Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Technishes Hilfswerk Bergungssäge, German THW Salvage Saw, circa 1950's to 1960's

Today we'll be taking a look at a vintage hand tool that I have in my THW collection.  This is a Salvage Saw that would have been part of a field kit for the Bundesanstalt Technishes Hilfswerk, known in English as the German Federal Agency For Technical Relief, or THW for short.  This is Germany's "do everything" civil defense organization.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technisches_Hilfswerk

This saw dates to the 1950's or 1960's time period and saw service with one of the THW field units.  The saw was a very generous gift from a good friend of mine in Germany, who acquired it directly from a THW field unit as surplus stock.

THW Rescue Team, 1952

This saw would have originally have been issued with a wooden box containing extra blades of various types.  The saw handle is very unique.  It can be placed in various angled settings to allow it to be used in odd or extreme angles that are often encountered in rescue operations.

The handle is painted in the old "THW Tan" color that was used back in the 1950's and 1960's.  Since the 1990's, "THW Blue" is the standard color, for both equipment and uniforms.  

THW Unit in Berlin, 1960's

There is a stripe of THW Blue paint on the handle, which would indicate that it saw continued service into the 1990's or later.

Before we get to the photo album of this unique saw, I would like to present a vintage THW photo with some very interesting details.  If you click on the photo, you can enlarge it for more detailed inspection.  

THW Rescue Team and Truck, 1955

It is very interesting to note that the truck is equipped with two of the old WW2 style shovel types.  The long handled shovels are the standard WW2 style Pioneer Spades, and the smaller, square bladed spades, (mounted on the door), are the old, early WW2 Trench Spade style.  It would be very interesting to know if these were WW2 surplus or if they were post-war manufactured.  The rescue saw would have been found on trucks of this type.

Here is the photo album.  Enjoy!

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