Saturday, July 28, 2012

Deutsch Feuerwehrhelm, West German Fire Helmet with Leather Neck Flap

Today I'll be taking a slight detour from our run of BGS items to show off a new addition to my West German "Feuerwehrhelm", or fire helmet.  I picked up a brand new, never issued, black leather neck guard for the helmet off of eBay.  This was the one piece that I needed to complete the helmet!  It arrived last week and I installed it today.

I won't go back through the complete history and details of this helmet, but I will give you this link over to my original blog page that gives all the vital information, and includes detailed photos of the helmet itself:

Sweet Pea also got in on the action during the "Fire Helmet Photo Shoot" and decided to show me how a German Fire Helmet is meant to be worn........ Thanks Sweetie! 

These fire helmets can be worn with, or without, the leather neck flaps, but more often they are seen with the flap in place when being used for fire fighting.  The leather gets pretty grungy and warped over time and through use, which really adds to the character of the helmets..........  I'll be leaving this edition in mint condition.  The flaps are cut from a single piece of heavy black leather with keyhole shaped holes that match up with tabs around the outside of the helmet liner.  The flap is held in place by the tabs after they are inserted through the "keyholes".  Easy as that!

And now on to the photo album.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bundesgrenzschutz Regenmantel, BGS Rain Coat, circa 1977

Here is the next installment in my "New Bundesgrenzschutz" blog series.  I picked up this beautiful BGS rain coat off of eBay for a screaming deal!  No other bidders, and it came with a beautiful set of Hauptman rank shoulder boards (Captain in US).  It is now hanging on display, along with the other BGS uniforms in the shop.  Beautiful!  Oh yes, and it's my size!

The Jacket is dated 1977, and it is in as close to brand new condition as it is possible to be for a coat of this vintage.  The jacket is constructed out of a PVC type canvas with sewn seams that are taped on the inside.  In typical BGS fashion, the jacket sports a shoulder cape that is vented.  The inside, shoulder cape area is lined in heavy nylon mesh netting.  There are zippered vents under each armpit.  The coat is double breasted with standard BGS metal buttons that are backed with a small, square, plastic button on the inside of the coat. The coat has reach-through pockets that are made of cloth.

The shoulder boards on the jacket are from a Hauptmann, or Captain in the US.  In the BGS, an officer with the rank of Hauptmann would serve as a Hundertschaftsf├╝hrer, or Company Commander for a Company of about 100 BGS Troopers.  The shoulder board is the button on type and is constructed of white wool with two gold pips.  This is the first officer's grade insignia that I have in the collection.  Here is a link to a good web page that shows the rank shoulder boards (Schulterst├╝cke) of the BGS from this era:

And now for the photo album of this new addition:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bundesgrenzschutz Feldflasche, BGS Canteen

I have recently picked up several new items for the Bundesgrenzschutz collection, so get ready for a run of BGS items on the blog!  The first item up for review is a mint condition, Bundesgrenzschutz Feldflasche, better known in English as a Field Canteen.  The canteen bottle and cup are both matched and are dated 1974.

This style of canteen was adopted in the 1960's, replacing the earlier German WW2 styled canteen and cup.  These new style canteens were used extensively through the 1970's and on into the 1990's.  A number of German Police departments also issued this style of canteen as well as the THW (Technisches Hilfswerk).  The canteen was designed to clip on to the outside of bread bag, next to the mess kit.

The design of this canteen is quite unique and has not been duplicated by any other country.  This is a bit surprising as this is a great design with some well thought out design details.  The complete canteen assembly consists of an aluminum bottle with double-cap, an aluminum cup and a heavy leatherette cover with clip hanger.  The cap consists of a large screw top with a built in small cap opening.  You can imagine how this really makes this canteen bottle much more versatile, not to mention easier to clean!  The cup has folding wire handles and an insulating plastic plate on each side of the cup lip.  This protects the user from getting burned lips when drinking hot liquids!  A very cool design feature!  The cup can be removed without removing the bottle, by simply unsnapping the cover and pulling the cup down.... another nice feature.  

I think I'll let the photos of this canteen speak for themselves, so without further delay, here is the album: