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This field covers uniforms, headdress and badges from the 18th century through to Third Reich items from the 20th century. Much of this material can be seen in context in contemporary prints/drawings and other art work, eg bronzes and photographs. I keep a very sharp eye out for, and a photographic record of, all the particularly convincing Third Reich fakes that come my way. Good reference books include: The Emperor's Coat by Rest, Ortner & Ilming (Verlag Militaria) on Austro-Hungarian militaria, Great War period; Shoulder-belt plates and buttons by Parkyn on British militaria; two volumes by King on British military headdress badges. The National Army Museum (Royal Hospital Road, London SW3) has an excellent bookshop and display covering the British side of this great subject.

Here is a selection of militaria from this category:

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militaria item Prussian breast plate (cuirass)
- German
This clean example is marked '2' and 'Hartkopf', very probably a retailer's mark, Hartkopf being an early 19th century firm of arms dealers and sword cutlers. Its construction suggests a date nearer to 1760 than later. They were, in any case, proscribed (specifically forbidden) in 1790 by the Prussian army.
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militaria item SS Pioneer officer's cap, 1938 model
- German
This cap would have been worn by a Pioneer officer in the Waffen SS in the early years of WW2. The Pioneers were responsible for bridge-building, flame-thrower team, etc. This has 1940 pattern Bevo SS other ranks insignia and the lining is stamped 'Maria Damm 57' (the 57 indicates size).
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militaria item Tank crew assault badge
- German
This die-struck badge was awarded by the Weimar Republic to WW1 tank crews who had served in three assaults or been wounded in the course of one. The soldier had to apply for the badge and, once he had received the award document, would privately purchase the badge. Sepp Dietrich, commander of the LAH, wore this in 1940 photos.
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militaria item 1st Bombay Light Cavalry sabretache badge
- British Empire
These silver-coloured ornaments would have decorated a black patent leather sabretache of an officer of the Ist Bombay Light Cavalry. The 1st BLC served with great distinction at Ghuznee, in the Afghan campaign, at Mooltan, Goojerat and Central India (in the Mutiny). The badge was worn until c 1880 when sabretaches were discarded.
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militaria item Pair 7 x 50 prismatic binoculars
- German
This particularly fine pair was made by Busch of Rathenow (East Prussia). The case is made by Hensoldt of Wetzlar and is marked with the Weimar Army acceptance eagle. The lenses are almost as they left the factory and the resulting vision extremely sharp. There is a 1944 date on the steel snap of the case, together with a code 'crn'.
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Thanks for the good and quick service! I tell other world war 2 collectors to buy at your shop!

A M, The Netherlands, 15.10.2011

Excellent information, Chris, you've been making a big effort! I will spell it out more closely (I'm a historian!) and don't think Bezdek can add much more.

A C, Belgium, 26.06.2005