WW1 / WW2 / 20th Century

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A Superb Sheet of Estonian 10 Penni Stamps Issued In 1919

A Superb Sheet of Estonian 10 Penni Stamps Issued In 1919

The first postage stamps of Estonia were issued in November 1918, just a few days after the armistice that ended World War I. Lithographed by Eduard Bergmann in Tartu. The perforated issue of the 10 p. was printed in sheets of 200, arranged in two panes of 100 each, separated by a vertical gutter. No gutter pairs are known. The 5 p. and the imperforate 10 p. were printed in sheets of 400, arranged in four panes of 100 each, separated by gutters. The printer's sheets were cut into four counter panes at the printers. Full printing sheets were distributed only during the early printing of the 5 p. For all three printings of the 5 p. the same litho stone was used. The print is imperfect and often unclear, especially for the third printing.  read more

Code: 21155

95.00 GBP

Super Scottish Clan Badge Mea Gloria Fides, Griffon Head and Coronet

Super Scottish Clan Badge Mea Gloria Fides, Griffon Head and Coronet

Silver colour, but not hallmarked. Mea Gloria Fides, Fidelity is my glory. Possibly the Gallagher clan, the Gallagher motto is the same, this the heraldic symbol not normally a griffon.  read more

Code: 21048

45.00 GBP

A Medal Invented by Lt Col Ridgeway, Sec. to C.in C. Gen Auchinleck

A Medal Invented by Lt Col Ridgeway, Sec. to C.in C. Gen Auchinleck

A medal designed made and to be worn by General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Lt Col Ridgeway, Major General Geoffrey Bruce, Brigadier Desmond Young, Capt Causlan ADC, and Captain Mustafa Ali Khan, as a psuedo honour award for the visit to the King and Kingdom of Nepal, due to their visit to Katmandhu, Nepal, in October 1945. It was meant as a private jest at the expense of Major General Charles Lane who was apparently not so honoured. The lion circular badge was actually the symbol of the Katmandhu Water Board. The Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, General Sir Claude Auchinleck visits Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, and is decorated with the Star of Nepal by King Tribhuvan. General Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander in Chief in India, paid his first visit to Nepal in October. While there he was decorated with the Most Refulgent Order of the Star of Nepal, First Class, and made an Honorary General of the Nepalese Forces, by the King of Nepal, Tribhubana Bir Vikram Sah.

The King's speech to General Auchinleck is read by the Prime Minister's son, Gen. Sir Bahadur Shumshere Jungbahadur Rana (left) on the occasion of the C in C's visit. It is accompanied by an original letter written to describe what the honour was created for in 1945.  read more

Code: 20984

195.00 GBP

L'Amerique en Guerre War Airborne Psychological Warfare Leaflet Nov. 1943

L'Amerique en Guerre War Airborne Psychological Warfare Leaflet Nov. 1943

No. 75. An original 4 page fold out leaflet/newspaper published by the The Psychological Warfare Division, Supreme Headquarters. Dropped by the 8th Airforce in November 1943. In the European theatre, Allied leaflet operations to the occupied countries are regarded by some as the most effective of the various leaflet campaigns. If a French citizen was found in possession of one these leaflets it could mean immediate imprisonment or even execution. Along side the single-sheet "timeless" leaflets, were news based tracts including newspapers and magazines. The largest number of leaflets was disseminated over France, simply because the country was large with a widely dispersed population. Once British forces had been withdrawn from France it became obvious that the Germans were exerting strict control of the news. If any spirit of resistance was to be kept alive, the French had to receive news and encouragement from Britain and her Allies. Great work was done by the BBC via its radio network but the likely confiscation of radio receivers by the Germans meant that some other way had to found to penetrate the Nazi propaganda wall. The ideal would have been a daily air-disseminated newspaper but this was impracticable due to a shortage of available aircraft and the unpredictability of the weather. It was decided, therefore, to institute a newspaper named Le Courrier de L'air to be dropped at weekly intervals. The first issue was dropped in December 1940 and by the time France was liberated close on 200 editions had been printed. In November 1942, the Americans designed a magazine similar to "Courrier" which was entitled L'Amerique en Guerre and was delivered by American planes until August 1944. Each of the around 100 editions stated "Brought to the French people by the U.S.A.A.F".  read more

Code: 20936

50.00 GBP

An American, Goodyear Co. Ashtray Made From Duralumin From Airship Akron

An American, Goodyear Co. Ashtray Made From Duralumin From Airship Akron

A 1931 souveninir of USS Akron (ZRS-4). Striking and very rare. It was a helium-filled rigid airship of the U.S. Navy which operated between September 1931 and April 1933. She was the world's first purpose-built flying aircraft carrier, carrying F9C Sparrowhawk fighter planes which could be launched and recovered while she was in flight. With an overall length of 785 ft (239 m), the Akron and her sister ship the Macon were among the largest flying objects ever built. Although the LZ129 Hindenburg and the LZ130 Graf Zeppelin II were some 18 ft (5.5 m) longer and slightly more voluminous, the two German airships were filled with hydrogen, so the US Navy craft still holds the world record for helium-filled airships.

