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These boots are made for marching...

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...all over the dastardly Froschfresser.

They are both solidly made (in the traditional manner - sadly a dying art) and surprisingly comfortable when worn with suitably thick socks (being custom made to fit my huge webbed feet helps of course). I expected to be slipping over a lot with dozens of nails in each sole and whopping great heel irons, but was pleasantly surprised to find how good they actually are on paved surfaces. How exactly 'my' division coped whilst at home in Dresden however is quite beyond me - as visitors to the Elbflorenz of the Wettin Kings will know well, the centre of the Saxon capital has whopping great cobblestones everywhere...


Marschstiefel

I now have all the absolutely vital elements of my uniform together, and am visually fit to represent 'my' regiment at re-enactment events. Everything from here on out will just be a matter of improvements and embellishments - filling out my dogtags and ID documents properly, making a carrying strap for my gasmask tin (which is packed away in its carrying bag on my belt here), and getting hold of a steel helmet and bayonet (I have the frog and decorative Troddel for the latter already).


A cheeky comparison - my Great-Grandfather Arno Bierast in La Ville-aux-Bois-lès-Pontavert (3rd June 1915), and me in my garden (30th September 2009):


1915 - 2009

Later photos show that Arno was eventually (July 1916...) issued with a tunic that actually fitted him properly. :)


The full set, kindly taken by Mr Keef in our back garden. Click the image for a larger b/w version, or the link below for the new-fangled colour version.



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Next a gratuitous flap shot - sadly my backflaps and my belt kit are not hanging properly, but I don't quite have the knack of getting this bit right yet without a mirror. The Unteroffizier would give me a good bollocking for turning out like this:



Colour version


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Current Location:
home
Current Mood:
accomplished accomplished
Current Music:
Terminal Choice - "Khaosgott"
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On 4th October 2009 18:46 (UTC), panzerpenguin replied:
That one is an off-duty photo, like this one: :)

Reserve Infanterie Regiment 243, La Bassee, 1916

It is claimed that the German Armies only executed 48 of their own men in WW1, exclusively or near-exclusively for rape and/or murder. I saw some better figures once, and IIRC the figure for the Royal Saxon Army was only about half a dozen.... which is obviously a rather radical difference from your army!
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On 4th October 2009 21:30 (UTC), panzerpenguin replied:
Ooh, forgot to mention - I can put you in touch with Michael (from the 6 Comm show). I have known him for quite a while - he also has ancestors in the Royal Saxon Army. :)
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On 5th October 2009 15:39 (UTC), panzerpenguin replied:
That's an interesting point, and not one that had occurred to me. Certainly body shape has a lot to do with it - many WW1 conscripts from poorer backgrounds suffered from stunted growth by modern standards due to poor nutrition in childhood. My GGF came from a good middle class family, so perhaps this is why his issue uniform is such an appalling fit!

A couple of better proportioned examples from Saxon studio portraits:
Gefreiter, K.S. Reserve Feldartillerie Regiment 53, probably 1914
Unteroffizier, 16 K.S. Infanterie Regiment 182, 1914

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On 11th October 2009 22:27 (UTC), panzerpenguin replied:
I have sent Michael your email address.

When my GGF volunteered in Dresden on 24th August (having evaded Russian internment in Finland), his regiment was already in combat at Dinant. As well as kitting out all of the local active (peacetime) regiments at full wartime strength, the warehouses in Dresden had also equipped two successive waves of reserve regiments and a wave of mobile Ersatz battalions... so the cupboard was pretty bare, and wartime production was just ramping up. If an issued item did not fit properly, the unit tailor would fix it in a rough and ready fashion - and a replacement would be provided when the garment wore out.

I recently sw it suggested that the really big difference to consistent nutrition and therefore height in human populations was the invention of refrigerated storage (which was not around in WW1). Before that, diet was essentially seasonal and therefore intermittently deficient in various ways for the overwhelming majority of the population.
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On 4th October 2009 20:49 (UTC), ephemera commented:
the side-by-side comparison with your grandfather is very impressive indeed!
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On 4th October 2009 21:20 (UTC), knirirr replied:
Indeed — I thought I could see a bit of a family resemblance.
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On 4th October 2009 21:42 (UTC), panzerpenguin replied:
This has been much remarked upon within the family too...

I also have an uncontrollable atavistic urge to fire Mustard gas at Frenchmen, although this could also come from the English side.
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On 4th October 2009 21:58 (UTC), knirirr replied:
I have more of a desire to bayonet them, but that is not surprising.
Do you have any more events this year or is that it until next year?
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On 4th October 2009 22:06 (UTC), panzerpenguin replied:
No-one seems to have anything planned for the rest of the year. There is some talk on the Forum of a proposed Winter event at the Artillery Museum in Woolwich which would be ideal for me, but nothing concrete yet.
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On 5th October 2009 12:51 (UTC), knirirr replied:
That sounds interesting.
Unfortunately I can't afford to do WWI myself, though I ought to get some civilian clothing for the period.
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On 5th October 2009 15:31 (UTC), panzerpenguin replied:
If you can get suitable civilian clothing you can represent a new recruit circa Autumn 1914 when there weren't even enough old blue uniforms to go around. :) You'll just need a wooden dummy rifle.
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On 5th October 2009 17:44 (UTC), es0terika replied:
I also have an uncontrollable atavistic urge to fire Mustard gas at Frenchmen, although this could also come from the English side.

:) Have you ever indulged that particular urge?
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On 5th October 2009 17:48 (UTC), panzerpenguin replied:
Since I do not possess the relevant equipment, it remains purely theoretical.
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On 5th October 2009 17:55 (UTC), es0terika replied:
Darn it. If I see any WWI field artillery going cheap on ebay then I'll let you know then ;]
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On 4th October 2009 21:36 (UTC), panzerpenguin replied:
Thankyou - I have wanted to be able to make this comparison for years. :)

NB: Whilst I remember, I have some things for John here. Drop me a postal address and I will send you a copy of the Kindermord demo (limited 48) and a couple of compilations featuring our work (MK / Stalker).
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On 4th October 2009 22:25 (UTC), ephemera replied:
let me know what's the best email address for you at the moment, and I'll ask John what the best postal address for him is at the moment, and I'll do my best to get the two of you in contact!
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On 5th October 2009 11:10 (UTC), panzerpenguin replied:
You can email me at andil at theimps dot com.
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On 4th October 2009 23:24 (UTC), gothbabe commented:
You look great! I love the photos. The sombre faces make you look like a real soldier! : )
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On 5th October 2009 11:14 (UTC), panzerpenguin replied:
Thankyou. :) A real new recruit possibly... the faces of actual combat veterans look like this:

K.S. Landwehr Infanterie Regiment 101, Eastern front
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On 5th October 2009 11:16 (UTC), gothbabe replied:
Thanks xx interesting to know what happened...
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On 5th October 2009 15:55 (UTC), nathan_nothing commented:
I like the sheepish look in your face as if you've been mucking about and skiving off!
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On 11th October 2009 22:28 (UTC), panzerpenguin replied:
Like this?

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