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MAP was right!

Son of a gun if the helmets didn't multiply as MAP said they would.  Actually just a 'relic' out of the Ukraine, but being M42 obsessed and with the price right, and after talking to the seller, knowing where it was dug up, it let me do a little history learning.  As it was no famous battle site, but just near a bridgehead where a fight took place in the Fall of 44, I am inclined to believe the background.

Anyway, the other thing that drew me to it was the suggestion that the decal might still be recoverable.  So after a bit of cleaning of the exterior a bit of the loose rust, here it is.  ET64 and what I believe is 1228 as the lot number.

I'm assuming what I'm seeing is the ghost of the decal as it doesn't appear that there is any remnant of the original decal, unless that's paint over it.  I don't believe so but again as the newbie learning this world, I figured it couldn't hurt to show you experts.

Lots of pitting on the inside, and I imagine that's rust bubbling up under the paint, but I'm still happy with it, if for no other reason as to where it came from.

Back in the mid 70s when I was a teenager, we had a man come speak at our church.  His name was Hagan Stach (not sure on the spelling)  He was a minister, but he was there to speak about his experience as a conscripted German soldier on the Eastern Front.

The story hammered me as he described the moment where he had to choose between his faith and his service.  He'd beaten a Russian soldier to the draw in a ditch and had killed him at close range.  It was a similar event to the one I'd read in "All Quiet on the Western Front" where the German soldier is in the shell hole with the French soldier he'd bayoneted as the man died in front of him.

Rev. Stach had gone through the mans wallet and found pictures of the man's wife and kids.   Seeing that photo tore him apart inside.  In the end he ended up surrendering to the Russians as the thought of killing another man was too much.  He spent time in the POW camps into the early 50s as many of the German soldiers did.  Once he returned home, he became a minister and was spending his life trying to make up for what he'd done.  The one wartime US M1 I have is from a US Army soldier who'd come in with the second wave at Utah Beach and fought all the way until the Fall of 44 when he was seriously wounded by an artillery shell, spending 6 months in the hospital.  He too became a minister trying to make up for what he'd 'done'.  Seeing the young German soldier he'd shot die in front of him had never left him.

What the talk by Rev. Stach did was humanize the men under the German helmets.  Lead me to read "Enemy at the Gates" and "The Forgotten Soldier", both powerful books on events on the Eastern front that showed that side as well.

So this one represents that man whose story had made such an impact on me way back when.  Yes I'm a history junkie.  Sorry for the continued babbling, but this stuff has the old blood pumping 🙂

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In response to the title of your post. It does happen. Often? Not really but it does happen once in awhile.

Z

Quote from Paddyd00 on April 8, 2021, 6:21 pm

In response to the title of your post. It does happen. Often? Not really but it does happen once in awhile.

Z

Strange..isn't it ?

Interesting story.

Couple of books i recommend:

Death March Through Russia: The Memoir of Lothar Herrmann

Voices from Stalingrad: First-hand Accounts from World War II's Cruellest Battle

Nick

Quote from HoundsTooth on April 8, 2021, 9:49 pm

Interesting story.

Couple of books i recommend:

Death March Through Russia: The Memoir of Lothar Herrmann

Voices from Stalingrad: First-hand Accounts from World War II's Cruellest Battle

Nick

Thanks for those.  I've been reading the two books called Mortar Gunner on the Eastern Front by Hans Rehfeldt.

Despite the pot shots hurled at me above from lesser mortals ......I'm rarely wrong!!

 

The more you have the quicker they multiply. Like kids however, they will drain your bank account and all your pre-kid (helmet) priorities will fade away.

A night out with the boys? Well...if you stay home, you will save that $100 to go towards your next helmet, or skipping your daily morning Starbucks coffee to save $50 a week...or taking out a home equity loan to buy the custom made climate controlled cabinet to care for your babies....sad how this hobby is

Interesting stories for sure. Not uncommon I would guess after the horrors of war. Many men became pacifists after the war.

Quote from Guppy35 on April 9, 2021, 4:25 am
Quote from HoundsTooth on April 8, 2021, 9:49 pm

Interesting story.

Couple of books i recommend:

Death March Through Russia: The Memoir of Lothar Herrmann

Voices from Stalingrad: First-hand Accounts from World War II's Cruellest Battle

Nick

Thanks for those.  I've been reading the two books called Mortar Gunner on the Eastern Front by Hans Rehfeldt.

This book 'Mortar Gunner' - is it good? If so i'll grab it.
I love these German WW2 books.

Of course read 'The forgotten Soldier' by Guy Sajer and 'Blood Red Snow' by Günter Koschorrek... if you have not already.

And Iron Coffins by Herbert Werner is a great account on the U-Boats.

Going a bit off topic here i know - should probably create a new thread.

Nick

I read Forgotten Soldier for the first time about 1974. Two copies on the shelf along with an Anniversary edition that has some of Sajer’s artwork in it.  Definitely a good and powerful book 🙂