets with WW2 dates, and one with a pre-WW2 date for a price I couldn't pass up. Now I'll have to go through my sets and pick out the best to use with my Swedish zeltbahns. I'll probably just hang on to the other sets as they are getting quite rare.

The 1938 pole set could easily pass off as German as it does not have the Swiss cross stamp on it. The Swiss made quite a bit of gear for the German Army and tent pole sets just happen to be part of that "shared" gear............... I wonder how that gets justified when one is a neutral country in the midst of a world war?

Here's the break down on the pole sets:

One 1938
Two 1940's
One 1941

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Swedish Military Bicycles: Militärcykel

A picture of the early 27th Infantry Regiment

In light of the recent discovery that my M94 Swedish
Mauser was used by the first bicycle infantry regiment in Sweden, here is a bit more about the bikes:

The first bicycle was introduced in 1901 in the 27th Regiment to replace the horse cavalry that had been used up to that point. Six bicycle regiments were in use through WW2, but after the war, it was decided to move away from bicycles with the exception of general transportation and special units. Bicycle Infantry units continued to operate in Sweden into the 1980's.

Here are the models of bicycles that were used:

he first safety bicycle officially designated for bicycle troops.

M/30 A spoon braked, balloon tired bicycle.

M/Finsk A bicycle imported from Finland.

M/42 The most well known of the Swedish bikes. Feature
d front drum brakes
and large rear rack with tool box and pump tube. Weighed up to 52 lbs.

Here is a picture of a M/42 Swedish bicycle:

Here are a few pages from an old Swedish military bicycle manual:

Gotlands infanteriregemente I27

The Regimental Crest of Gotlands Infanteriregemente

Well good old Wikipedia on the internet turned out to be a gold mine for information on Swedish military units and their history (and this lead me to a number of other great sites!). Here is what I found out about the unit that used the Swedish Mauser that I just restored.

As you may recall, the brass stock disk on the Mauser lists the unit as I27. According to the information I found, the unit was an active infantry regiment from 1887 to 1963.

It became a bicycle infantry unit in 1910 and remained one until it's reorganization and redesignation as an armored unit in 1963. This puts this unit as the first bicycle unit in the Swedish Army!
Between 1928 and 1937 the unit was reduced in size and given the designation I18. In 1937 it was brought back up to its former size and designated I27 again and organized as a bicycle unit "with motorized logistics" The rest of the Swedish Army did not reach this level of bicycle use until 1949! . In 1949 the unit was further upgraded to an armor reinforced bicycle infantry unit. After the reorganization in 1963 into an armored unit, the designation number has been permanently changed. This would mean that the Mauser would have been pulled from active duty before that date. This would also correspond to the approximate date that the rifle was imported and sold as surplus.

Here are the unit's "trivia stats":

Gotlands infanteriregementeActive 1887–1963
Colours :
Red and white (–1953)
Blue and white (1954–1963)

Marching song: "In Treue fest" (around 1915–1963)
Unit motto:
"Slå Snabbt! Slå Hårt!"

The unit's flag:

This infantry unit was comprised of soldiers conscripted from the island of Gotland in Sweden.
In 1963 it was reorganized into an armoured regiment. The unit is garisoned in a military base located in Visby, Visborgs slät, or in English, "Visby on the Visborg Plain".

Here's a shot of the regiment's official uniform button. The b
uttom face has been the same through the years, but the manufacture methods have changed with the times (cas, stamped, etc.)
And if you are wondering where in the world the island of Gotland is........................

Here is a map of Sweden with Gotland circled in blue.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Burning Bikes

With Burning Man less than a month away, and Sweet Pea down at Lark Camp in California, I took the opportunity to build up a couple of "new" Burning Man bikes for the two of us. The last couple of Playa bikes were totally and absolutely DEAD!

I used a couple of frames I got from N8 and a pile o
f old parts and ended up with a couple of great Playa bikes. They are both single speeds, with the option to run any gear combo you want. I take an old derailleur and run a cable backwards though the adjusting clamp. This lets you lock the derailleur in any position you want......... select your rear cog, line up the derailleur and lock the short cable in place! That's it! No shifters needed.

Sweet Pea's bike is built up on an old Giant mountain bike frame with a dead RST front suspension fork. My bike is an old Shogun mountain bike with the ever popular U-brake (located UNDER the bike by the bottom bracket). I have collapsing side baskets and Sweet Pea's got a rear basket.

Here they are:

It must be the Burnin' Season!

Well the Post Man delivered the annual "Survival Guides" for Burning Man the other day........... that can only mean one thing......

Burning man is less than a month away!

I can almost taste that Playa dust as I sit here writing this :)