The Armourer - March 2021

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Read the story of the great Somme offensive of WWI then collect all the militaria associated with the campaign, from uniforms to medals.

On Sale: 02/02/2021

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What's in this Issue?

What the Editor has to say about this month’s issue as we take a look at the Battle of the Somme – in colour.

What’s happening in the world of militaria, museums, exhibitions, collections and events. This month we’re reporting on the plans by various military museums, how a tank was repaired, and if you thought the postal service was bad now…

Militaria for sale
Lenny Warren takes a trip around the internet in search of rare, interesting and desirable collectables.

In the sale rooms
Discover what’s coming up for auction with daggers, revolvers, medals and the Home Guard at Marlow’s and impressive naval uniforms and gear at Bishop and Miller.

Tales from the saleroom
Our writer explores the murky world of porters and whether they have the inside track on bargains at auction.

Under the hammer
Let’s have a look at what’s gone under the hammer in auction rooms, with rare nursing medals at Tennants; Rorke’s Drift items at Bonhams; medals, uniforms and a samurai sword at Bosleys; sporting guns at Gavin Gardiner; and classic arms and armour at Hermann Historica.

Hitler must die!
As if the attempts on his life by his own side weren’t enough, the British also had secret plans to assassinate the Führer in Operation Foxley. See what kind of schemes were being considered.

RAF 1925 Pattern webbing
It’s the next in Ed Hallett’s series on forgotten British Empire webbing used in WWII, this time casting an eye over what those in the RAF were wearing. Although it was called the 1925 Pattern, it was actually adopted in 1927.

Japanese Pedersen rifles
Michael Heidler reveals the experimental Japanese copies of the Pedersen semi-automatic rifle. It all started when the American arms designer John Douglas Pedersen lost out to a rifle designed by John Garand.

Faithful Service Decorations
Hitler had a medal for everything, and that included being in a job, that served the German people, for a long time. There were three classes, two for public companies, and one for sticking it out at a private firm for 50 years!

Siege of Seringapatam
Graham Priest explores the events of the 4th Anglo-Mysore War in 1799 which led to a siege and conflict with the East India Company. Discover the weapons and bayonets used.

Navajo Code Talkers
It was an extraordinarily complex and unwritten language, with no alphabet or symbols, only spoken on Navajo land. Its composition and slang terms make it indecipherable to anyone not proficient with the language which made it perfect for use in the Pacific.

Military sheet music covers
At one time an evening’s entertainment consisted of gathering around a piano for a sing-song but, as Ray Westlake explains, even though those days are long gone, the sheet covers for military music are very collectable.

Secret Nazi Projects 4: Incendiary bombs
Michael Heidler reports on the secret plan by the Waffen-SS to make use of unexploded incendiary bombs dropped by the Allies, even as their own supplies were dwindling.

MBG: The Reichgewehr 88
The introduction of the French Lebel rifle caused consternation in Germany so a rival weapon was demanded. The result was the hybrid Mauser-Mannlicher rifle, as John Walter explains.

The Photo Inspector
Ray Westlake looks at a bass drummer of the 2nd Home Counties Field Ambulance, featuring blue uniforms with black velvet facings.

The Battle of the Somme
Graham Caldwell describes the ill-fated offensive which raged for 141 days between July and November 1916. It was a colossal show of arms that produced horrendous casualties, coming to represent the futility of war on the Western Front.

Collecting the Somme
Edward Hallett looks at the uniform, weapon and medals collecting opportunities from the Battle of the Somme. One of the most iconic images of the Somme offensive is officer’s blowing whistles as the led men over the top – these are a very affordable start for any collection.

Militaria reviews
Duncan Evans takes a look at the latest releases including British and American WWII tanks in Allied Armour while the Final Archives of the Führerbunker details what two French officers found inside the ruins later in 1945. There’s Johnnie Johnson’s 1942 diary, a Battleground guide to Verdun 1917 and the story of Wellington’s Light Division in the Peninsular War.

Your Letters
Your comments on what you’ve been reading and doing. This month we’re discussing things found in someone’s loft and there’s feedback on those forgotten webbing sets of the British Empire.

Auction & Fair Diary
We are in Lockdown, so check out the online arrangements for the auctions where you can top up your militaria collection while being confined to quarters.

Thanks to our friends at Osprey Publishing we have two fantastic prize bundles up for grabs. You can win copies of German Army Uniforms of World War II, Thomas Anderson’s Panzer IV and the World War II Fighter Planes Spotter’s Guide.

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