The Armourer – March 2023
English | 65 pages | pdf | 30.74 MB
Welcome at The Armourer Magazine March 2023 Issue
One of the stories in the news this month comes from down under, courtesy of regular contributor Graham Caldwell who sent through some clippings. It’s about an auction being held in Queensland, with items from the estate of a deceased Waffen-SS officer. Now many of them appear to be the usual German militaria like daggers and medals, but in amongst these are some related to concentration camps and the persecution of the Jews. Are these genuine military collectables, or the source of morbid interest at best and neo-Nazi race doctrines at worse?
In my opinion no, concentration camp items are not legitimate military collectables for someone’s private collection. They are historical items that need to be in museums to warn against the dangers of totalitarianism, fascism and racism. Does this mean that there should be a blanket ban on all NSDAP items and militaria items
that feature a swastika? No, in my opinion this would be a complete over reaction. Collecting German militaria is a perfectly valid hobby and the swastika was an integral part of the iconography of the National Socialist regime. If Australia gets to the point where there’s a ban on displaying all WWII NSDAP items, it is pretty much a ban on auction houses and dealers selling those items, which will simply drive the trade underground, giving the buyer’s absolutely no protection against fraud and counterfeit items. It will also criminalise owning such items, which would be ridiculous. Let us know your thoughts at the usual addresses.
Now, to this issue and the Kaiser’s Battle, otherwise known as the German www.armourer.co.uk // March 2023 3 REGULAR Spring Offensive of 1918. With the collapse of the Russians in the East the Germans were suddenly flush with fresh divisions, giving them a numerical advantage in the West for the first time. However, America had signed up for the war in 1917 and their forces were busy training in France.
There was a window of opportunity for Germany to strike before overwhelming American numbers made defeat inevitable. That led to the Spring Offensive of 1918, a year which saw more movement than any other time in the war. This offensive is featured in the new Netflix film, All Quiet on the Western Front, which provides the artwork for the cover and is certainly worth a watch if you can get to see it.
Elsewhere in this issue, we have the accoutrements of the Austrian- Hungarian army from WWI, which mainly fought on the Eastern Front, making collecting items quite tricky.
This is another under reported area which we’ll be taking a closer look at later this year. There are also features on the Cawnpore Massacre of 1857, ahead of a cover feature on the Indian Mutiny next month; the special books that were made available for the troops in WWII; a British bayonet hastily designed after Dunkirk, to replace the losses on the continent; and we have a special feature on King George V battleships, as part of a preview on a new bookazine from the publisher of The Armourer Magazine.