The Akron was destroyed in a thunderstorm off the coast of New Jersey on the morning of 4 April 1933, killing 73 of the 76 crewmen and passengers. This accident involved the greatest loss of life in any airship crash. The airship's skeleton was built of the new lightweight alloy duralumin 17-SRT. The frame introduced several novel features compared with traditional Zeppelin designs. Rather than being single-girder diamond trusses with radial wire bracing, the main rings of the Akron were self-supporting deep frames: triangular Warren trusses 'curled' round to form a ring. Though much heavier than conventional rings, the deep rings promised to be much stronger, a significant attraction to the navy after the in-flight break up of the earlier conventional airships R38/ZR-2 and ZR-1 Shenandoah. The inherent strength of these frames allowed Chief Designer, Dr Karl Arnstein, to dispense with the internal cruciform structure used by Zeppelin to support the fins of their ships. Instead, the fins of the Akron were cantilevered: mounted entirely externally to the main structure. Zeppelin and other rigid designs used a single keel at the lowest point of the hull circumference but Arnstein gave the Akron three keels, one running along the top of the hull and one each side, 45 degrees up from the lower centreline. Each keel provided a walkway running almost the entire length of the ship. The strength of the main rings, the lower keels, and the fact that helium, instead of flammable hydrogen, was to be used, also allowed the designer to mount the engines inside the hull, improving streamlining.  read more

Code: 20454

145.00 GBP

An NSFK German Flight of 1938 Souvenir Ashtray Of Aeronautical Alloy

An NSFK German Flight of 1938 Souvenir Ashtray Of Aeronautical Alloy

The Deutschlandflug 1938 [German Flight] was the largest international aerospace event in the world. The German flight in 1937 was the first large-scale aviation event after the armament of the Wehrmacht and was organized by the National Socialist Air Corps (NSFK). The airmen did not participate individually, but in triple associations, of which 62 were at the start; 61 of these also reached the goal. The associations did not collectively share a previously defined route, but were able to choose their flight route themselves to fly more than 70 established destinations. On four days of the contest, the three groups broke up and the planes flew individually. [8th]

The German Sportflieger stated: "No human life in this competition is to be deplored, which put the highest demands on machines and crew, which also had still Orter tasks and skill tests (target dropping and obstacle landings) after six exhausting flight days" ]

On the German flights of 1934, 1935, and 1937, only three- to seven-aircraft units participated. In 1937, private pilots also launched their own aircraft. The 1938 German Flight was the largest international aerospace event in the world, with some 400 aircraft taking off and spending a total of around 2,500,000 kilometers on eight competitions. In this competition, both the route and the airfields were selected. Due to the inexperience of many pilots as well as bad weather, several serious accidents occurred.

The German flight planned for 1939 no longer came to the rescue. The German flight is a competition for aircraft pilots , which was carried out for the first time from 11 June to 10 July 1911. On the following flights to Germany, pilots took part, whose names should be included in the history of aviation. Names such as Ernst Udet or Elly Beinhorn are featured on the lists. In the time of National Socialism the flights became gigantic performance with up to 400 participating aircraft. The N.S.F.K. (National Socialist Flying Corps) was created in January of 1932, to promote interest in aviation throughout Germany. It was a male dominated association, although females were not discouraged from participating in events. The NSFK was very closely associated with the Hitler Youth (HJ) organization.  read more

Code: 20452

165.00 GBP

O.R. 1950 56th. Infantry Division [London], 'Black Cat' Formation Badge

O.R. 1950 56th. Infantry Division [London], 'Black Cat' Formation Badge

56th. Infantry Division [London] divisional [flash] insignia.
Printed example of the black cat [Dick Wittington's cat] combined with the sword of the City of London on a red square of wool. The regiment was later formed as the 56th Armoured Division [London] with the sword. The regular WW2 56th insignia has no sword. At the outbreak of war in September 1939, the division was mobilised as motorized infantry under the title of the 1st London Division. It was reorganised as an infantry division in June 1940 and renamed the 56th (London) Infantry Division on 18 November 1940. The divisional insignia during the Second World War was changed to an outline of a black cat in a red background. The cat stood for Dick Whittington's cat, a symbol of London.

