Friday, October 22, 2010

Spanish Grouping, Spanish Helmet Model 42/79, Spanish Mauser Bayonet M44 Cuchillo Bayoneta Standard Modelo Alemán con Guarda, Blue Division Spanish Volunteer WW2 Medal

This is a posting of a group of Spanish Army items from my collection that are all Spanish, but not specifically from the same historical period. I just recently did the research on these items to find out the details on each one......... so here goes a quick and dirty look at each of the three:

Spanish Helmet Model 42 / 79

The Spanish Army was originally issued with German made stahlhelm helmets before World War Two, when Germany sent troops and equipment to help out Franco in the 1930's during the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Army used the original helmets until they manufactured their own version in 1942. In 1979, they made more of the model 42 style helmet shells and outfitted them with a newer style canvas and leather liner. These were designated as model 42 / 79 helmets. These were used through the 1980's until Spain retired all of the old helmets and issued the newer NATO style Kevlar helmets. Up until the old metal helmets were retired, all three helmet models could be seen in use at the same time.
Here's a shot from the 1980's showing a Spanish soldier wearing a model 42 / 79 helmet:

Medal: Spanish Blue Division, German Army, WW2:

This medal is an original WW2 German issued medal that was awarded to the Blue Division of Spanish Volunteers that Franco sent to the Russian Front to fight with the German Army. Spain was overwhelmed with volunteers who wished to go fight with the German Army and Franco ended up sending a full division to fight (almost 18,000 officers and men). This division was officially designated as the 250th Infantry Division of the Wehrmacht. Over 45,000 Spanish soldiers ended up fighting with division through the course of the war. After the war, Spanish veterans still serving in the Spanish Army, who had served with the Blue Division in WW2, were allowed to wear their German medals and awards on their service uniforms (complete with swastikas!). Nearly all of the Spanish officer corp and command in post-war Spain had served with the division and their German awards can be seen in many of the old photographs. I guess this an often overlooked bit of WW2 history.

Here is a picture of a Spanish bicycle soldier from the Blue Division serving with the German Army outside of Stalingrad during WW2 (1942).

Spanish Mauser Model 44 Bayonet, Cuchillo Bayoneta Standard Modelo Alemán con Guarda:

This last item is a Spanish Mauser Model 44 Bayonet. I picked this bayonet up at a yard sale many years ago, but only figured out what it was this last week! As the model number indicates, the Mauser rifle that this goes to was first manufactured by Spain in 1944 and was used up through the 1950's and maybe later.
The bayonet was manufactured at  the Fábrica de armas de Toledo (Toledo Arms Factory).  
These M44 bayonets are quite rare and hard to find.  Very few of them were produced and issued!  The bayonet is missing its scabbard, so the hunt is on for that one (while I'm at it, I ought to pick up a Spanish Mauser as well!).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Swedish Army Bicycle Medic Bag

While on my usual "patrol" for vintage military bicycle gear, I ran across this little gem........ A genuine, un-issued, Swedish Army, canvas medic's bag designed to be carried over the fender of the standard military service bike. I don't know much more than that. I'll be doing more hunting and research for actual photos of the bags in use or some sort of written documentation. It does appear to be 1970's or newer though.

This baby is BIG and heavy, about 3-4 pounds! The "red cross" emblems a
re actually sewn on, not printed. All of the straps are heavy cotton webbing with metal buckles. As far as I can tell, there are no military numbers, dates or makings on it anywhere.

I'm not sure how I'll use it yet........ I suspect that it will be destined for another bike restoration. Until then, here are some pictures of the new addition:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WW2 Swedish Soldier with Mauser M94 Carbine

I ran across a great picture of a WW2 Swedish soldier firing a Swedish Mauser, Model 1894 Carbine, just like mine. The picture shows a great view of the entire rifle and the attached carbine bayonet.

Who knows, this could be the rifle that I now own :)

US Army Desert Camo Jacket

This last Sunday, Sweet Pea and I headed over to the local Goodwill Store in Port Townsend for their once a week, .99 cent sale. The items that are on the racks are color coded with tags depending on how long they have been in the store. Just before items are pulled, they go on sale for .99 cents each!

I picked up a "vintage" US Army Desert Camo Jacket in 3 color camo for .99 cents! Oh yes, and it is actually my size............What a deal!

