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Ralph J. Whitehead

British Army Badge(s) on a German soldier?

35 posts in this topic

I just picked up a postcard of a MG crew from the 10th Bavarian Infantry Regiment. One soldier, sitting in front of the gun has additional badges on his field cap, they look like British cap badges to me but as I have no information on the types and style I was wondering if anyone might have an idea. All responses appreciated. I am sorry about the size of the photo. I will e-mail a larger version if anyone wants it.

Thanks for the help,

Ralph

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Although your JPG is a bit out of Focus I would suggest that it might be RWF[Royal Welch {Welsh} Fusiliers~A souvenir de guerre?

The other badges to the side are too indistinct to ID successfully.

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Ralph,

I'd say that they well can be British badges, for they seem to have a variety of shapes (can't identify them, tho'). My guess as for what they are doing in that German soldier's cap could be either as a souvenir and/or trophy.

Gloria

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The middle of three looks to be a V, possibly a roman numeral.

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The "VDG" badge of the 5th Dragoons is a Post WW1 type,during WW1 they wore a Crowned disc with a White Horse of Hanover in the centre

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The "VDG" badge of the 5th Dragoons is a Post WW1 type,during WW1 they wore a Crowned disc with a White Horse of Hanover in the centre

Fair enough Harry.

Back to the drawing board.

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All I can say is he looks a nasty b*st*rd.

Wouldn't like to meet him on a dark night in no-man's-land.

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If not a V, could it possibly be a harp? I'v seen cap badges with a harp on it, but cant think what regiment. Could possibly be a IX if that gives any other possibilities.

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I can see where the harp idea comes from too. Royal irish Rifles, Connaughts?

And, yeah, that is one scarey face.

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Here is the full photo.

Ralphpost-32-1136670004.jpg

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Ralph - you come across any other examples of 'sopuvenir badge wearing'? It must have been hard enough survining as a machine gunner if the Tommies broke in to your trench without having a few brit badges stuck on your cap!

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Ralph,

I must agree that this a tough looking guy and that these badges, if they are British, could have been taken from men he may have killed. Any idea when the photo was taken? If this was in the early part of the war could he have exchanged them with a Tommy?, possibly during a Christmas truce?

They certainly do appear to look like British badges and it would be great to know how he got hold of them.

Regards

PAUL J

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The date the postcard was sent appears to be July 1917 but of course the photo could be from any period before then.

I took a good look at the uniform buttons and shoulder straps. The buttons have the Bavarian lion and the regiment is '10' probably designating the 10th Bavarian I.R. judging from the age of the men, etc.

This regiment did not fight agains the British until it went to the Somme in early September 1916, then to the Neuve Chapelle-Festubert Sector where it remained until May 1917. Afterward northeast of Arras up to the date it was written.

It would appear that if it is this regiment there were a number of opportunities to find cap badges from the dead, wounded or prisoners. It is the first time I came across any German soldier wearing badges in this manner. Normally I have found Austrian troops wearing tinnies on their caps but they were Austrian made, not enemy badges.

I did purchase several cap badges from a German on eBay whose family member had takn them as souvenirs from British soldiers but again none being worn.

I wish the photo was just a bit clearer so at least one could be seen.

Ralph

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Ralph

I have enlarged the pic as much as I can, stood across the other side of the room and squinted!

I think the first 'badge' could actually be two badges, one above the other. The lower one looks like it could be Light Infantry, possibly KSLI with the top part of the badge obscured.

Just a theory.

Paul

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I thought the same as Paul the it looks like an LI badge on top of another which I cant make out but looks a bit like the aussies cap badge.

It is a very powerful image. He is a very hard looking nail. No "two thousand yard stare" from this guy just an intensity that searches deep into your soul and turns it into jelly.

I would have thought that wearing sovernir "kill" badges in such a manner would be a risky thing. I would imagine that if he came face to face with a Tommy he would be bayoneted out of hand but to be fair to him he looks up to the task perhaps they are the badges of those that tried it last time?

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I'm not a badge expert but my inclination is that they aren't Brit (or Commonwealth) badges; the crown would be more distincty. Notwithstandiong the nearest fit I can think of is that the badge at the front might be a Light Infantry badge with the bugle and its cords. A possible alternative could be religious medals?

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silver_logo.jpg

This is a current Light Infantry badge from the Army web site. Its the sort of shape I'm thinking of.

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I have tried to enlarge the section but at the highest resolution the image is even harder to see. The suggestions are great, I am sure we have hit on the right one or combination of two in the thread.

The second badge looks like a Rifle Brigade eblem I have. It came with a Rifle Brigade cap badge. The one I am thinking of is a solid square with a maltese cross emblem. I only wish he had turned his head a bit to get a better picture of them.

Ralph

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Just a couple of ideas certainly the first one is similar to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers the other two look like a sporan badge (Pipes) and the other has the similarity to the top of a St Andrews Cross so possible Scottish Divisional Badges.

Cheers,

Rob

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No matter what the badge .. I've been thinking about this.

This picture is evidence of a an age old warrior trait - displaying the captured trophies from an enemy.

One of the spookiest and thought provoking pictures I've seen from WW1. No joking. I keep coming back to the face and wondering what it going on behind those eyes.

And he probably was just an average guy!

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He has the eyes of a slaughterman no shine just the far away look. I would not expect any quarter from him.

As to the martial need to accumulate symbols of victories we have, Chamber pots, Chinese cannons, the Gurkhas took ears and in all conflicts we accumulate little souvenirs so why not cap badges!

There are numbers of Brittish troops wearing Pickelhaubs in the out of the line pictures.

But I agree not a nice chap!

Rob

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Reminds me of the story from the Falklands in 1982. There was a third Para in line for a VC (as well as Col H Jones and Sgt Ian McKay), an NCO from 3 Para.

The citation was mysteriously lost and the whole thing swept under the carpet when it was discovered that he had a collection of Argies' ears which he had collected as war trophies.

Quack quack oops.

Paul

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No matter what the badge .. I've been thinking about this.

This picture is evidence of a an age old warrior trait - displaying the captured trophies from an enemy.

One of the spookiest and thought provoking pictures I've seen from WW1. No joking. I keep coming back to the face and wondering what it going on behind those eyes.

And he probably was just an average guy!

I am with Des, I am drawn to the picture.

Some people just have a look, when I fisnished boxing this ridiculous fashion for eyeballing opponents was just coming into vogue. Most of the time I would just smile and ignore it. If this guy started eyeballing me I would climb out the ring and take an early shower...

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Didn't 3 Para have a little incident regarding helping some prisoners to meet their maker prematurely I remember the SIB swarming all over them on their return!

Rob

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