The division remained in the United Kingdom during the Battle of France, moving to the Middle East in November 1942, where it served in Iraq and Palestine, until moving to Egypt in March 1943 and thence forward to Libya and the front, in April. This involved the division, commanded by Major-General Eric G. Miles, travelling some 2,300 miles (3,700 km) by road, a notable achievement and testament to the organization of the division and the ability of its mechanics and technicians. The division sat out the Allied invasion of Sicily (except for the 168th Brigade, which was attached to the understrength 50th Infantry Division) and moved to Italy in September 1943, where they fought in the landings at Salerno under the command of the US Fifth Army. During this time the 201st Guards Brigade joined the division, to replace the 168th Brigade which returned to the division in October. In January 1944, the 56th Division, commanded now by Major-General Gerald Templer, saw service in the Battle of Monte Cassino, serving there until March 1944 and participated in the Anzio Campaign. After being withdrawn to Egypt at the end of March, the division, under Major-General John Y. Whitfield, returned to Italy in July 1944, where it took part in the Battles along the Gothic Line and remained there until after Victory in Europe Day. During the fighting of 1944 and 1945, some of the infantry battalions that suffered heavy casualties were disbanded, to make up for an acute manpower shortage. The division also took part in Operation Grapeshot, the Allied offensive which ended the war in Italy.


Members of the 10th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment, part of the 168th Brigade, climbing the heights of Calvi Risorta shortly after the invasion of Italy, October 1943
After crossing the Volturno in October 1943, the division entered the town of Calvi Vecchia. Their attempts to radio the Fifth Army to cancel a planned bombing on the town failed. As a last resort, the 56th released an American homing pigeon, named G.I. Joe, which carried a message that reached the allies just as the planes were being warmed up. The attack was called off and the town was saved from the planned air assault  read more

Code: 20401

25.00 GBP

A German WW2 Kriegsmarine Coastal Artillery BeVo Breast Eagle

A German WW2 Kriegsmarine Coastal Artillery BeVo Breast Eagle

Green ground with yellow eagle. A nice original Kriegsmarine yellow example. Coastal artillery was the responsibility of the Kriegsmarine, and most of the weapons employed in this manner were captured or obsolete weapons, their role was a defence against invasion, rather than proper coast defence against naval attack many of these guns were mounted in defensive works of either turrets or casemates. Marine Artillery Units were trained as ground artillery. There are several accounts of Naval Artillery Forward Observers during the Market Garden operation. Coastal batteries were used against ground targets all the way up the French coast, that is, if they could be turned towards the landward side.

Also, something to keep in mind, Naval Artillerymen are trained to hit moving targets such as ships, not much of a stretch to hit relatively stationary ground targets and the like such as a battalion area or a road junction. Coordinates, angles, grids, and trajectories are calculated much the same and a big shell is a big shell regardless of the target?  read more

Code: 20358

65.00 GBP

A Very Attractive Imperial German Bullion and Gilt Officers Brocade Belt

A Very Attractive Imperial German Bullion and Gilt Officers Brocade Belt

With royal crown and crest of Kaiser Willhelm II. Superb gilded buckle with silver bullion belt bears two horizontal stripes. Some of the cloth inner lining to belt has worn away  read more

Code: 20338

265.00 GBP

WW2 Australian Instructional Corps - Officer Bronze and Enamel Hat Badge

WW2 Australian Instructional Corps - Officer Bronze and Enamel Hat Badge

A mighty rare badge of WW2. Australian Instructional Corps - Officer Bronze and Enamel Hat Badge 1921 - 55. Worn from 1930 to 1942.

The Australian Instructional Corps (AIC) was the permanent force posting unit for the Warrant Officer Instructors of the Australian Army from 1921 to 1955. Complete with two lugs.

A highly desirable hat badge. These were worn by Warrant Officer trainers who were responsible for the training of the Militia Battalions and Regiments (Citizen Military Forces) from 1921 to 1942 and the Volunteer Defence Force (VDF) from 1942 to 1945 as well as the 2nd AIF post 1939.
The AIC ran qualification courses for militia and AIF officers and NCOs at specialist schools across the country.

Many of the instructors were commissioned as Officers or were employed as senior NCO's in these war time formations.
The AIC reached its peak in 1942 with 234 quartermasters and 889 warrant officers so both types of these insignia can be quite hard to come by  read more

Code: 20266

245.00 GBP