Thursday, June 28, 2018

Bundesgrenzschutz Butter Dish for Mess Kit and Field Rations, BGS Butterdose, Scho-Ka-Kola

Today we'll be building on the previous four blog postings, and add another piece of field mess gear, the classic German butter dish.

This particular dish was issued by the West German Border Police, better known as the BGS, or Bundesgrenzschutz.  Even though this dish is marked as BGS issue, it is the same type that would have been issued out to the other federal service branches and the civil defense agencies like the THW.

These dishes are made from a very hard plastic that resembles the older style of Bakelite.  They were intended to hold the butter ration or lard ration that was issued out to the German troops when they deployed to the field.

This dish is not marked with a date, so it may have been made anytime between the 1950's and 1980's.  Most likely though, it is an older dish from the late 1950's - 1960's. It is however, marked with "BGS" on the bottom, indicating it was issued to the Bundesgrenzschutz.

This same style of butter dish was issued out to the WW2 German troops, however there is a distinct difference between the war time dishes, and the post-war dishes.  The war time dishes have fewer lid threads and it only takes about a quarter turn to unscrew the lid.  The post-war dishes take 2-3 turns to remove the lid.  Regardless of the markings, the lid threads determine the age!

I find quite interesting that a tin of Scho-Ka-Kola chocolates fits perfectly inside the butter dish.  In fact it fits so perfectly, the lid screws completely down and the tin does not rattle!  Coincidence?  For now, this BGS butter dish will serve as a Scho-Ka-Kola tin holder!

Scho-Ka-Kola is a uniquely German style of "energy chocolate".  It is basically dark chocolate fortified with extra caffeine.  It was first made in 1935, and was issued to the WW2 German soldiers, sailors and aviators throughout the war.  After the war it remained popular, and is still manufactured and sold today.  You can read more about it here:

Let's take a look at this unique butter dish, and the Scho-Ka-Kola.

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