The jacket is from an unknown service member (name patch removed) with the following insignia and patches:

Captain and Transportation collar tabs
Army Element, United States Central Command shoulder patch
Parachute Wings
Air Assault Badge
US Shoulder Flag

The 3 color desert camo pattern replaced the original 6 color ,"chocolate chip" ,desert camo that was used from 1985 - 1999. The new desert digital style camo came out in 2002, so this jacket dates from that time in between, around the 1999 to 2002 range.

Here are a few closer shots of the jacket:

The mission of the US Central Command is:

"to promote and protect U.S. interests, ensure uninterrupted access to regional resources and markets, assist regional friends in providing for their own security and regional stability, promote the attainment of a just and lasting Middle East Peace, counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other transnational threats, and rapidly deploy joint and combined forces to support the full range of military operations."

Their area of responsibility includes 25 nations, ranging from Egypt in the west to Pakistan in the east, and from Kazakhstan in the north to Kenya in the south.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Swiss Military Bike Bags In Use

While doing my usual weekly "web research", I ran across a few great pictures of the Swiss Army bicycle saddle bags in actual field use by the Swiss Bicycle Troops. These are the bags that I am using on my BGS bicycle. The bicycles that they are riding are M-05 Condors. These bikes have now been replaced with a modern mountain bike version.

In the pictures you will see the bags mounted from the bars, and from the saddle.

For your viewing pleasure.......... here they are:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

M 42 German Hat Update

I have continued to develop the look of my M42 hat that I am setting up for the BGS bicycle. I have removed the sewn on cockade, aged the fabric with Black Rock Desert Playa dust, and now I have added a mid-1960's Bundeswehr metal cockade to the peak. The hat is now ready to wear when I take out the Bundesgrenzschutz bicycle, or any other adventure that it is deemed necessary!

French Cutlass model 1801

A number of weeks ago, I located a source for some fantastic cutlass replicas............not a display model, or cheap import, but the real McCoy. How could I resist? I snapped one up in a minute!

Here is the info on this replica:

This particular cutlass was produced by the French government in the 1980's as a naval commemorative blade that could be given to various dignitaries and officials. The cutlass duplicates the original model 1801 French Navy Cutlass in EVERY detail with the exception of the very small military inspector's stamps. The blade is very heavy and nicely engraved with a French naval anchor on both sides of the blade and an inscription on the top edge of the blade indicating it was manufactured at the Klingenthal Armory, just like the originals. This is definitely a museum quality cutlass.

This is the first cutlass produced with the full metal hand protecting grip (the sheet metal "bucket"). The Dutch copied this cutlass for their own Navy and the United States Navy patterned their cutlass after this French model as well.

I will make a leather covered wood scabbard to finish it off and it will hang above the clock in the pilot house of the Bernadine! Now if I can only track down a cannon................

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Ferry Inaugural Sailing

The new Port Townsend to Keystone ferry has arrived in town and is completing the last of it's pre-service checks. There will be an inaugural sailing and open house on the boat on November 14th in Port Townsend. The first regular sailing between Port Townsend and Keystone will be on Monday, November 15th.

If you look close, you can see the leased ferry that has been filling in for our regular ferries in the background of the photo..................

One more ferry to go and we'll be back up to two boats!

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Starcraft Boat

I'm Back!

We had a great vacation in Maui, but now it's back to the "real world"..............

This last week Sweet Pea and I started to seriously talk about retiring our little dingy-pram that we now use for the Bernadine's tender, and ind a smaller aluminum "lake-style" motor boat with a small motor. (after a week in the San Juan Islands last year with the pugs, believe me, a pram is NOT all that great).

I did a quick afternoon check on Craigslist-Seattle last week and spotted a 12 foot Starcraft boat with motor, oars, 3 gallon OMC fuel tank and removable transom wheels, and anchor.......... for a GREAT price! It had just been listed and we were the first fish to bite!
A quick call and the arrangements were made. I hit the bank, then straight to the Edmonds - Kinsgston ferry, a 5 minute drive on the other side, bought the boat, back on the ferry and home in time for dinner!

The boat has solid mahogany bench seats and dates to the 1960's. The motor is a 1969, Johnson 4hp. 2 cylinder outboard, the oars are solid clear spruce.......... I need to replace the motor mount wood on the transom, but that's it!

We bought the boat from the original owner's daughter. Her father, the original owner, is 94 years old and still lives in Sequim!

Here are the rest of the listing photos: (more photos when I get the time!)