The Armourer - February 2023

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Discover how poor training, incompetent leadership and lack of tanks led to the fall of Singapore to the Japanese Imperial Army.

On Sale: 03/01/2023

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What the Editor has to say about this month’s issue as we look at the fall of Singapore which Churchill demanded be defended to the last man.

What’s happening in the world of militaria shows, museums and exhibitions. This month we’re reporting the passing of the last of the Dambusters, a new medal for veterans of the atomic testing programme and a new Director-General for the IWM.


In the sale rooms
Here's a look at what's coming up for auction with Third Reich militaria at Ratisbon’s 53rd Contemporary Auction and Great War medals at Noonans.

Under the hammer
Let’s have a look at what’s gone under the hammer in auction rooms, with medals at Noonans, German militaria at Ratisbon’s, classic arms at Olympia and weapons at Hermann Historica.


WWI webbing: France
Ed Hallett’s series on the accoutrements of the armies of WWI turns to France where the introduction of the Lebel rifle meant a gradual update and replacement of traditional infantry equipment.

Initially touted as the Nazi version of the RAC/AA, the forerunner to the National Socialist Motor Corps began life by ferrying NSDAP members around. However, Hitler soon forced all motoring organisations to be amalgamated into the new organisation which saw its role vastly increased.

Sweetheart badges
Graham Caldwell looks at the phenomenon of WWI servicemen gifting sweetheart mementoes in the form of miniature regimental badges. By 1915 there were hundreds of different designs.

Muskets from India
Graham Priest heads for the Indian subcontinent to investigate the firearms and bayonets of the 19th century Country Powers.

The Kissi Campaign 
Peter Duckers has the latest in his search for rare and unusual medals. This time it’s the Africa General Service Medal (AGS) which was instituted in 1902 to reward service in the many small wars in north-east, east and west Africa prior to 1921.

Crime in WWII: Gangs of London
The Crime in WWII series reaches part four and the conclusion with a look at the work of organised criminal gangs who organised fraud, theft and prostitution in wartime Britain.

French conquest of Algeria
The north coast of Africa was a tempting area to colonise for France. Gabriele Esposito has the story of the French conquest of Algeria.

The Photo Inspector
Ray Westlake looks at the uniform and insignia of soldiers of the Wireless section of the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry at Lowther Park Camp, Penrith, in 1914.


The fall of Singapore
Graham Caldwell is your guide to the military disaster that befell the British and Commonwealth forces defending Singapore from the Japanese. A combination of poor training, poor tactics and incompetent leaderships resulted in the worst defeat of WWII for Britain.

Collecting Singapore
There’s plenty to collect from the Far East with British, Commonwealth and Japanese uniforms, badges and ephemera as Ed Hallett explains.


Militaria reviews
Duncan Evans is on hand to guide you through the latest releases which this month include the timely Putin’s Wars, the not so jovial Holidays with Hitler, misery in Bitter Peleliu and extreme action in Combat Divers.

Letters/Next month
Here is what you’ve been writing in about this month which includes civilian awards, a furore over spam, and entering competitions from overseas. Also, there’s news of what’s coming up next month.

Auction & Fair Diary
Check out the online arrangements for the auctions where you can top up your militaria collection and what fairs are open.

62 Competition
Thanks to our friends at Pen and Sword we have nine prizes up for grabs for three lucky winners. They all get copies of In Furious Skies, Lucky Hitler’s Big Mistakes, and Eyewitnes at Dieppe.

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